Say 'NO' to crack.....sometimes.

By
Home Inspector with Perfection Inspection, Inc.

Foundation cracks are typically something that home inspectors look for around the perimeter inside and out. Foundations in Marion and Polk counties are usually a poured concrete or possibly concrete block type foundation.

Concrete does two things, it gets hard and it cracks. Small, less than an eighth inch, vertical cracks are typically indicators of shrinkage and are a normal part of the concrete curing process. The cracks that are potentially structural in nature fall into a few categories:


1. Diagonal cracks: these cracks typically occur near corners and indicate that the corner has settled. This happens either with moving down, or uplifting moving up. Diagonal cracks typically occur in pairs. One on either side of the corner.Cracks in a foundation in a old home in Salem Oregon.

2. Horizontal cracks: these cracks typically indicate pressures against the foundation wall from soils. Either in properly backfilled soils or soils that have unusual amounts of moisture creating excessive pressures.

3. Cracks with displacement: displacement indicates movement on either side of the crack. One side of the foundation has moved forward or back more than the other side. Displacement can occur with any of these types of cracks and is always an indicator of structural movement.

4. Cracks that are wider than one quarter inch: this indication can also occur with any of the previous mentioned cracks. Cracks that are larger than one quarter inch may indicate a significant amount of structural movement and repairs may be needed. When cracks of this size are noted standard operating procedure for most good home inspectors is to recommend a structural engineer further evaluate.Large foundation crack noted during a home inspection on a concrete foundation in a North East Salem, Oregon home.

Those are the types of foundation cracks to look for. If any of the above four are noted it may be time for further evaluation.  Structural engineers are your best bet for professional opinions.

 

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Rainer
78,046
Andy Kress
Rental Solutions Oahu - Honolulu, HI

Thanks for the information on types of cracks

Dec 19, 2010 09:30 AM #1
Rainer
407,116
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Sounds like you are cracking down on cracks (sorry for the wise crack). lol. Any cracks running horizontal always scare me but that is why we need a house inspector. Good post Jim.

Dec 19, 2010 10:10 AM #2
Rainer
248,959
Bill Pohl
Tetra Homes, Inc. - Loveland, OH

Jim - Simple information that everybody needs to know.

Dec 19, 2010 10:14 AM #3
Rainmaker
681,572
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Sounds like you're cracking down on cracks:) That one in the second photo is canyon sized.

Dec 19, 2010 10:39 AM #4
Rainer
71,647
Renee Marrs Caperton
Marrs & Associates - Corsicana, TX
Realtor - Corsicana Texas Real Estate

Great info.  Thanks for spelling it out. 

Dec 19, 2010 11:36 PM #5
Rainmaker
176,535
Jim Allhiser
Perfection Inspection, Inc. - Salem, OR
Salem, Oregon Home Inspector

....craking down on cracks.  Funny stuff.  Thanks guys!

Dec 20, 2010 03:04 AM #6
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Out here in earthquake country, people seem to have a real problem with cracks, even common stucco cracks. Some of them want to move to Japan when they see a crack. Of course, Japan has even more earthquakes than we do! Have to think about things logically.

Dec 22, 2010 03:26 AM #7
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

I just stopped by to say that I hope you had a Merry Christmas today with lots of fun and food with family and friends.

Happy Holidays!

Dec 25, 2010 02:08 PM #8
Rainer
130,624
Mel Wagner
Knipe Realty - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Agent Salem Oregon Real Estate

Hmmm.... Great information, but I am just going to mind my P's and Q's (comments)  and wish you a very Happy New Year ;-)

Dec 29, 2010 03:42 PM #9
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Rainmaker
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Jim Allhiser

Salem, Oregon Home Inspector
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