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  1. #1
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    Default Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Normally I don't consider cracking of this type and extent much of a concern (for example at window corners), however I was wondering if anyone here would evaluated this crack differently given its location relative to the beam and it's proximity to an exterior foundation corner at the interior of the basement (where the basement narrows).

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    Michael Thomas
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    You're right. athat particular crack would draw my attention more.
    The nature of concrete... it cracks due to many causes.
    Factors away from the area shown could be the cause. Or it could have happened during the curing process.
    Is it an ongoing issue or one that has stabilized....
    Had that crack appeared to the left of the metal... i would be deeply concerned.
    However, given a worst case scenario where the whole corner falls off, the beam , as is, would still be supported until repairs could be made.
    I would state that it was observed and noted and should be monitored closely for future movement. Should movement occur, a licensed and qualified masonry contractor should make the necessary repairs.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor DaGraca View Post
    I would state that it was observed and noted and should be monitored closely for future movement. Should movement occur, a licensed and qualified masonry contractor should make the necessary repairs.
    That puts the onus squarely on the buyer to bear 'at some future date'.

    I've always felt that, for my client's best interest, if there was a concern (such as you have) then it is best to address that concern "prior to closing" so my client has a better idea of what the true costs are, thus, recommend having a structural engineer design appropriate repairs.

    It is then up to the structural engineer, who would be the person coming out later anyway, to make a determination they can stand behind, and sign and seal their letter, or, they may say 'I don't know if this is ongoing or past history, but to keep it from occurring in the future, the corrective action is ... '

    The buyer and seller than can make negotiations over the cost of the corrective action. Putting it off until latter removes that from the negotiations and lands it squarely on only the buyer's (the client's) pocket book.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    I've always been amused by inspectors who in their reports advise their clients to "monitor" a crack in the concrete foundation stem wall at the far reaches of the foundation crawl space. Can you see Elmer at 87 crawling to that area and then yelling to his wife, “Hey Martha, the crack looks like it's getting bigger.....I think? …….. now call the dam fire department to come and get me out of here!"

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    This is kind of an interesting situation, as 1) it's a short sale and its highly unlikely the buyer will be able to negotiate any price adjustments with the bank and 2) the buyers are determined (in a realistic way I think) to buy this property: they love it, they plan to live in it for 15 years minimum, they just want to know what they're getting into.... when I pointed out that resolving some of the issues at the exterior might involve major work, they literally said that they if had to pull entire cladding off this property and redo it that's fine with them, they love rest of the house that much.

    So considerations of price negotiation don't enter into it, what they're really looking for is a prioritized punch list of major work (and they have got some).

    So the issue with this foundation crack is purely a question of how likely it is to be a problem in the future.

    Michael Thomas
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  6. #6
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    To me that crack is not an issue.
    FOUNDATION:
    : Foundation had some shrinkage/ settling cracks under main girder. These cracks were no larger than 1/8 inch and width with no displacement. In my professional opinion no signs of excessive foundation movement were observed at the time of the inspection.
    :I am not a structural engineer and if concern exists about past present or future foundation cracks/movement then the client should consult a structural engineer to make recommendations. "Subsequent observation by a qualified engineering professional or foundation specialist is advised in order to determine if corrective measures are warranted."


  7. #7
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    To me that crack is not an issue.
    FOUNDATION:
    : Foundation had some shrinkage/ settling cracks under main girder. These cracks were no larger than 1/8 inch and width with no displacement. In my professional opinion no signs of excessive foundation movement were observed at the time of the inspection.
    :I am not a structural engineer and if concern exists about past present or future foundation cracks/movement then the client should consult a structural engineer to make recommendations. "Subsequent observation by a qualified engineering professional or foundation specialist is advised in order to determine if corrective measures are warranted."
    David:

    Agreed.

    Aaron


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    David, enlighten me, Subsequent to what? "Subsequent observation by a qualified engineering professional or foundation specialist is advised in order to determine if corrective measures are warranted." I agree and understand your intent but the path you follow is very slippary.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    David, enlighten me, Subsequent to what? "Subsequent observation by a qualified engineering professional or foundation specialist is advised in order to determine if corrective measures are warranted." I agree and understand your intent but the path you follow is very slippery.
    The path of the Home Inspection business is very slippery. All of us are liable for anything. What is your issue? Would you remove the word subsequent?
    I take the line to mean if the client has a concern with the cracks after I leave he has the option of hiring a SE.


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    they literally said that they if had to pull entire cladding off this property and redo it that's fine with them, they love rest of the house that much.

    With that being the basis, then I would absolutely say "Hire the structural engineer FIRST, to make sure that problem does not scare the pants off you later. It will cost MUCH LESS to hire the structural engineer than to do much more to the siding that stand there and contemplate removing it, touch the siding to start doing anything to it and it will make you realize the cost of the structural engineer is relatively insignificant to the cost of *not knowing*.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Without any displacement, widening of the crack, evidence of movement, or moisture penetration around the crack, I can't say I would call it as anything more than a shrinkage crack.


  12. #12
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Without any displacement, widening of the crack, evidence of movement, or moisture penetration around the crack, I can't say I would call it as anything more than a shrinkage crack.
    Agreed


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Without any displacement, widening of the crack, evidence of movement, or moisture penetration around the crack, I can't say I would call it as anything more than a shrinkage crack.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    Agreed

    It's a 'V' crack, wider at the top and tapers down to nothing.

    It's running off from the load bearing corner at an angle, ending at the thickness of the wall which turns the corner.

    Granted, in the photo (and that is key to this response), we *may only be looking at the parge coating or painting* (see the peeling to the left of the beam), but, if it is the concrete, that is not a "shrinkage crack".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Fact is it is a crack in the foundation. It may be only partially down the wall and appear to be nothing much. Fact is it will continue to crack. It is not going to go away. It obviously appears to be a basement foundation wall. It will crack more and it will be getting moisture through it sooner than later. If it were an edge of slab crack I would say it is much about nothing and recommend monitoring it and maybe improving grading and drainage if there were apparent concerns.

    In this case it is something to have a further "profession opinion" on as in an engineer.

    Speaking on giving "In my professional opinion" I hesitate at using "my professional opinion" when further evaluation by the appropriate Professional is recommended. "My opinion" is as far as I will go. When speaking of someone elses professional opinion I leave my opinion just as that, my opinion. By saying that in my professional opinion the crack is nothing more than xxx you are telling your clients that you are the professional on the matter and no matter what you tell them about getting an engineer in this matter may be disregarded all together, because it is your professional opinion that the crack is nothing more than xxx. When it does continue to crack and then leak your professional opinion just took a big beating.

