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Old 10-04-2011, 08:52 AM   #1
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block foundation mortar


Hello. I have a house that is less than a year old. I noticed that a mortar joint at the same course of the block foundation on two of the walls now has a gap. Should I contact the contractor to redo the mortar because some settling is expected, or does the problem require more attention than mortar repair?

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Old 10-04-2011, 09:53 AM   #2
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Try posting a photo of the issue.
Helps if we see it.

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Old 10-04-2011, 05:19 PM   #3
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This pic is representative of 99% of the crack. It runs along 2 walls. I can just get a fingernail in here.


There is one wall with a slightly larger crack on the column. I can just push a credit card in here.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:34 AM   #4
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' less than a year old ' suggests you also have a homeowner warranty,,, yes, there's been some movement & its not unexpected in a new home,,, if it were our home, we would notify the warranty seller/underwriter 1st by certified mail - this puts them on notice of your problem which is important should there be any followup problem,,, let them notify the builder which you will also do,,, repairing this is 10min & $5 in mtl now,,, curious why you didn't get conc walls instead of block - did you have a choice ?
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:28 AM   #5
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Certainly call the builder and have them look at the issue now. The crack could certainly be an indicator of bigger issues. Can you put a level on the wall (in the vertical position) and see if the wall is deflecting at all at the horiz. crack. It appears to have internal pilasters as well (they jut into the basement about 4" typically) if I'm seeing the second picture correctly??
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:39 AM   #6
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Yes, that is a pilaster in the second picture. I will check for level tonight.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:22 AM   #7
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Don't just settle for tuck-pointing the cracked joints.

There is more going on than just mortar that cracked since there could be a shear failure or flexure failure due to poor back-fill or poor drainage. The fact that a pilaster cracked like that is very strange unless there was no steel it. The crack pattern does not indicate a settlement failure, but a lateral load.

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Old 10-10-2011, 07:00 AM   #8
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thanks for the input. the palister should have concrete and rebar in it or something else?

When I put a 4 ft level on it vertically, it goes out of level at the crack, to about 1/4" of a gap over 2 courses, which is all there is from the crack to the ceiling.

I was here a lot during the building, and the contractor put a little over 2 ft horizontal of gravel around the foundation, with a pipe at the bottom for drainage.

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