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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Erwin, TN
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    Default Settlement cracks in basement block wall

    Anybody have any thoughts on these settlement cracks in basement wall. House was built in 1961. I saw no evidence of water entry coming from the cracks. The separation was about 3/16". Should I have any reason for concern?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Settlement cracks in basement block wall

    You don't mention if there is any inward bowing of the wall or exactly how far below grade the crack is or how long horizontally the crack is.

    Horizontal cracking in concrete block wall would be a concern as there maybe be lateral forces acting on the wall. An engineer should be consulted as the crack may be stable or active. If its active it requires a fix.


  3. #3
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    Dec 2008
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    Erwin, TN
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    187

    Default Re: Settlement cracks in basement block wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    You don't mention if there is any inward bowing of the wall or exactly how far below grade the crack is or how long horizontally the crack is.

    Horizontal cracking in concrete block wall would be a concern as there maybe be lateral forces acting on the wall. An engineer should be consulted as the crack may be stable or active. If its active it requires a fix.
    Yes a slight inward bow, crack is about 20 ft (almost the total length of wall) and about 3 ft below grade)


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
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    1,628

    Default Re: Settlement cracks in basement block wall

    Yep, needs to be fixed. I generally don't recommend engineers for this. I just tell the clients to have it repaired by a foundation specialist. Around here it generally costs about $100 per foot to anchor the wall.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Settlement cracks in basement block wall

    Because its a bowed basement wall in some jurisdictions the building department will require building permit along with an engineered solution.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Settlement cracks in basement block wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Yep, needs to be fixed. I generally don't recommend engineers for this. I just tell the clients to have it repaired by a foundation specialist. Around here it generally costs about $100 per foot to anchor the wall.
    How do they anchor? $100 per square foot?

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Settlement cracks in basement block wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Anybody have any thoughts on these settlement cracks in basement wall. House was built in 1961. I saw no evidence of water entry coming from the cracks. The separation was about 3/16". Should I have any reason for concern?
    Horizontal cracks are always cause for some concern, because the crack would not exist if the wall had not moved inward or outward in some cases. 3/16" is not that small for a crack of that type. Other factors come into play. Sandy or clayey soil, 8", 10", 12" thick, height of backfill. As an example, with an 8" thick hollow block wall and Silty-clayey backfill the maximum backfill height would be about 4 to 5 feet. If the wall is backfilled to near the top then the wall is significantly under-designed. I am familiar with a number of cases where foundation walls failed suddenly and collapsed.


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