    Of course. This is just my opinion.

    Yeah yeah. Quite a ramble.


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Absent of any other condition, that crack would not even make it into my report.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    I agree with Jerry P. - well, Jerry M. too...

    Of course it gets reported, that is our job, observe and report. Whether it's a stress fracture (which it probably is), or "minor," or "typical" for the age of the house, which we don't know. I ALWAYS recommend an engineer in cases like this - but especially since there is no means of reparation by a seller. That is a load point - if you were buying the house, would you not want more information? Sure foundations move a bit for a while - is this one done?

    The buyer inherits this responsibility. He needs further information - even if it's an engineer saying there is no problem. The engineer gives him a letter, he has done his due diligence, AND, one day when he sells the house, it is not an issue for him! We inspectors should be inclined toward the buyer's interests. The buyer should be circumspect.

    Best case, he spends an additional $300 on an engineer, there is no real problem and has a letter. Worst case, he needs an epoxy injection and he is in it for $1000. He has solved a problem which will certainly come up later, one way or the other.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Hey, Jerry M. - we have Elmer and Martha out here too! Waddya know!


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    I've always been amused by inspectors who in their reports advise their clients to "monitor" a crack in the concrete foundation stem wall at the far reaches of the foundation crawl space. Can you see Elmer at 87 crawling to that area and then yelling to his wife, “Hey Martha, the crack looks like it's getting bigger.....I think? …….. now call the dam fire department to come and get me out of here!"
    wcj... Even more amusing are folk that make assumptions. Such as you have.
    If you read the original post, it is a "basement" not a "crawl Space" and your further assumption that the buyers are octogenarians does give credence to the reality of banks going belly up by giving loans to people incapable of repaying them.
    I can picture a bank giving an 87 year old a 30 year mortgage.
    And now to ask you a favor, Jerry... Could you define EXACTLY what a "stem wall" is? there appears to be some controversy as to its exact nature.

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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Michael,

    I see this crack all the time, on new homes and homes over 50 years old. The only time I would call it out would be if the separation was greater than 1/8", and there was evidence of displacement. or water intrusion. The photo you posted shows what appears to be an older foundation wall that has a typical shrinkage/settlement crack.

    Ditto the comments of Nick, David and Eric.

    Derek Lewis


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor DaGraca View Post
    wcj... Even more amusing are folk that make assumptions. Such as you have.

    I can picture a bank giving an 87 year old a 30 year mortgage.
    Now, it that the pot calling the kettle black or what?

    YOU just made an ASSUMPTION that those people had to get a mortgage.

    And now to ask you a favor, Jerry... Could you define EXACTLY what a "stem wall" is? there appears to be some controversy as to its exact nature.
    Victor,

    Different Jerry here, but ...

    There are many variations of the definition of a "stem wall", however, each has the same common elements, those common elements being:

    1) A footing constructed at some specified depth, the specified depth is to resist wind pressure, water pressures and scour, frost, etc.

    2) A wall is constructed on this footing, constructed of either masonry or poured concrete, and constructed to a specified height above grade, above flood level, above frost, etc.

    3) The wall is constructed to the specified height, upon which the construction may change to a material which is not suitable for use below that level, not suitable for the reasons given in 1) and 2), "may change" as the construction above the stem wall "may" be the same, i.e., a masonry stem wall could be continued above with masonry.

    4) The "stem wall" is the "vertical wall" part of "inverted tee footing and stem wall foundation", which would be the more correct way to state it. If you were to state that you have a "stem wall foundation", they you are saying there is no footing - and that should not be.

    Thus, are you asking about "the stem wall part", or about an "inverted tee footing and stem wall foundation"?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Lewis View Post
    The only time I would call it out would be if the separation was greater than 1/8",

    Derek,

    I am curious where you get your 1/8" from.

    I've seen HIs say 1/4" is minor, some say 3/16", others say 1/8" like you did, but where, how, and why did you come up with your 1/8"?

    I ask because, yes, concrete does (as I repeat often) two things:

    1) concrete gets hard

    2) concrete cracks

    Now, going back to your 1/8", when the hard concrete cracks (we know it gets hard and crack) and there is no separation movement, how wide is the crack?

    Without separation movement, the crack is not even a 'hairline crack', it is simply "cracked".

    But you are somehow allowing the entire foundation wall to move 1/8" before saying it moved?

    Do you think that concrete is somehow like magnets and like poles on each side of the crack repel each other, forcing it away from each other? That there was no other cause? Just curious why 1/8" movement is not worth writing up.

    By the way, when concrete cracks, and it does, that crack is through-and-through. The concrete does not crack on just one surface. It may only be 1/8" at one surface, but it is fractured (i.e., "cracked") all the way through.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Normally I don't consider cracking of this type and extent much of a concern (for example at window corners), however I was wondering if anyone here would evaluated this crack differently given its location relative to the beam and it's proximity to an exterior foundation corner at the interior of the basement (where the basement narrows).
    I would consider this shrinkage also, similar to your window corner cracking. I have a crack just like this one adjacent to the beam in my basement. No movement, no displacement, no moisture in the 15 years we've been here.
    Jim Oler


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Now, it that the pot calling the kettle black or what?

    YOU just made an ASSUMPTION that those people had to get a mortgage.



    Victor,

    Different Jerry here, but ...

    There are many variations of the definition of a "stem wall", however, each has the same common elements, those common elements being:

    1) A footing constructed at some specified depth, the specified depth is to resist wind pressure, water pressures and scour, frost, etc.

    2) A wall is constructed on this footing, constructed of either masonry or poured concrete, and constructed to a specified height above grade, above flood level, above frost, etc.

    3) The wall is constructed to the specified height, upon which the construction may change to a material which is not suitable for use below that level, not suitable for the reasons given in 1) and 2), "may change" as the construction above the stem wall "may" be the same, i.e., a masonry stem wall could be continued above with masonry.

    4) The "stem wall" is the "vertical wall" part of "inverted tee footing and stem wall foundation", which would be the more correct way to state it. If you were to state that you have a "stem wall foundation", they you are saying there is no footing - and that should not be.

    Thus, are you asking about "the stem wall part", or about an "inverted tee footing and stem wall foundation"?

    Quite right ECJ..I did make an assumption that an 87 year old would "need" a mortgage. My bad

    I wonder how many 87 year olds are actually buyng homes though... as WCJ used that particular group to illustrate his point about the "need to monitor.

    and... the only reason I asked for the deffinition of a "stem wall" was due to WCJs observation that " I've always been amused by inspectors who in their reports advise their clients to "monitor" a crack in the concrete foundation stem wall at the far reaches of the foundation crawl space."

