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  1. #1
    Aldrin Fernando's Avatar
    Aldrin Fernando Guest

    Default Foundation Crack Question

    Here's what the inspector found: (Also see attached pics).
    I would appreciate any recommendation from this forum. This is an attached SFR. there is another house probably on the same concrete slab. Do I have to consult a geologist or soil inspector? or this is just standard verbiage.

    Thank you

    -----------------------------
    The structure has been constructed on a concrete slab on grade. As a general rule, homes or
    buildings constructed after 1959 have been bolted to the foundation.
    The structure has been anchored or otherwise secured to the foundation as per requirements
    at the time of original construction. This will help to limit the independent movement of the
    framing on the foundation in the event of seismic activity.
    There is evidence of a large crack(s) in the footing. Without further investigation, it is not
    possible to determine if this is creating a structural problem. We would suggest that a licensed
    structural engineer be contacted for further evaluation or recommendations.
    Due to the conditions observed during our visual inspection, we would suggest that a licensed
    geologist, soils engineer or structural engineer be contacted for further evaluation and
    recommendations.
    Other: There are cracks in the garage foundation wall (footing crack).
    We would suggest that the "Transfer Disclosure Statement" be consulted for further
    information or an explaination of this item.
    --------------------------------------------------------------

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Here's what the inspector found: (Also see attached pics).
    I would appreciate any recommendation from this forum. This is an attached SFR. there is another house probably on the same concrete slab. Do I have to consult a geologist or soil inspector? or this is just standard verbiage.


    Yes, that is standard verbiage, WHEN an inspector finds a problem that he is uncertain of.
    No, you do not "Have to" consult a geologist, but it is recommended.
    Whoever you get to look at it (if anyone) should be able to tell you more about the crack and what if anything can or should be done.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Lake Barrington, IL
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    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Wait a minute! The inspector says that the structure is secured to the foundation as intended. Then he/she says it's unknown if there's structural concern. HUH?

    Who in the world wrote that?

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  4. #4
    Aldrin Fernando's Avatar
    Aldrin Fernando Guest

    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Thank you for your replies.
    During the inspection, the inspector said the crack is nothing major to be worried about. He said the crack happened many years ago because of the way the concrete was poured.
    But his report did not give me enough confidence about the foundation since he added those verbiage about conulting a geologist, structural engg. etc.
    I am a first time buyer, rightfully so, I am anxious. This is a great forum, I usually don't get replies that quick in other forums. I really appreciate your prompt responses.


  5. #5
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    My advice to my clients when this type of situation arises is for them to go ahead and hire a structural engineer to check it out and either write a letter saying that all is fine or write a report as to what needs to be done to make the situation right and have the sellers make the repair before closing.

    The reason for this is even if there is no problem... when the client goes to sell the house the crack will still be there for the next owner. The letter along with pictures will keep the new buyers out of the position you are in now....that is wondering what is going on with the crack and it may help with the sell when you share the SE report with them.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Mr. Fernando, your location says Irvine - would that be Irvine, CA?

    Unfortunately our inspection industry has many inspectors with various levels of experience and expertise, and many resort to CYA type of language in a written report which more or less renders the report useless.

    Do you have more photos of the area in question, both inside and out?

    Fred Comb, ACI
    Mahtomedi, MN
    www.homeinspectionsofmn.com

  7. #7
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    In NC you can't offer engineering advice if you are not an engineer. Not sure about other states. If you are willing to put in writing that the crack is not a problem you had best be an structural engineer in NC.


  8. #8
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    Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    In NC you can't offer engineering advice if you are not an engineer. Not sure about other states. If you are willing to put in writing that the crack is not a problem you had best be an structural engineer in NC.
    I don't agree. There is a difference between engineering and inspecting. A professional inspector should have the (basic) knowledge and ability to recognize if a structure is compromised, or not, be able to say so in plain English. All due respect, it's not engineering (in my book) until you get out a slide rule.

    Fred Comb, ACI
    Mahtomedi, MN
    www.homeinspectionsofmn.com

  9. #9
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    I "pass" cracks in slabs and foundations on a regular basis when it is obvious that they are not a problem. The crack in the picture could be a problem and even if I have an opinion it does not really matter what my opinion is if a licensed SE says I am wrong.

    I am licensed in electrical, plumbing, and HVAC and do repairs also. I regularly go behind HI's who write up items as a problem that they are not qualified to comment on. I am not going to be one of those people when it comes to engineering issues.


