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Old 08-07-2010, 10:43 AM   #1
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Older home that settled at one end

The house was built in 1951, in western PA with rocky soil. It's built into the side of a hill, with the basement garage at grade level, and the far side of the basement below grade. Concrete basement floor with block walls.

Using a level, it seems the house has settled at the end that is built into the hill. Not really apparent when viewing the house from a distance, but enough to measure. The only cracks are in the block walls at the driveway end of the house, at grade level, where there was separation of no more than a 1/4 inch. This was patched sometime in the past with what looks like hydraulic cement.

The basement in fact is quite dry and has never had water in it than I can tell. The upstairs walls all appear to be intact with original plaster work and no cracks.

In the ground along the side of the house that has settled, there is some sort of drain running not far below the surface, but appears to be blocked up. Looks like it was placed a long time ago.

Given the age of the house and the fact that the settling appears old, and no new problems have arisen in the past few years, is there any reason to do anything other than ensure good drainage along the hill side of the house?



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Old 08-07-2010, 01:50 PM   #2
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I wouldn't do anything at this point except monitor it to see if anything is still moving.


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Old 08-07-2010, 03:09 PM   #3
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"The upstairs walls all appear to be intact with original plaster work and no cracks." ------- the upstairs has not moved.

"Using a level, it seems the house has settled at the end that is built into the hill" ---- Would this be a 6' level, water level, builders transit level, or laser level- rotating or fixed? Many levels can be off level; either from use, damaged, beyond their range, etc. Either the level is off, the house, or the foundation. If the house runs true when sighting ceiling or floor from inside and then a dip, maybe the foundation is settling only there. Is the crack is between the wall/footing at the outside front corner where upstairs loads are concentrated at the garage door's jack studs? OR, the whole house has settled, uniformly without a crack upstairs, and the one corner where the crack is hasn.t moved. The garage slab was built on fill because of the excavation for the house walls.

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