    Out of curiosity. (not speaking about high end buyers here.)
    during the real esteate closing, there are many fees above and beyond what the buyer is expecting at closing. Those fees add to the scramble for some homeowners to obtain cash just to cover those closing costs.
    Add to that, a fee for a Home inspection.
    How many of those cash strapped buyers are actually going to follow your advice to engage a structural engineer to give them further insight into the problem you have pointed out?
    Anyone?

    And really... why not refer them to the people who have had the experience in repairs rather than the person who designs those repairs?

    Old saying.... those who can... do.
    those who cant.... become engineers.

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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor DaGraca View Post
    How many of those cash strapped buyers are actually going to follow your advice to engage a structural engineer to give them further insight into the problem you have pointed out?


    That is not our concern, our concern is TO ADVISE THEM of such need.

    Do you NOT call out roofing repair when you KNOW they will not be corrected?

    Do you NOT call out problems in the electrical panel when you KNOW they will not be corrected?

    And really... why not refer them to the people who have had the experience in repairs rather than the person who designs those repairs?
    Because there are two things which govern all things ... Law ... and ... Order. , oh, and *engineers who design things* and *contractors who build things* IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT ENGINEERED DESIGN.

    Would you want your auto mechanic to *design* you car? Or would you want it designed with safety and other things in mind and have your mechanic "make it work"? (I know, some may think that is a poor example as we all know new cars do not work right, but, think how poorly they would work if the mechanic designed them?)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    I think you would be doing your client a disservice to call out a SE for such a crack. Here in New England with 95% basements and 8 ft foundations almost every house has such cracks. You use your common sense and experience.
    We give our professional opinion thats what we are hired to do. Why shy away from it? Believe me a SE would laugh at you for being called out for that crack. I have called out SE on 1/2 inch cracks on sloped landscapes and they have said no problem.
    Why would people even have a Home Inspection, just call us in to recommend every structure and system be looked at by a licensed plumber electrician etc? Another disservice.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Assuming no displacement, count me as one who doesn't see this as a big deal. As Victor said, if the crack was on the other side of the beam OR started where it did but extended back the other way under the beam where the beam was lacking support, I'd be concerned. As is, the concrete width under the beam increases as the crack extends downward...so it seems to me that the support is still good. More importantly, I can't see any way that a load from the beam could have caused this. The pattern of the crack just doesn't add up. Imagine the beam applying a downward force on the wall under the beam. Assuming that it was strong enough to crack and move the concrete, it wouldn't create a shear line where this crack is.

    I don't hold to any hard and fast rule about crack width; it all depends on the width of the crack AND the height of the wall. Even a 1/8" V crack may be potentially significant if it's at the top of, say, a 24" stem wall...but pretty insignificant normally if at the top of an 8' wall.

    Yeah, I'd make mention of the crack in question in my report and include a photo to prove that I'd been there, looked at it and assessed it, but I would not call for any other evaluation. I think that a SE would just chuckle all the way to the bank -- probably while shaking his head about uninformed HI's. And my client would be a few hundred $$$ poorer but not a lot more knowledgeable.

    As was said, concrete cracks. Every crack in a foundation is not a reason to call in a SE.


  27. #27
    Brian Johnson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    As a foundation guy recently told me:

    " There are two types of concrete in this world ; that which has cracked and that which will "

    No big deal or conversation here to me


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Are we talking about a one story ranch house or a four story mansion? How much load is on the beam? Can it be reinforced with another vertical beam carrying the load to a new footing, removing some if not all the load off the cracked wall? Check the gypsum board above the area of the cracked foundation. If it is cracked as well then there may be some movement to be concerned about. It boils down to an "if-then" scenario. If it's broken then fix it. Disclosure is the way to keep the real estate guy and the inspector out of trouble.


  29. #29
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    Question Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    having looked at the picture, has anyone asked if the dark colored concrete in both sides of the steel beam may be "water plug" type concrete thus creating the crack which
    would be typical if that were the case?


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen DeCosta View Post
    having looked at the picture, has anyone asked if the dark colored concrete in both sides of the steel beam may be "water plug" type concrete thus creating the crack which would be typical if that were the case?
    Now that's a good question...

    Michael Thomas
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen DeCosta View Post
    having looked at the picture, has anyone asked if the dark colored concrete in both sides of the steel beam may be "water plug" type concrete thus creating the crack which
    would be typical if that were the case?
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Now that's a good question...
    .

    Would hydraulic cement cause that crack?

    If you are using hydraulic cement to stop a potential leak, which then causes a crack in the concrete, would that not be counter productive?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    I have called out SE on 1/2 inch cracks on sloped landscapes and they have said no problem.
    Why would people even have a Home Inspection, just call us in to recommend every structure and system be looked at by a licensed plumber electrician etc? Another disservice.

    I not trying to dig at you but that statement sounds a bit contradictory.

    We have seen this discussed before. I don't think many inspectors recommend every issue they find to be further evaluated by a professional tradesman. If they do, then they maybe ought to think about a different line of work.

    I cannot speak for other inspectors but I do believe there are some issues that warrant being looked at by a specific professional tradesman or possibly an engineer. Foundations do fall under that category sometimes. I don't know that this crack would require a look-see by an engineer based on the photo, but some foundation issues are beyond my expertise or have enough red flags present to warrant an engineer's evaluation.

    If I personally think there is real or potential issue based on what I see, or if the signs present are borderline on needing or not needing repair, I have no problem with referring an engineer (or electrician, etc), particularly if an issue is beyond my expertise or knowledge. This is not something I do often and I'm not going to recommend an engineer for a common stress crack at drywall or a corner-pop on a slab. However, if I run across something that looks suspicious or problematic, yes I might just make that recommendation. I am also in a state with licensing that requires that the inspector give a written opinion as to foundation performance in our reports, even though most of us are not structural engineers.

    One reason people hire home inspectors is so that we (as generalists) can observe all systems and report deficiencies at a reasonable price. Imagine scheduling a plumber, electrician, framer, siding installer, structural engineer, HVAC tech, fireplace specialist, etc. etc. to all come to the house and inspect their respective sytems. It would cost a small fortune, not to mention the logistics of scheduling all of these people in the option period.

    Anyway, good topic. It seems that foundations are often the touchiest issue at home inspections. The reason: They can be very expensive, relatively, to repair.

    Eric


  33. #33
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    I not trying to dig at you but that statement sounds a bit contradictory.

    We have seen this discussed before. I don't think many inspectors recommend every issue they find to be further evaluated by a professional tradesman. If they do, then they maybe ought to think about a different line of work.

