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yummy mummy 08-09-2007 08:27 AM

Concrete steps and stucco cracked-Is this structural problem?
I have a question regarding what would be considered a structural problem.

My front concrete steps after the first winter cracked (by cracked I don't mean on the surface, they cracked where the step meets up with the riser)
and in turn have also cracked the sides.

Also, above a bedroom window on the second floor, there is a vertical crack
that goes straight to the roof.

Are both these cracks considered to have happened because of "structural".

I have a 7 year warranty on structural.

If these would be considered to have happened because of the structure of the house, then they would come and fix them.

I just want to know before I call him.


Ron6519 08-09-2007 10:32 AM

What type of stucco application? Traditional or the coating over the foam boards(EIFS)?
Does the crack in the stucco correspond to a crack on the interior wall of the house?
How long is the stucco crack? Is it vertical? Slanted off the corner of the window?
The stairs sounds like they didn't put a proper base under the concrete and it settled.
If you have pictures it would help.

yummy mummy 08-09-2007 10:52 AM

Thanks Ron.
I will try to take a pic of the stairs.

As for the crack. It starts in the top left corner of the window and goes right up to the roof.

It is vertical, and appeared after the first year that we lived in here.

It does not correspond to a crack inside. There is no crack in the bedroom.
It is not slanted, goes straight up.

I'm not sure what the type of application would be called but I saw them put up some type of styrofoam, and then they coated it with some product that looked like some type of "cement". And then the final coat was put on where it shows the "pattern".

The stucco crack I would guess is approx. 15 inches in length.

I will take a picture of the stairs and post.

Ron6519 08-09-2007 03:50 PM

That's the EIFS (Expanded Insulated Foam System)technique. The crack occurred where two panels came together. The seams should have been taped, just like drywall to eliminate the seam from failing.
I would think it falls into the cosmetic catagory if nothing is showing up in the interior. Was the stucco painted after it was applied or was the color integrated into the stucco ? If it was painted, caulk the seam and touch up the paint.

yummy mummy 08-09-2007 09:47 PM

Thanks Ron for the information.

The colour was integrated into the stucco.
I also have a bucket of it.
The only problem is that I can't reach it, or I would have fixed it.

I guess the concrete steps would not fall into the structural category either?

Ron6519 08-09-2007 10:05 PM

I guess the steps could be argued either way depending on the extent of the damage. A simple crack where the concrete just separates could be cosmetic. A separation where the pieces are offset at different heights or where the riser heights vary due to cracking and settling would be structural.
Unless the builder is a standup guy, alot of the time they'll just blow you off and say it doesn't qualify as a warranty repair. It would be up to you to prove it through a mediation process or court. Most people give up after awhile.
If a number of these stoop problems show up, you'll have more juice. Take a look around the area to see if anybody else has these cracks.

yummy mummy 08-10-2007 02:11 PM

I can't compare to anyone else in the neighbourhood, as the home was built in an already established area.

Here is a pic of the steps.

Also, the finish on the steps was done really smooth, that in the winter it is extremely slippery and rather dangerous.

Thanks for your help and great advice.

Sorry, one of the pics is sideway :huh: . Just tilt the head:laughing:

yummy mummy 08-10-2007 02:12 PM

Sorry the pics are rather large....:huh:

Ron6519 08-10-2007 03:13 PM

Seems like both the staircase and the porch have settling cracks. Is the porch solid concrete or was it framed out and poured in a hollow form?
The guy who did the steps didn't look like he put much effort in the stair ascetics. Looks like he left out a few finishing details.
Maybe some of the concrete guys will chime in.

yummy mummy 08-10-2007 10:34 PM

Yes Ron, it was poured concrete.
The guys who did it, put up wood forms and poured the concrete, and yes, the aesthetics leave a lot to be desired.

And the finish on top as I mentioned is smooth to the point of being dangerous.

Ron6519 08-11-2007 03:33 PM

If it's determined the stairs are just cosmetic settling issue you could veneer that porch and steps with a stone or tile product. It would add character to the house and eliminate the slip n' slide nature of the concrete. The columns look to be synthetic which would be good because wood columns do better on top of the surface, not recessed.

yummy mummy 08-11-2007 06:19 PM

I have never heard of a stone and tile product.

What is it? How would I apply it?
And where to get it.

What can I do about that crack?


Ron6519 08-11-2007 10:28 PM

That was a stone "or" tile product. Any stone or tile that would fit the application. You would need to maintain the uniform step riser distances so people didn't hurt themselves going down the stairs.
The sides of the staircase could be restuccoed to cover the crack. the crack on the staircase would be covered by the step and riser veneers.
If you used stone you could use a concrete product. With tile an exterior thinset.
Look around the area and see what 's been done. You might like one of those choices.

yummy mummy 08-12-2007 11:45 AM

Thanks Ron, for your help and advice.

I am going to contact the contractor and play the "warranty" card.
See what he has to say.

yummy mummy 04-13-2008 11:04 PM

Well, my contractor is not going to be fixing the steps any time soon.

So, I am hoping that somehow I can fix them.
How would I be able to fix that crack in the step?


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