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Foundation and footing cracks

3678 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Aggie67
I bought a 5 year old home and right after moving in noticed about and inch of water in the crawlspace. I had gutters installed (there were none before), removed vegetation next to the foundation and fixed the grade around the foundation. This is near Reno which has a relatively dry and cold winter climate. The night I noticed the water there was about a foot of snow on the roof and backyard that was melted suddenly when snow turned to rain. Since I made the corrections there has been no further problems with water in the crawlspace after storms. My only concern is that I have noticed several hairline cracks in the footings. I have pulled away most of the insulation along the foundation walls and noticed hairline cracks there too (but just a few). No cracks are larger than 1/16" wide. The photo shows one of the widest on the footing. Is it normal to have these kind of cracks?


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Hard to tell from one photo. In fact it's not possible to tell from photographs. I look at probably 4 or 5 slab and foundation problems a week. I will literally take 20 photos of one crack (different angles, different light) to make sure I document it properly for a report. I can't really be sure, but that looks like the hallmarks of a shrinkage crack. Shrinkage cracks occur within a certain time frame of the original pour, before the concrete is cured. Settlement cracks happen over time, and usually have some sort of dislocation (movement) associated with it. Regardless, you should try to seal the cracks, and monitor them to make sure they don't keep growing (width and length).

That's all I'm willing to say, because I don't want to tell you something one way or another without all the info and my eyes on it. If that's not enough to give some peace of mind, then if it were me and I didn't know, I'd call the town, explain the situation, and see if they had anyone that can stop by and look at it. If they don't, they might know someone who does. As a matter of fact, you or someone you know may know someone who does. It might be worth it to you for peace of mind to have someone check it out, and give you a walkthrough and an assessment on the entire structure while they're there. Just so you have a good idea of what's "behind the curtain" so to speak, and get good primer on how the structure is put together and what to expect.
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