    I cannot speak for other inspectors but I do believe there are some issues that warrant being looked at by a specific professional tradesman or possibly an engineer. Foundations do fall under that category sometimes. I don't know that this crack would require a look-see by an engineer based on the photo, but some foundation issues are beyond my expertise or have enough red flags present to warrant an engineer's evaluation.

    If I personally think there is real or potential issue based on what I see, or if the signs present are borderline on needing or not needing repair, I have no problem with referring an engineer (or electrician, etc), particularly if an issue is beyond my expertise or knowledge. This is not something I do often and I'm not going to recommend an engineer for a common stress crack at drywall or a corner-pop on a slab. However, if I run across something that looks suspicious or problematic, yes I might just make that recommendation. I am also in a state with licensing that requires that the inspector give a written opinion as to foundation performance in our reports, even though most of us are not structural engineers.

    One reason people hire home inspectors is so that we (as generalists) can observe all systems and report deficiencies at a reasonable price. Imagine scheduling a plumber, electrician, framer, siding installer, structural engineer, HVAC tech, fireplace specialist, etc. etc. to all come to the house and inspect their respective sytems. It would cost a small fortune, not to mention the logistics of scheduling all of these people in the option period.

    Anyway, good topic. It seems that foundations are often the touchiest issue at home inspections. The reason: They can be very expensive, relatively, to repair.

    Eric
    Not contradictory at all. I call for a SE when in my opinion it is called for. Which I did in my quote above. In fact I agree with most of your statement. Your state requires a written opinion. That is exactly what I did, gave my opinion on both instances.

    Last edited by David Banks; 12-08-2008 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Spelling

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    On the note of referring to a professional in the field where there is a concern noted. Well yeah. That is what we do. We find concerns and then refer it to the electrician, foundation repair or engineer, plumber, HVAC tech etc. Why would you or anyone not refer something in need of repair to the appropriate professional. Personally I do not refer anyone. I let the Realtor go thru there list for the appropriate contractor to further evaluate and or repair the cause of the issue.
    We are not going to fix the problem. The appropriate tradesmen is. We find. We refer. That is the nature of the beast.

    As far as that crack originally discussed I would more than likely tell the folks that a foundation company would be the one to contact. I don't think an engineer would be the appropriate person for this call. If it is let the foundation repair company refer one if he thinks it is beyond his scope.


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Dave,

    Sorry, I must have misunderstood what you were saying in that post.

    Eric


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Some observations not really mentioned. To the left of the beam it appears that the concrete is spalling as if during the pour some one was over eager to get a smooth finish on the wall and vibrated the concrete a little too long. I see this frequently in poured slabs that are overworked with the trowel machines The crack my be only superficial and only on the surface. I don't think any mention of the depth of the crack was made. Secondly, the steel support beam is enclosed. I always recommend that the beam be shimmed and have an air gap of 1/2 inch surrounding and at the end to allow good circulation. But then, it's hard to tell from photos.



  37. #37
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    Some observations not really mentioned. To the left of the beam it appears that the concrete is spalling as if during the pour some one was over eager to get a smooth finish on the wall and vibrated the concrete a little too long. I see this frequently in poured slabs that are overworked with the trowel machines The crack my be only superficial and only on the surface. I don't think any mention of the depth of the crack was made. Secondly, the steel support beam is enclosed. I always recommend that the beam be shimmed and have an air gap of 1/2 inch surrounding and at the end to allow good circulation. But then, it's hard to tell from photos.
    Hi Barry. Being a cement finisher for years I would like to take this opportunity to let you know the "overworked with trowel machine" as a problem is not correct. Working the trowel machine to the bitter end is how you see the burnt /black smooth finish on concrete floors. The problem you are talking is from overworking the concrete to early while there is still bleed water on the surface. This can cause spalling.


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    David,
    You are correct. I used the term rather loosely. Having spent a year doing concrete work for a local municipality I do know that if you float or "overwork" the concrete when it's "wet" you can lose the bond of the cement and aggregate leaving a watery, thin layer that is likely to spall. At least that has been my experience after working hundreds of pours. When I see that spall evident on slabwork it's apparent because the bonded agregate is visible below. It is not often that I see the opposite where the concrete has set either too quickly or too long and the trowel machine burns it. Most of my experience was with sidewalks, curb and gutter, and walls.

    I'm curious about the spalling in the picture (at least that what it appears to be from the photo). What do you surmise to be the cause?

    Thanks for your response to my comment.
    Barry


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    David,
    You are correct. I used the term rather loosely. Having spent a year doing concrete work for a local municipality I do know that if you float or "overwork" the concrete when it's "wet" you can lose the bond of the cement and aggregate leaving a watery, thin layer that is likely to spall. At least that has been my experience after working hundreds of pours. When I see that spall evident on slabwork it's apparent because the bonded agregate is visible below. It is not often that I see the opposite where the concrete has set either too quickly or too long and the trowel machine burns it. Most of my experience was with sidewalks, curb and gutter, and walls.

    I'm curious about the spalling in the picture (at least that what it appears to be from the photo). What do you surmise to be the cause?

    Thanks for your response to my comment.
    Barry
    Hi Barry. That does not look like spalling to me. Some type of sealer or spray paint?
    I use to like the concrete to set quickly. I could get a nice hard trowel/burnt finish. Besides I had no choice. "Concrete waits for no man"


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
    Hi Barry. That does not look like spalling to me. Some type of sealer or spray paint?

    David, that's why I suggested:
    - "Granted, in the photo (and that is key to this response), we *may only be looking at the parge coating or painting* (see the peeling to the left of the beam),"

    Ever try to overwork concrete on a vertical surface in a form? A bit difficult, I would think.

    I was never a concrete finisher, but I've never seen a concrete finisher get between the form and the concrete, maybe I just always missed watching that step ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  41. #41

    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Hi Michael,

    I am also from the Chicago area as is Eric Baker these are very common cracks around here. If you look at the other side of the basement under the beam you might see a similar crack. Not a big deal. If you want a cost on a repair, I do not think is needed contact Perma Seal they do all kinds of foundation repairs. An opinion with out the cost.

    Steve Reilly
    Owl Inspection Services
    Villa Park IL.


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David, that's why I suggested:
    - "Granted, in the photo (and that is key to this response), we *may only be looking at the parge coating or painting* (see the peeling to the left of the beam),"

    Ever try to overwork concrete on a vertical surface in a form? A bit difficult, I would think.

    I was never a concrete finisher, but I've never seen a concrete finisher get between the form and the concrete, maybe I just always missed watching that step ...
    You should feel fortunate you have never been a concrete finisher! You may be able to walk when your older.


