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Structural Inspections Contains discussions about the structural portion of a home inspection. This includes foundations, framing, etc.

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  #1  
Old 11/12/17, 4:06 AM
Curious Carla Curious Carla is offline
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Default Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

We recently purchased a home with a horizontal crack in the interior foundation basement wall, the crack is on the wall that is next to our garage and is a little over a foot from the ceiling down. I have read that the crack could
Be caused by the weight of the cars, the weather (we have very cold winters and very hot summers) or foundation settlement. There is no bowing or caving on the wall, it is very straight. It is about 8 ft long. Its right at 1/8inch at its widest in the middle and tapers off to hairline cracks on each end. I was under the impression any crack 1/8in is usually nothing to worry about. The home is over 40 years old and does have a slight slope in the kitchen (about 1/4 inch) and a sag in the kitchen but other than that there are no cracks in tile (not 1 crack in any tile of the house on any floor. Not even hairline), no cracks in drywall, doors and windows operate correctly. I am trying not to worry about it but I am so anxious not knowing. The inspector when we bought it brought it to our attention but said it was not a concern at all to him and didn't even mention it in the report so I thought nothing of it until I went down there the other day and it threw me off.. Please give me your professional opinions on if I am worrying about nothing. Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 11/12/17, 4:56 PM
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

That's a lotta CD's



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  #3  
Old 11/12/17, 5:33 PM
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Marcel R. Cyr, CMI Marcel R. Cyr, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

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Originally Posted by spayson View Post
That's a lotta CD's
You got that right.


Is that crack above grade on the outside and do you have a picture of the exterior of the foundation and house elevation?



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Old 11/13/17, 1:06 AM
Curious Carla Curious Carla is offline
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

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Originally Posted by mcyr View Post
You got that right.


Is that crack above grade on the outside and do you have a picture of the exterior of the foundation and house elevation?
You cannot see the crack from the exterior wall because it is just below where the concrete for our garage driveway lays. It is probably 5 inches below ground level on the top 1/3 of the wall. I don't know what house elevation is and the foundation on the exterior that is showing looks great. No cracks just a couple chips off of it in 2 places. I can get a picture tomorrow. I have had a couple people look at it and say it is nothing, I've just read that horizontal cracks are ALWAYS bad. I am realizing now that most of the sites that say that are all foundation repair companies though
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  #5  
Old 11/13/17, 9:05 AM
Donald Clendaniel Donald Clendaniel is online now
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

Wow that is a lot of cd's.

Is it an issue, or not. Well, maybe yes, maybe no. I see a lot of these in block walls and read several engineering reports on those, and in five to ten pages they usually boil down to, "maybe". Your inspector IMO should have at least mentioned it, but that's what it is. You said it was on the garage side, attached garage? If yes, it could have happened when the pad was prepped and poured. The fact that it's not bowed or displaced is a good thing. I recommend patching the crack with a non-elastic type of patch (mortar/cement) and monitor over time. If the patch cracks you know it's still moving. If it is there are repairs for that. Horizontal cracks in a poured wall are less common and that wall should have an entire network of reinforced steal in it. So the likely answer is you should be ok. Of course stackin LL Cool J next to Loverboy is not helping it, the apocalypse could be upon us.




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Old 11/13/17, 9:12 AM
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

This looks better.....
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Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?-nachi-jpg  




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  #7  
Old 11/13/17, 9:36 AM
Jeff Zehnder Jeff Zehnder is offline
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

Really need a photo of the exterior, but based on only one photo I am concerned and i would report it no matter what the exterior shows.



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  #8  
Old 11/13/17, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

I agree, a picture of the whole exterior wall and also a picture of the whole wall inside if possible.
How long is the wall and is the crack the full length of it?
The weakest part of the wall is at the level of those form ties as we see.
It is possible that it was hit with equipment when the back-fill was occurring.

Since it is all guess work as to why it happened, gouge out the crack and fill with hydraulic cement to prevent water intrusion. Since it is within 12" of the top of the wall, I don't see to much of a problem unless there is no reinforcement in the wall to prevent the lower part from pushing in from the fill pressure.

We really need to see the whole picture. So recommending a foundation contractor to look at it might be prudent.




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  #9  
Old 11/14/17, 9:05 PM
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

I have seen a few concrete foundations that had similar cracks that had no obvious shoving, such as bowing or the crack is wider on the inside versus the outside. All of the ones I investigated it was rusted reinforcing steel that was supported by the form ties. In 90% of my cases, the form ties were not broken off and sealed allowing water penetrated through to the reinforcing steel. As the rebar rusted and expanded the expansion forces broke the concrete. Unreinforced 3000 psi concrete can only resist about 10% or 300 psi. To verify or rule out this possibility I would chip out the concrete at the crack to see if there was rusted reinforcing steel at the crack location. I have a Zircon MT6 Metal Scanner that will detect reinforcing steel in a concrete wall I use to verify the steel is there before I chip into a wall.
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Old 11/14/17, 10:43 PM
Curious Carla Curious Carla is offline
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

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Originally Posted by rmayo View Post
I have seen a few concrete foundations that had similar cracks that had no obvious shoving, such as bowing or the crack is wider on the inside versus the outside. All of the ones I investigated it was rusted reinforcing steel that was supported by the form ties. In 90% of my cases, the form ties were not broken off and sealed allowing water penetrated through to the reinforcing steel. As the rebar rusted and expanded the expansion forces broke the concrete. Unreinforced 3000 psi concrete can only resist about 10% or 300 psi. To verify or rule out this possibility I would chip out the concrete at the crack to see if there was rusted reinforcing steel at the crack location. I have a Zircon MT6 Metal Scanner that will detect reinforcing steel in a concrete wall I use to verify the steel is there before I chip into a wall.
If this is the case, how much am I looking at for repair? And are the cracks you've seen usually on the top 1/3 of the wall shared with an attached garage? No water gets to the exterior of this wall. It is completely covered by cement, no open soil. Also what signs are you all saying that you would need to see the exterior? The exterior wall of this crack is under a fireplace so there is only about 1.5 feet from garage floor to fireplace bottom to see but all of that looks pristine. Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 11/15/17, 9:14 AM
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

Post more photos if you can, especially what's on the other side of the basement photo.




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  #12  
Old 11/15/17, 2:17 PM
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

What is happening at the crack in the wall? if you take a level (vertical) is the wall being pushed in or is the wall plumb?





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  #13  
Old 11/15/17, 3:42 PM
Curious Carla Curious Carla is offline
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Default Re: Is horizontal crack in concrete basement wall cause for concern?

Quote:
Originally Posted by asinger View Post
What is happening at the crack in the wall? if you take a level (vertical) is the wall being pushed in or is the wall plumb?
The wall is completely plumb and the crack has been there for as long as the original owners can remember (they said). And they were in the home 27 years.
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