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cbzdel 07-01-2010 01:22 PM

Crack in foundation?
When should you be concerned about a crack in a foundation stem wall? My house is 70 years old, I just bought it a number of weeks ago. The home was inspected, but the crack was not obvious at the time of inspection. There was a HUGE bush next to the house which we remove and found a obvious crack, its not really separating, but its open about 1/16" of an inch and vertical through the entire visible portion of the stem wall. I crawled into the crawl space to check out the inside of the wall and there is a hairline crack through the entire vertical portion of the stem wall, it appears to have no separation.

There is no visible cracking on the inside of the home on the drywall.

Just curious to know when you should worry about a crack in the foundation, I am sure any possible fixes would be WAY out of my price range!

johnnyboy 07-01-2010 06:27 PM

Could try a "crack guage" off ebay and monitor it for any movement a few times a year.

If you can't afford to fix it why worry? :wink:

cbzdel 07-01-2010 07:01 PM


Originally Posted by johnnyboy (Post 464098)
If you can't afford to fix it why worry? :wink:

I am guessing I cant.. I really have no idea what it would cost, but I am guessing I would look like :eek::eek::eek: when I got the price..

If I should worry then I know I need to start really saving :laughing:

Daniel Holzman 07-01-2010 11:14 PM

Most 70 year old houses with concrete foundations have cracks. Normally there is nothing structurally wrong, its just that concrete tends to crack, especially if it is unreinforced thin wall construction. It is rarely a problem, since you can't afford to fix it, I vote to put your hard earned money to good use by buying some beer and relaxing. If it makes you feel any better, measure the crack, and keep a notebook. Sort of a diary. You will likely find that the width of the crack varies slightly with the seasons. Some day you can sell your diary on ebay for lots of money, then you can use the proceeds to fix the crack. When you fix it, you can make a movie, and sell that to Steven Spielberg. So you see, it all starts with a beer, then it works out great.

Aggie67 07-02-2010 07:57 AM

I inspect foundation cracks as part of what I do for a living. I did 3 inspections this week, 8 total in June. I've seen foundation cracks that aren't a problem, and I've seen foundation cracks that were left unchecked and not maintained, and the walls had to be replaced. I inspected one a few years ago and had to report it to the town, which quickly condemned the building. And I can't tell you how many calls I had this year from sellers trying to deal with alarmist buyer home inspection reports.

The number one best thing to do is hire a home inspector with a PE license when you're looking to purchase a home. A normal home inspector will fall back on a statement like "have a licensed structural engineer look at this". Then you end up paying for the inspector AND the engineer. It's way cheaper to cover all bases the first time with a PE/inspector.

Second best thing to do is to monitor it, and try to relax. If it continues to grow in either length or width, you have an issue that needs to be addressed. If it grows, have an engineer come out to look at why and to come up with the plan to mitigate it. A vast majority of the time the mitigation costs far less than jacking the house and redoing the foundation.

Saugnac Gauges 09-02-2010 07:56 AM

Crack gauge
As already said, the important thing is to measure the evolution of the cracks. We sells simple and effective gauge to monitor the building crack with accuracy to 1/10th of a mm
Hope this would help.

maqex 09-02-2010 09:12 AM

Cracks dealt with
Thank you so much for the feedback. We were very confused by the contractors social engineering abilities but coming to this forum was indeed helpful.
We are re-doing the first crack (which was fixed with epoxy) from the interior only. As for the open crack, it will be fixed with more up-to-date techniques (these cracks date to more than 14 years ago, and previous owners didn't know of their existence). Again, we will fix both cracks only from the interior. The cost of the job is not going to be more than $800 (quite far from the 6 grand they were trying to charge us!).

A collective empowers the individual in a very magical way! :)

Thanks to you all! :thumbsup:


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