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    Talking Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David, that's why I suggested:
    - "Granted, in the photo (and that is key to this response), we *may only be looking at the parge coating or painting* (see the peeling to the left of the beam),"

    Ever try to overwork concrete on a vertical surface in a form? A bit difficult, I would think.

    I was never a concrete finisher, but I've never seen a concrete finisher get between the form and the concrete, maybe I just always missed watching that step ...
    Looking at the photo it appears that the form panel marks are evident at the corner. It may be that the guys pouring were over zealous with the vibrator in trying to get that smoooooth interior wall finish. Some guys even put that sucker up against interior of the form. It just doesn't look like paint...too thick for that, and as for parge, the form marks wouldn't be evident. The crack is actually the issue, or in this case the none issue. I would still note it as an area to monitor for differential displacement or widening just to cover my butt.


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    The crack is actually the issue, or in this case the none issue. I would still note it as an area to monitor for differential displacement or widening just to cover my butt.

    If it is a "or, in this case the none issue" ... there is nothing to protect your butt from.

    And, doing what you state in no way protects your client in any way - you have just put them on the hook for whatever it is you are trying to protect your butt from.

    Don't suggest "monitor for differential displacement or widening", go ahead and tell your client "get a structural engineer out here to look at this and design appropriate repairs, for the limited cost of the structural engineer you will either: feel comfortable that this *is not a problem*, or, you will have an issue to address with the seller before closing, just make sure to do this before closing, I've already got it noted in the report, so it is not a concern for being within the inspection period, it is just follow-up with contractors on what is in the inspection report"

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  45. #45
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Almost if not all folks that posted to this state that it is no big deal. Granted, it is not right at the moment but could be.

    Everyone says they would note the crack in their report. Most say monitor.

    If you are putting it in your report. If you are saying monitor. How can any of you say this crack is nothing and very common. If you truly believe it is nothing then why mention it at all. If you feel the need to cover yourself and put it in your report then how can it be nothing. If you are referring it to at least a foundation repair company for a possible evaluation and possible quote for repair then what do you mean that "it is nothing and no concern and I see it all the time"

    I am just not understanding many of the responses here. Either it is something or it is nothing. You cannot have it both ways. If you mention it to cover your butt and to monitor it then how can it be nothing.

    Sorry folks. Many of you are not making any sense at all. Just in mentioning it you are contradicting yourselves that it is nothing.


    JMHO


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Ted
    You make a good point.

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

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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Cracks in foundation walls should always be mentioned because:

    1. The client will find them eventually and it will appear that you missed them if you said nothing.

    2. They are a possible route of water entry and may require repairs for that reason.

    3. They may be an indication of a structural problem.

    In this case, it does not appear that the crack is due to a structural problem. I don’t see any of the warning signs (more than 3mm wide, out-of-plane movement, horizontal cracks, etc.) I would state that there is a small risk that the crack could have been caused by a structural problem. If no further movement is noted, then there is no problem. One of the methods a Structural Engineer will often use is to install a gauge across the crack to “monitor” it for movement.

    As long as the client understands the risks involved, I don’t think it is necessary to recommend a Structural Engineer (although the client should understand that a Structural Engineer would be the person to call) unless you are reasonably sure that there is a real problem.

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  48. #48
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Now that picture is not just a crack. That is a get the hell out of the building because the foundation could fail at any moment picture.


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    That structure was 35 years old - shows that you usually get lots of warning before something bad happens.

    The days of monitoring this one are over -we recommended immediate repairs.


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    David,

    Looks like soil pressures and hydrostatic pressure got the best of that one.

    My guess is that the way was noticeably bowing inward near the center line crack.

    You said "The days of monitoring this one are over -we recommended immediate repairs.", think about that for a minute everyone ...

    Let's assume the last home inspector saw that crack, and "noted it" as "monitor" ... okay now, question: Who do you suspect that seller, who was a buyer then, will look back to and say "Why to heck didn't MY home inspector *TELL ME IT WAS BAD*?", after all, that seller may have only been there a few years ...

    Maybe NOW you guys understand why you should not "defer to monitoring" when you need to "have it looked at by a structural engineer". By the way, I always refer to a "structural engineer", some refer to "foundation contractor" - just for a point of interest, I have not seen one "foundation contractor" yet who is not, or does not have, a structural engineer on staff or on a retainer consulting basis - they just simply cannot do their work without have it "engineered".

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 12-15-2008 at 06:18 PM.
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  51. #51

    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    To Dave:
    Your explanation is good except (if you have a concern).
    That is why they hired you because they have concerns!!
    If you go to court on this type explanation you will lose for sure!!!!
    Always if your not sure, Say! Have an applicable engineer or contractor evluate and advise on this crack. (example)

    Do not say if you have a concern to a buyer on anything.


    Hope this helps
    Rolland Pruner


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    If it is a "or, in this case the none issue" ... there is nothing to protect your butt from.

    And, doing what you state in no way protects your client in any way - you have just put them on the hook for whatever it is you are trying to protect your butt from.

    Don't suggest "monitor for differential displacement or widening", go ahead and tell your client "get a structural engineer out here to look at this and design appropriate repairs, for the limited cost of the structural engineer you will either: feel comfortable that this *is not a problem*, or, you will have an issue to address with the seller before closing, just make sure to do this before closing, I've already got it noted in the report, so it is not a concern for being within the inspection period, it is just follow-up with contractors on what is in the inspection report"
    If I observe something I must report to

    1. monitor
    2. have evaluated
    3. have repaired

    Refer to ASHI SOP
    2.2 C:Report
    1. those systems or components inspected that, in the professional judgement of the inspector, are not functioning properly, significantly deficient, unsafe or at the end of their servie lives.

    2.recommendations to correct, or monitor for future correction deficiencies in reported 2.2 C1, or items needing further evaluation.
    3.& 4.

    3.2 the Inspector is NOT required to
    A. provide any engineering or architectural services or analysis.
    B. offer an opinion as to the adequacy of any structural system or component

    IMO, if I see it I have to note it and report one of the three above: monitor, evaluate or correct. That is the service for which my clients are paying.

    In the picture at the beginning of this post, would you have called for a structural engineer's evaluation to design an appropiate repair?


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David,


    Let's assume the last home inspector saw that crack, and "noted it" as "monitor" ... okay now, question: Who do you suspect that seller, who was a buyer then, will look back to and say "Why to heck didn't MY home inspector *TELL ME IT WAS BAD*?", after all, that seller may have only been there a few years ...
    Actually what happens is that the Real Estate Agent tells everyone that you are obviously incompetent because the inspector from "her" company that inspected the house 2 years ago didn't find anything.


