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Step footing has gaps

5080 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  joshoc
My house has a step footing, and a crawlspace with cinder block foundation wall. Every time there is a step down in the footing, there is a gap in the cinder block foundation wall because the cinder block doesn't butt up to the side of the step-down (ie: the vertical part of the step-down.)

Water leaks in these gaps when it rains. I want to know why the gaps are there. ie: why didn't the builder move the cinder block over all the way so that it touches the vertical part of the step and the horizontal part of the step. The gaps vary in size, but are about 4" to 8" side to side (the gap space between the cinder block and the vertical part of the step). The cinder blocks are fine as the row moves away from the step, it's just that the builder didn't put the first cinder block close enough to the step.

The house was built in 2001.

Josh O.
Nashville, TN
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My only guess is that horizontal/vertical surfaces expand differently so gaps were left for to allow this??? The idea of a stepped footing does not sit right in my mind. I would suggest the the footing should be all on the same level, and if steps are needed, build up wall as needed. Can you caulk the gaps with a urethane or similar caulk?? That would seal the gap and allow movement.
Sounds like the steps weren't put on the centers needed for the block wall mortar joints to match up with them. Instead of cutting a block to fill the gap, they ignored it and spanned over the gap with the next course of block. I'd cut some block in and fill them.
I'd say M-6 hit it. This is not uncommon at all. And all that is usually done to make it "look" more correct is to add cut block or extra mortar. Although it would probably be better to have the concrete block wall pour continuously interlocked, the way it's done should cause you no problems if the water infiltration isn't eroding the dirt. It should still be poured continuously in the upper block courses.
Maintenance 6 what you say makes sense. Somebody should do something about improving the building codes so builders can't do these sorts of things. I mean, what chance does a homeowner have at preventing rainwater from coming into the crawlspace if the builder is allowed to put gaping holes at the base of the foundation wall. It's hard to waterproof a hole. Anyway just my two cents. The house was built by Zaring. Thanks to everyone else who replied to the post too.
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