Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    AR
    Posts
    7

    Default cracks in the living room slab.

    I purchased a home about 3 month ago. The home was built around March or April of this year.

    One of the tile near the fireplace cracked. I called the builder and he send some one to repair it today.
    I noticed there was a crack underneath the tile that broke in half.

    I then pulled the carpet up near the tiles and sure enough there was a long crack that probably runs through the entire living room.

    Attached are some images, I wonder if this is serious. This is my first home after all and I am inexperienced.

    Would this keep getting worse? Is this something I should be concerned about?

    Here are the images:
    Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting (This is before the tile was removed.)
    Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting (This is after they removed the tile.)
    Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting (This is the crack that is under the carpet. It is linked to the crack under the tile. I think this goes all the way across the living but can't tell cause the carpet is in place.

    The size of the crack: 1/16 in width and as for length, I would say maybe even 3 to 5 meters. I can't really tell the length due to the carpet.

    oh I forgot to mention, this is a slab foundation.

    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    Quote Originally Posted by unknown 123 View Post
    I purchased a home about 3 month ago. The home was built around March or April of this year.

    One of the tile near the fireplace cracked. I called the builder and he send some one to repair it today.
    I noticed there was a crack underneath the tile that broke in half.

    I then pulled the carpet up near the tiles and sure enough there was a long crack that probably runs through the entire living room.

    Attached are some images, I wonder if this is serious. This is my first home after all and I am inexperienced.

    Would this keep getting worse? Is this something I should be concerned about?

    Here are the images:
    Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting (This is before the tile was removed.)
    Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting (This is after they removed the tile.)
    Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting (This is the crack that is under the carpet. It is linked to the crack under the tile. I think this goes all the way across the living but can't tell cause the carpet is in place.

    The size of the crack: 1/16 in width and as for length, I would say maybe even 3 to 5 meters. I can't really tell the length due to the carpet.

    oh I forgot to mention, this is a slab foundation.
    It is probably a shrinkage crack. Shrinkage occurs as concrete cures. This can take up to about two years, but probably about 70-80 percent of the shrinkage would already have occurred.

    The tile most likely cracked because of stress concentrations at the inside cut corner. A radius at the corner or providing a joint at the corner is a better idea. Tile on concrete could still crack, but the cracks usually stay pretty tight when there is not much movement in the slab.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    It may be no big deal and it may very well be a big deal. Looking at a photo or two doesn't show much. If it were me, I would want to know why and is it now stable. You must look at the whole "picture", then determine concern.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    AR
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    It may be no big deal and it may very well be a big deal. Looking at a photo or two doesn't show much. If it were me, I would want to know why and is it now stable. You must look at the whole "picture", then determine concern.

    How would I go about doing that? Is there anyway to measure it and make sure it doesn't get worse?
    I taped over a crack with a scotch tape, not to fix it or hold it in place but maybe if the tape broke I could know it has gotten worse.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    It is probably a shrinkage crack. Shrinkage occurs as concrete cures. This can take up to about two years, but probably about 70-80 percent of the shrinkage would already have occurred.

    The tile most likely cracked because of stress concentrations at the inside cut corner. A radius at the corner or providing a joint at the corner is a better idea. Tile on concrete could still crack, but the cracks usually stay pretty tight when there is not much movement in the slab.
    This is not a corner, it is actually the middle of the house near the fireplace. The cracks are coming from the living room towards the fireplace or vice visa.

    The builder said the tile cracked because the fillings under it was not done correctly so there were some empty spots. I wonder if the crack on the slab is causing this issue. Since they are in the same place.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    It's extremely common.

    When you adhere tile to a slab with thin set mortar, and the slab cracks, the crack will telegraph through to the tile. Although they manufacture "crack-suppression" membrane, or anti-fracture slip sheets, hardly any one uses them unless someone pays for them.

    Bottom line, the slab cracks in those photos look very normal and typical for slab on grade construction.

    If you pull the carpet in the house you will find a range of spider cracks in the slab.

    Dom


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    Quote Originally Posted by unknown 123 View Post
    How would I go about doing that? Is there anyway to measure it and make sure it doesn't get worse?
    I taped over a crack with a scotch tape, not to fix it or hold it in place but maybe if the tape broke I could know it has gotten worse.

    - - - Updated - - -



    This is not a corner, it is actually the middle of the house near the fireplace. The cracks are coming from the living room towards the fireplace or vice visa.

    The builder said the tile cracked because the fillings under it was not done correctly so there were some empty spots. I wonder if the crack on the slab is causing this issue. Since they are in the same place.
    Your theory with the tape is right on, except I would use a glass microscope slide. It is brittle and won't stretch.

    But really, if you are so concerned, you should get an expert to look at it. The top of that food chain would be a structural engineer. Remember, the crack is a symptom, you should be interested in the cause. It could be anything from a foundation problem up, and anything in between.