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Seriously though, I don't think there is any problem with recommeding monitoring. Going back to the original question, it does not appear that there is a structural problem. As long as the buyer understands that even though today it does not appear that the cack is a structural problem, a Structural Engineer should be consulted if, in the future you see movement, etc.

    Chances are, in this case, that the crack will not move, but if it does, the client knows what to do. The client should understand the risk, assuming the situation was explained, and can make an informed decision about whether he wants to proceed with the purchase.


  55. #55
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    If I observe something I must report to

    1. monitor
    2. have evaluated
    3. have repaired

    Refer to ASHI SOP
    Barry,

    You can refer to the ASHI SoP as much as you want, you can refer to all the SoPs out there as much as you want, but you have a responsibility to your client to *not* recommend they monitor something.

    You were hired to tell them what you found, and, if there is any doubt in your professional opinion that it is not correct, such doubt as would trigger you to recommend "monitor", then, for your client's best interests and to fulfill the job you undertook in their behalf, you need to *not recommend monitoring* but instead recommend a repair or (in the case of this thread, bot photos) recommend they have the appropriate person (structural engineer or foundation contractor who is or has a structural engineer) design appropriate repairs.

    Now, it is possible, yes, that those "appropriate repairs" may be "no repairs", in which case that is "appropriate". Regardless, your client now has a signed and sealed engineering letter stating what needs to be done or that nothing needs to be done. Without that engineer's letter, they are SOL when they: 1) go to sell; 2) have to repair that foundation wall at their expense later.

    And, if your client does not have that engineering letter stating that nothing is needed, *you* will be SOL when they contact you through their attorney because you recommended they "monitor" the problem instead of address the problem before they took ownership of the problem.

    Remember, your SoP - *ALL* SoPs for that matter - only establishes *the minimum you are required to do*, it does not prohibit you from doing more as needed when the need arises.

    Thus, when you get before the judge, you will almost assuredly hear the judge tell you at least one thing: This is how much you make the check out for, and this is who you make the check out to ... and this is how much you make the check out for their attorney's fees and this is who you make THAT check out to.

    It really is that simple.

    If there is any need to use the word "monitor" in your report, then for your client's protection and best interest - which is why you are there - you need to recommend "repair" instead of "monitor".

    You, and others if so inclined, can try to hide behind your SoP and "monitor" all you want, but one day, and that day may not be far off, you will have a little yappy dog pull back the curtain to expose you and all you will be able to say is "pay no attention to that fellow behind the curtain.".

    Then you add, to no avail, "The Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz has spoken.", "I follow my Standard of Practice.", no one will be paying attention anyway.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Jerry,
    You are saying then that every crack I encounter I should recommend a structural engineer evaluate? If that's the case then I need to defer every potential defect decision to a specialized contractor. As a home inspector I am a generalist. I try to put things in perspective by giving best to worst case scenarios. I believe that clients do have some responsibility in the process. But maybe since I don't enough about everything I should leave the inspection business to the one-hour wonders and go bag groceries.
    Thanks for the advice!


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    You are saying then that every crack I encounter I should recommend a structural engineer evaluate?
    Barry,

    You jump from extreme to extreme.

    I will say it again:

    *For EVERY CRACK you CYA in your report* ... YES ... you should then recommend the STRUCTURAL ENGINEER.

    *IF YOU DO NOT FEEL IT IS A PROBLEM* ... so be it, do not put it in your report and do not CYA yourself for it.

    But is you feel the need to CYA ... you sure better feel the need to CYA your client's butt too. And that can only be done by having it addressed before closing where they (YOUR CLIENT) still has bargaining power with the seller.

    As a home inspector I am a generalist.
    Yes, you are a "generalist", and if you *feel the need to CYA* yourself about something, *not just cracks - EVERYTHING you feel that need*, then, FOR YOUR CLIENT'S CYA PROTECTION, write it up to be addressed.

    Think about it. *IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO CYA*, that means you are not comfortable "letting it go", which means you "need to write it up".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Wink Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Jerry,
    Thanks for the perspective. I tend to be a little OCD in reporting everything I see. As in the case of the crack in the photo at the start of this thread, I'm NOT sure that that there is NO reason for concern, simply because I'm not an engineer. Your advice is sound. I have no problem going up against realtors and builders for my clients. In fact I just went to bat for a client on a damaged truss issue. I insisted that the repair be effected and to include "engineered repair detail documentation with the engineer's stamp on it" so the client can prove the repair is appropriate and correct.

    Back to the photo that started this thread, would YOU have called for "an enigineer's evaluation"?


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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    Back to the photo that started this thread, would YOU have called for "an engineer's evaluation"?
    Barry,

    Absolutely NOT!

    (Because I do not use that word "evaluation", *I* already done dat! )

    *I* would, however, call for a structural engineer to design appropriate repairs.

    I look at it this way: *YOU*, as the home inspector, were paid to do the "evaluation", and you did it, and you got paid for it. Now, refer it off for repair/correction by the appropriate person.

    We all know that an engineer, or even a home inspector, is not going to give an opinion until they "evaluate" the information given them. That is a given, even if that "evaluation" is short and insufficient, before commenting on something.

    Thus, *there is no need to tell someone to evaluate it*, beside, *you* *already* *evaluated it*.

    That means you simply recommend the repair or correction, or, in the case of the engineer, "design appropriate repairs". The engineer cannot do that without first "evaluating" the information they have, thus there is no need to tell them to "evaluate it".

    In fact, where you said " "an engineer's evaluation" ", my client is not going to care what their evaluation is, my client is going to care what the engineer's "opinion" is, and that it is offered in writing, and signed and sealed. We don't need all the calculations the engineer did to arrive at their opinion, we just want their opinion: *this is what needs to be done*, followed by a second opinion of "the repair work was done in accordance with what I said needed to be done".

    Getting the first engineer's letter stating what needs to be done is great, but not all is fine and dandy with that letter in hand.

    What is much more important is the second engineer's letter stating that the work was done in accordance with the engineering design. THAT is the letter which is really needed.

    I've seen people provide an engineer's letter stating 'this is what needs to be done', and, after looking at that area, have told them "yep, that's what needs to be done, 'cause it sure has not been done yet".

    Oh-oh, that can make them mad, because they paid someone to do the work, and now that someone is not around to answer to why the work was not done.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Reilly View Post
    Hi Michael,

    I am also from the Chicago area as is Eric Baker these are very common cracks around here. If you look at the other side of the basement under the beam you might see a similar crack. Not a big deal. If you want a cost on a repair, I do not think is needed contact Perma Seal they do all kinds of foundation repairs. An opinion with out the cost.

