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Thread: Sidewalks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Miami, Florida
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    230

    Default Sidewalks

    Just curious as to whether or not most of you report on cracked sidewalks. I always do and every time the Realtors (go figure) say I am being too picky and sidewalks should not be mentioned in an inspection report. The following is an interesting article on the subject:

    A crack in your sidewalk could cost you big bucks – depending where you live - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

    NHIE Practice Exam
    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    1,340

    Default Re: Sidewalks

    I think you should clarify what you're reporting, Bill. Just cracks or something else?

    I've never seen a sidewalk that wasn't cracked. But I do call out trip hazards all the time.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    4,549

    Default Re: Sidewalks

    I report them by describing them, Typical, Major or Major, Trip Hazard.

    The danger of overlooking the sidewalk is not noticing not just the trip hazard but a grading or drainage issue, so yes, report the cracks. A wet basement will often have sunken sidewalk sections around it, not irrelevant at all.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    2,365

    Default Re: Sidewalks

    In most cases... cracks in sidewalks, driveways and patios don't get mentioned unless there are offsets which are trip hazards.

    I don't get too excited about cracks with respect to leaking.... IMO if the lack of a crack is all that is holding water back there are more problems than the crack. In other words, concrete is not a water-proof system.


  5. #5
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
    Garry Blankenship Guest

    Default Re: Sidewalks

    I'm not wanting to dig into my training manuals, but recall any cracks over 1/4" should be specifically reported and the trip hazard height , 1/8" ? feel free to correct / add.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Sidewalks

    And while we're at it, let's not forget that a true "hairline crack" is barely visible enough to see--an average human hair is only 0.003" in diameter. Any inspector calling out "hairline cracks" is far more likely to be looking at cracks 20 times larger--in decimal form, 1/16" is 0.060" (rounded).


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Lake Barrington, IL
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    Default Re: Sidewalks

    Quote Originally Posted by william siegel View Post
    Just curious as to whether or not most of you report on cracked sidewalks.
    Not I.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Sidewalks

    There are two primary costs to purchasing any home. The actual purchase cost and then the post purchase costs.
    Since a cracked service walk will need eventual replacement or 'repair', there will be costs involved. Therefore the client should be informed of such conditions. Additionally, my report states whether the cracking appears to be typical concrete cracking or if there is a reasonable cause visible for the problem.
    During a recent inspection a service walk was cracked and heaved up about 6". The big tree next to and roots running under the service walk were clearly the cause. It was an obvious trip hazard near the gate. Since it was a side gate to the yard, the client hadn't even noticed it.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: Sidewalks

    I was mainly referring to areas that could pose a trip hazard, not hairline cracks. I think if they pose an injury liability to a client, they need to be reported.

    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

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