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pawned 12-25-2009 07:00 AM

House seems to have started cracking in half
2 Attachment(s)
I noticed this about a year ago and it has progressed very slowly if at all.

In the pictures are two pictures of the outside of the back wall of the house,
You can see the corner of the back door to the bottom right.
Obviously this is a block construction.
You see that the block has crack along the mortar joints, but the crack has also travels thru the middle of a block.
The other picture is the same place on the house but the inside wall directly opposite the outside wall.
This has developed a very long crack that continues to grow.

I have thought of opening the inside wall board and drilling a 1" hole thru the studs and putting a threaded rod in there and then adding large washers and nuts to each end.
I am thinking of using this setup to pull the studs back together for some support to keep the wall from continuing to separate.
I do not see any damage inside the attic directly above the crack, so it appears it is in the wall itself. Plus there is no damage to the ceiling above the developing crack

Any ideas would be appreciated. I will attach any new pix that are requested.

Now here is the catch, I am now disabled and am not able to do a lot of work at one time. I can work for 30 minutes and then need a break of an hour or two. So I am hoping to keep this fix simple

Bob Mariani 12-25-2009 07:27 AM

looks to me that the foundation is sinking. This could happen if the footings were done wrong, but more likely you drain lines from the gutters are clogged and now the foundation is bad. You need to have this looked at first. Your proposed fix will not work at all.

Michael Thomas 12-25-2009 08:41 AM

Bob, looking at those pics at the interior, I'm wondering if the source of the problem may be at a beam pocketed into the wall to the right of the door.

tpolk 12-25-2009 08:57 AM

I thought beam stress crack, if fondation heave or sag the crack would rack and flow towards ground. can we get more pics, like above the crack on outside. and is there a beam there?

pawned 12-25-2009 09:20 AM

Slab foundation
I am in the phoenix area.
We do not have basements and 99% of the homes are set on a slab foundation. The slab seems to be in good shape, at least since the crack has occurred. there are no new cracks in it in the last 15 years. plus the crack that it has runs perpendicular to the line of this problem.
I will take more pix and post them, but let me know what you want to see

tpolk 12-25-2009 09:34 AM

this is block wallwed house, single story with roof on top of walls? I would like to see that outside wall and what is sitting on it

pawned 12-25-2009 09:51 AM

More pix
6 Attachment(s)
Picture 1 . The crack is right were the cathedral ceiling starts @ from the other side of the were the ceiling in flat.
4 is outside showing the entire door area
5 shows the slab
7 more of the same
9 the crack is growing longer, not that I look at it.

The slab cracked many years ago after an earthquake in the CA desert.

I do hear a loud crack/snap in the early mornings 4-5 am from somewhere in this part of the house, most every morning.

Again, we have no frost lines so they really do not lay much of a footing below the houses


ccarlisle 12-25-2009 01:17 PM

I'm not a structural engineer, far from it, but the thought that occured to me right away was the steel lintel over the door may be undersized or misplaced. This would mean that the roof load isn't properly transmitted to the ground, putting more stress on the area.

Anyone else think something related to that?

tpolk 12-25-2009 02:14 PM

could be, its carrying two roof loads. I also wonder seeing the outside better if there was a strong wind lift and where the roof is attatched with that exterior band if there may have been flex at that point. is there a thru bolt above that crack in the band?

pawned 12-25-2009 02:37 PM

Does this help any?
2 Attachment(s)
Here is a closer look.
I just noticed that the top block is cracked in the middle of the 2nd block from the right, it is not as wide but it can be seen and the same with the one below it.
I do not see a thru bolt But it does appear that the roof has lifted to some extent.
We do get some really high wind speeds here when it storms. Just a couple weeks ago, we had a storm where the wind speed was over 100 mph gusts.

Do you think that this could have been caused by the wind lifting the roof? This is actually under the flat patio roof. With the winds here that could have acted like a sail and lifted every thing

tpolk 12-25-2009 02:53 PM

that would be my thought. It looks like your posts are sitting on aluminum post feet and nothing is fastened to the slab

pawned 12-25-2009 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by tpolk (Post 371952)
that would be my thought. It looks like your posts are sitting on aluminum post feet and nothing is fastened to the slab

Yes that is correct. It is a simple mechanical connection holding the 3 posts in place.

Years ago, I rebuilt the roof deck totally. But I did not replace the posts. The deck was rotted away by shoddy workmanship. So I pulled it apart and did it correctly. Never thought that the posts needed anything.

I bet if I had not rebuilt it so well, the roof would have been half a county away, years ago

tpolk 12-25-2009 04:07 PM

the slab does not look very thick at the edge but you could probably find a Simpson strongtie to fasten posts to slab

Stillwerkin 12-25-2009 11:51 PM

I'm no structural engineer, but it looks like the cracking starts at the top the wall would mean that it is spreading(?).

1) This would seem to indicate the foundation could be sinking on one(or both) sides. On the outside porch pic, there looks to be a heavy fireplace nearby which is probably tied into the structure, and the dining room partition wall looks like it's splitting at the top-indicating downwards force.

2) If the cantilevered porch beam is levering a stress crack, wouldn't the gap return to same(0)? Check with a level on both sides.

pawned 12-26-2009 08:38 AM

If memory serves, The end of the cement slab that looks so thin, is not the foundation slab.

I believe that the patio slabs were added later and are not part of the foundation slab. I think the original slab ended at the expansion joint around the patio roof or the support beams ARE on the foundation slab and the others that are farther out were added later for cosmetics or non-structural use.

If that is of any importance

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