    Steve Reilly
    Owl Inspection Services
    Villa Park IL.
    All due respect but.......
    Ummm, you`d recommend Perma Seal?
    We all give an opinion/estimate for free, nothing new.
    Let`s take a lil look at Perma Seal in the last 36 months, 42 customer complaints....and if anyone thinks most of these have been 'resolved' just because the BBB or Perma dorks say so, think again. Chicago, IL: Check Out a Business or Charity

    Amazing how 'some' of us have been in business for 20-30+ years and have never had ONE customer complaint,ever.You either know what yer doing or you don`t, you either identify/diagnose the homeowners problem(s) honestly & correctly or you don`t.
    Permaseal Basement Systems Complaints - Fraudulent business practices

    ANY inside system does NOT remove/relieve exterior expanding-contracting soil pressure/weight,root(s),porch footing,concrete slab(s) etc which CAUSE many cracks or hairline-cracks to widen or bowed walls and subsequent leaks,possible mold/efflorescence,paint peeling on wall. Also does NOT prevent water,radon, termites and other insects from entering cracks like these....... HP Photosmart Share

    Few U S Army Corps of Engs photos.....what 'CAUSED' the cracks,bowed wall,subsequent leaks.......and, what did homeowners spend that did NOT solve the problems US Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District

    There always has been,still is and will continue to be ALOT of incompetent,unscrupulous companies in THIS business and MOST of them, ONLY or most often try and bs homeowners into inside permiter systems.

    Inside systems/companies who install them.....do they hand-dig,all the way down and repair/waterproof these kinds of cracks/deteriorated blocks? .....Yes or no. Snapfish: Share Photo:Registration

    Do they REMOVE.....any......of the CAUSES of cracks,leaks,bowed walls? ...Yes or no.
    Snapfish: Share Photo:Registration

    Its incompetence/negligence and/or fraud to first, not correctly & honestly diagnose/identify the homeowners problem(s) AND, LEAVE the problem/cracks OPEN on the outside and leave the cause(s) of the crack/bowed wall/mold etc against the outside of the wall...soil,roots,whatever.

    On top on that, most of these inside system cokkroaches try and BS homeowners into a full inside perimeter system when they ONLY have one or two leaky g dang areas!!! J Kristmas!
    Scam,scam,scam.

    THEN....lolol, we have numerous ORG`s, like Nachi for one or, many of these nitwit Hm improvement radio show hosts who ONLY recommend the companies described above, to any-all unknowing homeowners/listeners. Another bunch of chtt,elbow rubbing morons.All about MONEY in THEIR sorry az pockets with little or NO concern/care for whats BEST for homeowners,i`m not bchtt`g.
    Don`t mean to say any/every Nachi member/HI is a knothead.....no!
    Just the one at the TOP, most of you know who. Yeah, he prolly has a few blcchtt`g friends too, one is Ken Compton,sure blchhts about Basement Waterproofing in Nachi Episode 54,yup yup.

    Rant-for-the-right-reasons time...............
    One lil example of those who only/just about always install inside system,regardless.
    False claims/misrepresentationslies,trash,garbage.....incompete nce.
    waterproofing consultant - basement waterproof systems, concrete foundation waterproofing, mold
    Q) Is it necessary to excavate the outside.....?
    Dumbazz A) We strongly recommend against it...........!

    Hey chump-change....
    You only install bogus install systems,which don`t stop squat.
    Name should be Maryland water-diverting, not waterproofing.
    Waterproofing 'measures'....as they call it, was NOT, repeat NOT done when the stupid house was built,period! Older block homes had walls PARGED,parging ain`t waterproofing ya dipstikks and, they backfill w/the same dumb az excavate soil,another mistake.

    And not all block walls were parged, some have NOTHING on the outside,joints are wide open.
    Snapfish: Share Photo:Registration
    See anything? No. See, if you nitwit inside twerps would DIG, ya might have learned something.

    Maryland FALSELY claims, does not address hydrostatic water/pressure enveloping the foundation or already trapped inside block walls/cores. Hey....you really need to define hydrostatic pressure and where the crap it is. Hydrostatic soil pressure is on the outside of the walls,against the dumb exterior walls ya morons.Removing expanding-contracting soil, waterproofing the wall and backfilling w/all peastone,gravel REDUCES,lessens this pressure which causes many cracks,walls to bow inward etc. You dumb az`z LEAVE this pressure/soil against the wall! DUH! Ya alos leave roots,footings,concrete slabs etc against the walls which alos cause some of the SAME problems.

    Hydrostatic pressure under the FLOOR is most often the result of an excess amount of water that got under the floor,may be a blockage (an increased amount of water) under the floor due to the need the snake/rod the LATERAL line and/or, adjust-get a new sump pump and/or a need to drill holes in the sump pit side-wall to allow the increased amount of water under the stupid floor to get into the sump faster,rather than building up/increasing under the floor and then possibly coming UP through floor crack(s) etc......you people think much? Dwight Yoder Builders
    6th para.... gravel/peastone prevents otherwise trapped water and saturated soil from building up horizontal hydrostatic pressure against the wall....this pressure will CRACK walls,cause leaks, and in a worst case, collapse the wall inward.

    Read, learn something, don`t talk/post false claims on website
    http://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/Amhers...st-2005-01.pdf
    3.2 Lateral Wall Pressure
    FOUR sources likely contributed to lateral pressure problems on basement walls in Amherst..
    1. pressure from soil weight
    2. pressure from soil swell
    3. hydrostatic pressure
    4. pressure from frost
    All on the outside, against the wall. NO inside system removes/reduces any of these.

    http://www.msdgc.org/downloads/wib/c...t_basement.pdf
    Pg 2 and 4.....
    Fixing the Problem/rod-snake lateral line
    Broken or Clogged Lateral Lines/Sewer Line Backups

    Yeah, and then we have a few who unfortunately bought a house that was built by some BOZO-builder where it should NOT have been, such as on cheap/crappy az land,on a spring etc.
    Yeah, they most likely will need sump pump or two+ to.....control the amount of water under the floor,doesn`t mean they need yer inside azz over there,nope.
    And some of these homeowners will still need to waterproof the exterior wall(s), if a crack(s) occurs. And on yer other false claim,water trapped in blocks/walls.....blchhtt. We always drill holes on the inside when.....water is trapped in the blocks,about one out of every 10-12 jobs....let the water out and seal the holes up, unlike you people who leave holes open.Radon gas and other soil gases can enter the basement/house through holes left open in blocks and also where you you leave gaps open along the wall-floor joint, yup yup.

