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

    Default block wall crack poll

    This is a vertical crack in a garage block wall, about 7 feet long/high, and as much as 3/16 inch thick, slightly wider at top than bottom.

    Is the crack likely caused by heat expansion from the gas furnace vent, yea or nay?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Lake Barrington, IL
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    Default Re: block wall crack poll

    In my opinion - Nay

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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

    Default Re: block wall crack poll

    'Twas caused by the hole cut thar, IMHO.

    I like the thread title, BTW. It's catchy.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
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    5,005

    Default Re: block wall crack poll

    My vote is NO.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
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    869

    Default Re: block wall crack poll

    What is going on under the wall?

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    3,177

    Default Re: block wall crack poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    What is going on under the wall?
    I don't know. It's concrete sidewalk along the outside and concrete garage floor on the inside.

    Here is the SE's wording:

    "The vertical crack in the wall is most likely due to thermal expansion of the wall, particularly at the flue pipe which experiences extreme temperature changes."

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Hercules, CA
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: block wall crack poll

    I also say no. If it were from the pipe/vent there would be localized cracking around the pipe, including a break in the bond between the stucco and the pipe and some crumbled stucco around it, neither of which there appears to be. In any case I cannot imagine thermal expansion of a pipe causing a 7'-0" long vertical crack in a wall like that. You have not given enough information to give a better opinion, however.

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: block wall crack poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Huggett View Post
    ...You have not given enough information to give a better opinion, however.
    Twelve year old, three story end-of-row on slab, flat roof, first floor is block, second and third floors are wood frame.
    I didn't see any other structural concerns.
    I was thinking some kind of settlement problem with footer.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Western Maryland
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: block wall crack poll

    Assuming that we are looking at the flue entering/passing through the wall near the top, and assuming that there is an exterior chimney, then there is no way that thermal expansion has anything to do with this. As said in an above post, you would see radial cracking localized around the flue pipe.

    It is almost certainly settlement related (hinging) especially if it is wider at the top than bottom. I'd look at the corners where this wall connects to adjacent walls for any separation or movement.

    A Structural Engineer said this? When the flue doesn't even touch the wall for most of the length of the crack? Wow!

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: block wall crack poll

    I guess that if the flue got to, say, 500 degrees for hours at a time, and.....WAIT.....

    NO!


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