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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    3,177

    Default caulk that crack says SE

    50 year old rowhome with a poured concrete foundation. This crack is about 1/2 inch wide with a little lateral differential movement, and it appears to have opened since being lamely caulked some time ago.
    Seller produced a letter from a SE that says fill it with silicone caulk and you're good to go. I wonder if the seller showed the SE a different crack?

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  2. #2
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Cool Re: caulk that crack says SE

    That's just wrong...

    Hey, you can't police the world. If the buyers are comfortable with the SE then there is nothing you can do. If they buyers had any sense at all... they would not rely on the *sellers* SE and get their own.

    Whadda-ya goinna do...

    Rich


  3. #3
    Vince Santos's Avatar
    Vince Santos Guest

    Default Re: caulk that crack says SE

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    50 year old rowhome with a poured concrete foundation. This crack is about 1/2 inch wide with a little lateral differential movement, and it appears to have opened since being lamely caulked some time ago.
    Seller produced a letter from a SE that says fill it with silicone caulk and you're good to go. I wonder if the seller showed the SE a different crack?

    The SE didn't even recommend a monitoring device to see if it was still moving? I would imagine he/she would recommend epoxy injection at the least. Hard to know what to recommend to your client but if you feel, or have evidence, it has moved since the "repair" you should probably recommend the SE.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Re: caulk that crack says SE

    Is that one crack (two pics of different portions of the same crack)?

    Is the crack generally diagonal?

    Is the crack wider at the top than at the bottom?

    How much differential movement is there and where?

    How long is the foundation wall with the crack and where is the crack located (i.e., mid span or corner)?

    How high is the foundation wall?

    What is on the other side of the foundation wall (e.g., flat grade, hill falls away from the foundation, mountain looms over the foundation)?

    How old is the foundation wall? (From what I can see the foundation wall looks fairly modern - appears to have been formed with modern form boards and ties and concrete was probably vibrated.)

    What reinforcement is in the wall?

    Is there evidence of structural movement elsewhere in the house?

    These are questions a SE should get answered before rendering an opinion. "Caulk & go" just doesn't sit right with me on this one.

    I agree with Vince . . . monitor the crack to determine if the crack is active. Monitoring devices are cheap ($20 at Professional Equipment). The repairs will be completely different for an active crack vs. a stabilized crack.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  5. #5
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: caulk that crack says SE

    I had a similar situation last year. 1/2 inch crack. House on hill with no gutters and negative pitch of landscaping towards foundation. I do not call for SE lightly but I did on this one. We all met the SE next morning. He looked at me like I was crazy and said he see's no evidence the crack is affecting house structure and there is no problem.This was on exterior wall of drive under garage. On the inside crack came all the way through and the slab was severely cracked and undermined.
    I have had SE tell me unless it is affecting the house above it is not an issue. One even told me he knows the same as me and when he see's a crack he does not know what to tell people except monitor it.
    I told the people get it in writing. I would call it again.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: caulk that crack says SE

    I would call it every time and make sure that in my report it says to obtain a written letter, on the SE letterhead, that there is nothing wrong. Now he has the problem when something goes wrong down the road.

    FYI - I think I might have suggested a second opinion by another SE.

    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: caulk that crack says SE

    Funny how when some dufus gives an oakey dokey he waffles when you suggest that he put it in writing. I had a contractor that I know say that he really didn't think there would be a problem with some framing that I had questioned. Though we both agreed that there would likely be no long term problem he realized that I had to put my name to a report and that if he had to do the same he would not let the condition slide.

    He decided to make some changes to the framing. It all comes down to whether you can support your reasoning for saying something is ok. That can be pretty simple to figure out. I've had S.E.s say things are ok when I know for a fact the guy is wrong. But my responsibility has been fulfilled and I do not revise my initial report.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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