    One more, says...... interior system can be installed w/CONSIDERABLE savings as compared to exterior waterproofing. Yer kidding right? Inside systems cost between $7,000-$20,000.....Most homeowners ONLY need one wall waterproofed or, 2 areas,like 2 corners etc...wherever the crack(s) etc are that allow the dumb water in. One wall, depending on linear footage and depth would be $2,220-$2,500 ish, 2 corners around $1,500,where`s the considerable savings?????
    And umm, we HAND dig people,always have....30 years...there`s NOT all this so-called damage to driveways,walkways,or dumb bushes. I`ll leave the rest of that chtt/link be for now. Got Milk?

    The Good Bad `n Ugly/Tuco, 'when you have to shoot,shoot.....don`t talk'
    YouTube - The Good, Bad and the Ugly - Tuco Shoots

    Salma Hayek dancin`, got milk? YouTube - Salma Hayek - Lap Dance

    Nothing could stop the forest fire,except...maybe a miracle
    YouTube - Farting Squirrel Commercial

    Last edited by John Bubber; 02-08-2009 at 06:58 PM.

  61. #61
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Jerry
    The advice you gave above (in particular post #59) is possibly the best advice I can remember someone giving. Everyone would do well to heed that advice.

    About 3 years ago I inspected a house with several cracks in the brick siding.
    In the report, I made note of several cracks in the brick siding due to settling, but did not go so far as to recommend a SE.
    Client did not buy house.
    Seller decides to rent for awhile.
    About 6 months ago same home and same seller, now has another buyer interested. Buyer rejects house based on inspection IE. settling.
    Seller asks me to look at house again.
    Much worse condition, after only 2 years.
    It would have been a better choice of words to call for a SE.

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

  62. #62
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    I sent the photo in the original post to a structural engineer whose speciality is concrete. His comments were:
    It looks like a contraction crack to me and would pose no problems in the future. Monitor would be the only requirement I would have.




  63. #63
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    All due respect peeps,

    Buyer/seller transactions, since the buyer has ONE opportunity to cover-their-az on a potential leak/crack etc then, i personally have never and will never tell them to 'monitor a crack'.

    'IF'...the cracks leaks or widens and leaks etc and the HI,SE etc told `em to monitor the crack then in my opinion,they`re on-the-hook.Could have easily told them to get a few estimates from HONEST/exp`d contractors and take the possible/potential future cost of repair off the price of the home.Just my 2 cents. Its your HI business/reputation and you`ll do what you want of course.

    Most shrinkage cracks don`t become a problem,many other cracks do, have seen this occur for 30 years and have repeatedly seen,listened to buyers who bought a home who were told to monitor the NOW leaking crack. Or, were told to raise and slope the grade,add longer extensions on downspouts,mujack slab(s),paint/drylock the dumb wall etc.

    None of these things repairs/waterproofs a crack, an existing defect-flaw.

    The potential/possibility is there for many cracks,not all, to widen a bit and leak in coming months after seller moves in due to many things,some are,see U S Army Corps link if you wish....
    3.1 Overview
    ......suggest foundation movement may result from a wide range of factors which can include....
    1. compression of a soft layer
    2. shrinkage and swelling of clays
    3. soil softening
    4. compression of filled ground
    5. frost heave
    6. variations in groundwater level
    7. erosion
    8. nearby construction or excavation
    9. chemical attack
    10. collapse of mine workings...
    11. vibration

    So, IF something occurs when buyer moves in such as, it rains alot or doesn`t rain much if any for a month or two(variations in ground water), it`ll cause the soil to expand or contract, which can cause crack or existing crack to widen,leak....or tree roots may move `n seek out any underground water/moisture,roots can cause cracks and other problems with soil.

    Sometimes alot of rain or none at all will cause a porch footing to move,shift,settle...even a lil bit and, if it does then it too could lean/push against a basement wall and widen an existing hairline crack that never leaked before, or push wall in.This will cost a bit more to fix.

    Here is a lil hairline crack,newer home......leaks,yep it most certainly does.So do many rod holes
    on all 4 walls.
    Snapfish: Share Photo:Registration

    Here is the set
    Snapfish: Share:Registration_Opt1

    Builder/subs 'damproofed' the walls, put one cork in rod holes,this is basically nothing especially if one doesn`t cover the thin mastic with visqueen etc and backfilling w/all clay never helps as the clay will settle against the walls and pull that thin/little damproof mastic off ONTO the soil and now homeowner is left with pretty much no protection on exterior walls. Builder also put in underground pipe to try and divert some water away,good luck w/this nonsense.

    Last edited by John Bubber; 02-08-2009 at 10:00 PM.

  64. #64
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    I sent the photo in the original post to a structural engineer whose speciality is concrete. His comments were:
    It looks like a contraction crack to me and would pose no problems in the future. Monitor would be the only requirement I would have.


    Okay, now let's see ...

    "His comments were: It looks like a contraction crack to me and would pose no problems in the future. Monitor would be the only requirement I would have."

    "would pose no problems in the future" ... check ... got it covered

    "Monitor would be the only requirement ... (pause to let that sink in) ... I would have." ... check ... got cove--- ... wait just minute now ... I am so totally confused ...

    That would cause NO PROBLEMS in the future, but ... THE ONLY REQUIREMENT would be to monitor it? Am I the only one smelling that fishy odor??

    Okay, set aside the fact that there is absolutely NO NEED to MONITOR something which would pose NO PROBLEM in the future ... if you can set that aside ... ... and think about who would be responsible for addressing that "now" (i.e., before the sale is completed) and "later" (i.e., after the sale is completed) and to who would benefit from putting any action off ... ???? The seller, by chance?

    Does that guy even understand real estate sales contracts and obligations?

    And you said he was a "structural engineer whose speciality is concrete"? Well, it certainly is not in "concrete" opinions!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  65. #65
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Foundation crack below beam near foundation corner

    says. 'this was some of the water seepage after Perma Seal came in' Picasa Web Albums - Synapse - Basement Remodel


    'damage from sump pump installation by Basement Systems' Picasa Web Albums - Lindsay - Water Damage


    Picasa Web Albums - Lindsay - Water Damage


    ' i still have seepage even with Basement Systems Water Guard' basement nw corner on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Yeah, and some mold/discoloration too.

    ...'would not recommend Basement Systems....' seepage 1 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!


    State wants to shut down Waterproofing businesses State Wants To Shut Down Waterproofing Businesses - About Us News Story - WRTV Indianapolis

    Wall collapses during a basement leak repair job Wall collapses during a basement leak repair job, edwards, house, basement - Local News - WWMT NEWSCHANNEL 3

    and so on.

    Some continue to recommend inside system companies,homeowners BEWARE!


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