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Hi everyone, new home owner here.

I own an end unit townhome built on a partial hill; purchased one year ago.

At time of purchase, a thorough home inspection was done and came out clean. But upon inspection myself some months later, i noticed some foundation cracks that seem concerning.

I am by no means an expert, so I can't tell the difference between harmless cracks that formed during the curing process, from serious cracks that indicate a problem. --- There are two cracks, vertical, running along (pour lines?) - one is more significant than the other

Please, anyone with experience, have a look at the pictures and provide your opinion on whether I have a real problem or not. eventually i will have it inspected but money is tight right now.

thanks!

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retired framer
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Do you have a basement behind that? The lines are the lines of the plywood forms. Maybe the forms where left on to long in the summer which allowed more drying and shrinking at those joins in the forms. There should be no problem structurally but over time, if they have steel rebar in the wall it will be effected by rust and growth so the cracks should be filled to block the air from getting in the cracks. Rust damage would take years to show up.



 

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Do you have a basement behind that? The lines are the lines of the plywood forms. Maybe the forms where left on to long in the summer which allowed more drying and shrinking at those joins in the forms. There should be no problem structurally but over time, if they have steel rebar in the wall it will be effected by rust and growth so the cracks should be filled to block the air from getting in the cracks. Rust damage would take years to show up.



Yes, there is a basement behind that. You're answer makes sense - thank you for the input!
 

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retired framer
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Yes, there is a basement behind that. You're answer makes sense - thank you for the input!
The wall should be at least damp proofed below ground level, dig down a little and see what they did to water proof the cracks. Even if the basement doesn't leak you don't want water getting in a crack and then freezing.
 

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Concrete & Masonry
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Those both appear to be shrinkage cracks, which occur in all concrete if control joints aren't installed. For the life of me, I will never understand why commercial/industrial/institutional concrete projects address control joints in walls, but 99% of residential doesn't. If they simply sawed/formed control joints into the walls right away and treated the joints with the correct sealant, they'd probably eliminate 90% of their call-backs instantly. I wouldn't be concerned with the cracks that you see yet. Monitor them and watch for water intrusion through the years. The reason the cracks tend to follow along the joints in the aluminum forms because of the flat ties that create numerous weak points in the same plane.
 

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I doubt that is a structural issue, but I am not a structural engineer. Concrete cracks. That's what it does.

As I see it your risk is water intrusion in the basement. When a vertical crack forms on a foundation wall, it typically goes all the way from top to footing. Get a good dumping of rain, and some will get in. if you have not seen water intrusion - awesome, but don't wager that this will always be the case.

Fortunately, I see a lot of open grass in front of that crack. That makes digging a lot easier. If you have water intrusion, it can be fixed. Just google "basement waterproofing - name of my town".
 

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retired framer
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I doubt that is a structural issue, but I am not a structural engineer. Concrete cracks. That's what it does.

As I see it your risk is water intrusion in the basement. When a vertical crack forms on a foundation wall, it typically goes all the way from top to footing. Get a good dumping of rain, and some will get in. if you have not seen water intrusion - awesome, but don't wager that this will always be the case.

Fortunately, I see a lot of open grass in front of that crack. That makes digging a lot easier. If you have water intrusion, it can be fixed. Just google "basement waterproofing - name of my town".
When they damp proof here they put some kind of goop over the holes where the ties are. The cracks look like they happened early so the cracks should have goop in them up to ground level.
 

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look'd for astm spec for 'goop' for the seems but can't seam to find it anywhere,,, do you have a product spec ?
according to our spec down here, dampproofing requires a 3mil asphaltic based sealer applied w/either spray, brush, or roller,,, nothing's required above grade
perhaps you'd share a product name for 'goop' that meats spec ?
thanks !
 

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retired framer
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look'd for astm spec for 'goop' for the seems but can't seam to find it anywhere,,, do you have a product spec ?
according to our spec down here, dampproofing requires a 3mil asphaltic based sealer applied w/either spray, brush, or roller,,, nothing's required above grade
perhaps you'd share a product name for 'goop' that meats spec ?
thanks !
Nothing above grade, And i don't know the product before they spray on the damp proof they cover the ties holes with a glop of what ever goop it is. :biggrin2:

This is the only picture I found where they did it above the dimple board.

 
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