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  1. #1
    Jamie B's Avatar
    Jamie B Guest

    Default Horizontal Crack in Basement Wall

    My wife and I are planning on purchasing my in-laws house as he has moved into a retirement home.

    Going over the house this last weekend I came across a horiz. crack going around the perimeter of the basement. Right at about outside ground level. So far it does not seem to be bowing in but I will be taking a level out this weekend to check.

    When my wife asked my father in law about it he stated it has been there since he moved in 20 years ago and has no problems with water or anything else related to it.

    I have attached a small image of the crack. Any suggestions on this situation? We are getting a great deal on the house so if it is a real problem we will be stuck dealing with it.

    Any suggestions or feedback is greatly appreciated.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Horizontal Crack in Basement Wall

    Horizontal cracks are generally bad news and indicate a failure. Once the crack develops the wall has lost its designed integrity to resist pressure from the outside soil. Before you tear into fixing the wall you should look at why the wall failed and correct that cause.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Horizontal Crack in Basement Wall

    Eric is right, also this doesn't look like a small crack. Before you proceed you best invest in the opinion of a structural engineer the cost of correcting the problem can be devastating. Good luck!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Horizontal Crack in Basement Wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie B View Post
    My wife and I are planning on purchasing my in-laws house as he has moved into a retirement home.

    Going over the house this last weekend I came across a horiz. crack going around the perimeter of the basement. Right at about outside ground level. So far it does not seem to be bowing in but I will be taking a level out this weekend to check.

    When my wife asked my father in law about it he stated it has been there since he moved in 20 years ago and has no problems with water or anything else related to it.

    I have attached a small image of the crack. Any suggestions on this situation? We are getting a great deal on the house so if it is a real problem we will be stuck dealing with it.

    Any suggestions or feedback is greatly appreciated.
    It depends on if you believe your father in law.
    If it HAS been like that for 20 years, it likely will not change very much.

    Note
    It will not get better over time, it can only stay the same or get worse.
    Even if it does not change any for another 20 years, when you sell the house the new buyers will have a concern about it also.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Horizontal Crack in Basement Wall

    To ascertain if the crack is stable measurements would have to be taken with a micrometer and recorded or glass slides spanning the crack, epoxied in place.

    While the crack is at grade level and less severe then further down the wall the condition none the less warrants investigation because an inspection is just a snap shot in time versus the age of the crack.


  6. #6

    Default Re: Horizontal Crack in Basement Wall

    First, that is not a small crack.

    Second cracks that run the way you stated this one runs are indicative of a more serious issue. It does not matter if it has been there unchanged for years. You should have it examined by a specialist in basement repair and/or an engineer who specializes in the same area.

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

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