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    AR
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Your theory with the tape is right on, except I would use a glass microscope slide. It is brittle and won't stretch.

    But really, if you are so concerned, you should get an expert to look at it. The top of that food chain would be a structural engineer. Remember, the crack is a symptom, you should be interested in the cause. It could be anything from a foundation problem up, and anything in between.
    I had an inspector come look at it just last week. However that was before the tile was removed.
    He said the tile cracked because the mortar beneath the tile wasn't done correctly. He hit the tile with his keys at several different spot and you can tell some spots sounds hollow.

    How would I glue the glass microscope slide to the floor. Are they the same ones they use in laboratories?

    Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    AR
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    I also noticed a couple of other issues and just want to share them and see if they are related or not.
    1. The baseboard joints are disconnecting. This is happening all through out the house at corners or where they been glued together.
    2. There are some cracks towards the corner joints of the wall.
    3. Some cracks in the brick outside. I think the brick is only for decorations.
    4. Some cracks in the slab floor of the garage.

    I had an inspector look at those too as well as the builder and they both told me it was nothing.
    Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting (separation in the baseboard.)
    Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting (cracks in joint of the wall corners).
    Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting (cracks in the exterior bricks.)


    I wonder if any of these are related to that crack in the living room floor.
    The house is a new construction done this year. The builder's agent keep telling me this is common settling problem. So does all houses go through settling for the first couple of years?


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    As I previously stated and Dom concurred; these cracks may be nothing. But then again could be more serious. But to be quite frank, especially with your added photos; I see enough to justify further investigation. The price of an inspection is well worth the knowledge and added sleep you will receive.

    If you really want to know, call in an qualified expert.

    I would never try to evaluate a whole house by looking at a photo or 2, so I will not commit either way.

    Yes buildings "settle" for the first 2 years, which is commonly attributed to the wooden members' moisture content equalizing.

    Yes, the slides I refer to are common labratory slides, which can be attached to bridge the crack with epoxy adhesive.

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    AR
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    I took another picture under the carpet today.
    See this one shows that it stretch all the way under the carpet. How long does Shrinkage cracks get? Do they go from one side to the other side of the building?

    Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting

    As I have mentioned in my previous post, I have already gotten an inspector to come look at it when the tile was cracked. He saw the other issues with the wall and brick and said it was nothing.

    At this point I don't have the cash to get another inspection. Might have to wait at least a few month and see.

    What was the epoxy thing you mentioned? where can I get some of that at? Home Depo? Is it something that can be done fairly easy?

    Thanks


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    I told you in an earlier response what would be seen under the carpet.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    This is not a corner, it is actually the middle of the house near the fireplace. The cracks are coming from the living room towards the fireplace or vice visa.

    The builder said the tile cracked because the fillings under it was not done correctly so there were some empty spots. I wonder if the crack on the slab is causing this issue. Since they are in the same place.[/QUOTE]


    The tiles goes around a corner at the baseboard and the crack comes from near this corner. I am referring to inside corners (in relation to the tile and the slab). I don't know whether the slab is continuous at that area or not. If a vertical offset does not develop from one side of the crack to the other, again, I would say not likely a concern. You could just lay the tile in loose for a while to see if there is any significant change. You could also sound the slab with a hammer to determine if there are voids below the slab, or check the slab for level. There are a lot of things that can cause cracks, but shrinkage is the most common.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Osceola, AR
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    I notice that you do not mention what part of Arkansas you are in. We have a huge variety of soil types in AR with many of them being either expansive or less than stable. We have also had large swings in drought/wet conditions through much of the state in the past couple of years. The cracks in your photos appear to be fairly typical of what I see in the Delta region of Arkansas in slab on grade construction. If you are anywhere close to the NE Arkansas region I would be happy to talk to you on this, if you are in another area I can probably steer you toward someone to help.

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    It's very rare for "shrinkage" cracks to appear like that shown in the last photo, or to also completely crack through brick veneer as shown in the other photo. I think you have moderate settlement cracking going on, probably caused by slab and footing concrete that was placed on base material (backfill) that was lacking adequate compaction. Before spending any more money on home inspectors, have a structural engineer look at and evaluate what's going on. He/she will also be able to make suggestions for your best path forward from this point.