  10. #10
    Aldrin Fernando's Avatar
    Aldrin Fernando Guest

    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Thanks again for all your responses.

    @Fred

    Here are some additional pics. The back of the fire place in the garage is what you see in the first picture I posted. I don't have more pics of that place. There is one picture next to that crack, where the hot water heater is located.

    Yes, It's Irvine, CA

    Thank you

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Mr. Fernando, based on your photos and description above, I'm not able to offer much assistance because I do not have sufficient information to do so. However, based on your photos: 1) I would be looking very carefully for additional signs of cracks or movement in adjacent or other areas; 2) Since your home is located in a significant seismic area it's important to understand what caused the crack(s); 3) The cracks in the photos (by them selves) do not necessarily raise a structural concern, but they may rise to the level of a concern based on other cracks or the surrounding area. I would need to evaluate and understand the surrounding area to know for sure.

    If you have a question concerning whether these cracks are or are not a (real) concern, please consider contacting your inspector and asking point blank, "are these cracks a concern, or not." Ask the inspector to return to the home if necessary.

    I'd be interested to learn what you discover...

    Fred Comb, ACI
    Mahtomedi, MN
    www.homeinspectionsofmn.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    I see the inspector is using "large crack" as opposed to "typical" or "minor" crack. Ask him to clarify that statement. You need to know if the house is going to need repair.

    Is the crack isolated to a small area? Is there differentiation, shifting of the two surfaces? What are the dimensions of the crack? Is the crack wider at one end than the other?

    These are questions you want answered, either by your inspector or by someone else.

    BTW, foundation cracks can be found in abundance everywhere you go, so the presence of a crack does not automatically mean there is a serious problem with the house.

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

  13. #13
    Aldrin Fernando's Avatar
    Aldrin Fernando Guest

    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Thanks for your responses.
    I checked with the inspection company. Theynsaid they think the 12 inch crack may not be a concern, but there is a hole where this crack starts which may be a concern.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Who is the "we" and "our"?
    Were there several inspectors, or maybe a mouse in the pocket?
    I would ask the inspector to clarify how many people were inspecting the home and get the opinions of all.

    Obviously, "they" thought the cracks were enough of an issue to write some CYA, so I would follow "their" advice and hire an engineer.


  15. #15
    Aldrin Fernando's Avatar
    Aldrin Fernando Guest

    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Just so that I complete the loop on this thread, I had a structrual engineer come and take a look at my property. He checked the cracks. He mentioned that it looked like 2 different concrete pours that caused this crack and it's not a serious issue.

    Although, many people told me that this crack is not a big deal, I wanted to get it checked by some one who specializes in structural Engg. matters. I do understand it's only an opinion and not a fact. But it gives me peace of mind to know this expert opinion.

    Again, thank you all of you in this forum who contibuted to this thread.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldrin Fernando View Post
    Just so that I complete the loop on this thread, I had a structural engineer come and take a look at my property. He checked the cracks. He mentioned that it looked like 2 different concrete pours that caused this crack and it's not a serious issue.

    Although, many people told me that this crack is not a big deal, I wanted to get it checked by some one who specializes in structural Eng. matters. I do understand it's only an opinion and not a fact. But it gives me peace of mind to know this expert opinion.

    Again, thank you all of you in this forum who contributed to this thread.
    Thanks for the follow up. We rarely get the closing statement from the OP here. ( And I wish more of my clients would reply to emails, just an acknowledgement, thanks, we got it?)

    Aldrin, too bad your inspector couldn't tell you that in the first place. There are times when an experienced eye can make a judgment call, such as what the SE did. He looked at the crack and saw how it came to be, a cold pour, no concern.

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

  17. #17
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Foundation Crack Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldrin Fernando View Post
    Just so that I complete the loop on this thread, I had a structrual engineer come and take a look at my property. He checked the cracks. He mentioned that it looked like 2 different concrete pours that caused this crack and it's not a serious issue.

    Although, many people told me that this crack is not a big deal, I wanted to get it checked by some one who specializes in structural Engg. matters. I do understand it's only an opinion and not a fact. But it gives me peace of mind to know this expert opinion.

    Again, thank you all of you in this forum who contibuted to this thread.
    Be sure to get a written SE report. This will help you when you get ready to sell the house as the next buyer will have the same questions you had.


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