  15. #15
    don agel's Avatar
    don agel Guest

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    It's very rare for "shrinkage" cracks to appear like that shown in the last photo, or to also completely crack through brick veneer as shown in the other photo. I think you have moderate settlement cracking going on, probably caused by slab and footing concrete that was placed on base material (backfill) that was lacking adequate compaction. Before spending any more money on home inspectors, have a structural engineer look at and evaluate what's going on. He/she will also be able to make suggestions for your best path forward from this point.
    Agreed a structural engineer may be necessary to evaluate the problem. Highly recommend hiring one out of the direct area of where the home builder is based as there may have been years of buddy/buddy going on there. One other concern I hadn't seen mentioned here is pad thickness. Many times a builder or sub will save money where possible and concrete is an easy place to hide shortcuts in the initial inspection once poured. Minimum thickness is dependent upon area and structure, and original blueprints would be nice to verify thickness requirements as well as the original architect if around. One mold inspection about two/three months ago turned up damaged hardwood flooring, vinyl, flooring. Through the course of the work as the flooring had been removed cracking such as this was noted beneath the flooring. Settlement cracking? No No No! We drilled with 4 inch diameter diamond core bit on a heavy duty drill. These are both rentable at local hardware stores. What we found was insane. The builder was supposed to provide a minimum 4 inch concrete slab with the intentions of receiving industry minimum of 3.5 inch thickness upon curing/settlement/shrinkage. The core samples were drilled at a distance of 2 floor from the exterior wall, and in 9 other areas of the single level slab to determine relative pad thickness. The thicknesses ranged from 1 3/4 inches to 3 inches with the gravel bed base also lacking several inches in thickness. Mind you, in this case, moisture had seeped up from these small cracks which alerted to further investigation. Worse thing noted when drilling through the pad in all of the 10 bore sites was the presence of standing water beneath the slab! End result....$7k in demo and remediation, to make home safe to occupy/not functional as kitchen and bathroom cabinets, flooring, and sheetrock was removed as part of the remediation work. The owner has a law suit against the builder for cost of home, damages, and moving expenses as the repair costs to the foundation of the home exceed the value of the home. So, minor cracking, not always!

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Last edited by don agel; 09-27-2013 at 08:45 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    It's very rare for "shrinkage" cracks to appear like that shown in the last photo, or to also completely crack through brick veneer as shown in the other photo. I think you have moderate settlement cracking going on, probably caused by slab and footing concrete that was placed on base material (backfill) that was lacking adequate compaction. Before spending any more money on home inspectors, have a structural engineer look at and evaluate what's going on. He/she will also be able to make suggestions for your best path forward from this point.
    I'm not familiar with any foundation construction where the OP is from. In my area I see shrinkage cracks in slabs just about daily that look like the ones shown. The crack in the brick veneer is very small and starts at a corner. Also not unusual. The cracks at the interior corners could be lumber shrinkage, differential settlement between interior and exterior walls (slab settling relative to foundation walls if not monolithic), or something else. Trying to diagnose possible structural problems by looking at close-up photos is not easy or possible.

    While the house is under warranty and the builder is still around would be the time to have a structural engineer look at this.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    Looks like they should have used a crack isolation layer (RedGard, Greenskin, etc.) over the slab before they put down the tile. Do you have photos of how the thinset for the tile was applied? If you are hearing hollow sounds they may have used the "spot" method which does not meet TCNA standards.

    If you have tile questions, the good folks over at johnbridge.com are very knowledgeable and friendly (just like all of you guys ).

    PC


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Westminster, B. C., Canada
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    Hi, ALL &

    Is that indeed a full slab, or was it poured inside a low perimeter foundation wall & just appears to be a slab ?

    The latter would leave a joint between the 2 and could separate horizontally, causing considerable movement...

    Have seen terrible results with such.

    Chain-dragging with the floor finish removed might reveal much...


    Cheers !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: cracks in the living room slab.

    Quote Originally Posted by P Chesnut View Post
    Looks like they should have used a crack isolation layer (RedGard, Greenskin, etc.) over the slab before they put down the tile. Do you have photos of how the thinset for the tile was applied? If you are hearing hollow sounds they may have used the "spot" method which does not meet TCNA standards.

    If you have tile questions, the good folks over at johnbridge.com are very knowledgeable and friendly (just like all of you guys ).

    PC
    Just to let you know, if you have a crack such as described---it may continue to expand. The above comments are the best that you could have received including all the comments about getting someone professionally to examine your floor.

    Every floor tends to move nowadays. Contractors that are not going cheap or "just to code," will use products to prevent cracking similar to those listed. But understand, no product will be the "answer all" to prevent tile breakage if there are structural issues---that's why the suggestions to seek professional help.

    Now two suggestions from personal experience: (1) Get one or two cartons of the floor tile, depending how long the crack is, while still available. Get a bag of the grout too. (2) There is a mesh material that is used by terrazzo floor installers to prevent cracking. Get a few yards of this.

    If all other options are exhausted e.g., going after the contractor to replace the floor with one installed correctly, you will need the materials that I have suggested above. When you replace the tile, cut a piece of mesh the same size as the tile and place it under the replacement tile. Then if the floor moves, you will have a very good chance the crack will at least follow the grout line and not crack the tile.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •