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  1. #1
    Richard Roshak's Avatar
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    Default Block wall cracks

    House has a side entrance garage. Foundation blocks walls are 2-1/2' high. There are vertical cracks in both front and rear walls. Cracks are directly across front each other. Cracks are 1/8" wide at the top of the wall and disappear near the floor. No cracks in the floor, walls or ceiling. Typically I say they are settlement crack and should be repaired to prevent water penetration, however since these are in both front and rear walls at the same point, I'm a little concerned. I'm on the fence on what to do, repair them or have an engineer evaluate to determine cause. Sorry no pictures at this time.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    Engineer. How old is house?


  3. #3
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    I saw just about the same thingt on a new home i inspected on friday.

    I go with Johns post. Engineer it. How old is the house?

    Best

    Ron


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Roshak View Post
    Cracks are 1/8" wide at the top of the wall and disappear near the floor.
    Those are 'V' cracks, which indicate that something is moving, think of placing a pencil perpendicular to, and across, another pencil, then push down on each end of the top pencil - CRACK! - , now look at the crack ... it's a 'V' crack.

    Not good.

    I'm on the fence on what to do,
    I'd let someone else take over the fence setting while ...

    repair them or have an engineer evaluate to determine cause.
    ... you recommend an engineer.

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

  5. #5
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    This was on my inspection the other day. V crack

    Best

    Ron

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  6. #6
    Todd Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    Age of the house and signs of previous repairs may also play a role in determining recommendations. Jerry's correct in that rotational (a.k.a 'v') cracks may mean something more serious like differential settlement or a foundation or footing loosing bearing.

    If the house is very old and previous repairs indicate it hasn't moved in awhile, then...it maaaayy (note the hesitation) have moved all it is going to move.

    Worst cracks seen in a garage during a recent inspection indicated, and later confirmed by the husband, that the homeowner's wife accelerated a wee fast in reverse slamming into the center post of a two car garage. Doesn't sound like bad driving in your case.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler
    This was on my inspection the other day. V crack
    It looks like that crack is less than 1/16 wide at top. That type crack is seen on almost every home I inspect.

    It looks like a typical "shrinkage crack" that occurs on the longer walls (usually over 16 ft). I don't recommend an engineer for that type of crack unless it is greater than 1/4" at top. If I did we'd require an engineer for most every home.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    I am agreeing with several of you. Cracks less than 1/4-inch, with no interior pindications of problems are usually normal settlement cracks. Fill with caulk to stop water intrusion and monitor.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe R. Maxwell View Post
    I am agreeing with several of you. Cracks less than 1/4-inch, with no interior pindications of problems are usually normal settlement cracks. Fill with caulk to stop water intrusion and monitor.
    Depends on the age of the home, among other things, IMO. If it's new or only a couple years old, I'm not buying that crack!


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Roshak View Post
    House has a side entrance garage. Foundation blocks walls are 2-1/2' high. There are vertical cracks in both front and rear walls. Cracks are directly across front each other. Cracks are 1/8" wide at the top of the wall and disappear near the floor. No cracks in the floor, walls or ceiling. Typically I say they are settlement crack and should be repaired to prevent water penetration, however since these are in both front and rear walls at the same point, I'm a little concerned. I'm on the fence on what to do, repair them or have an engineer evaluate to determine cause. Sorry no pictures at this time.
    ...the block wall is 2.5' high, zero crack at the base to 1/8" crack at the top, same on opposite wall. Did I get that right?

    If so, this type of crack is most likely caused by settlement. I'd be looking for poor drainage, grading, downspouts, etc. around the perimeter of the structure.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    I don't recommend an engineer for that type of crack unless it is greater than 1/4" at top.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe R. Maxwell View Post
    Cracks less than 1/4-inch, with no interior pindications of problems are usually normal settlement cracks.

    Guys, ...

    ... *A 1/4 INCH CRACK IS A BIG CRACK*.

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

  12. #12
    Richard Roshak's Avatar
    Richard Roshak Guest

    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    House is 9 years old. After revisiting the home today, the cracks are 1/16" wide. Here are the photo's. First is exterior, second is front wall and third is rear wall.

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  13. #13
    Todd Stevens's Avatar
    Todd Stevens Guest

    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    Looks like picture #2 shows signs of previous repair (minor parge work at top crack). Re-opening likely indicates it moved after "repair". Would also recommend request documentation from sellers prior to purchase.

    Size of crack alone does not make a problem. Number of cracks, parallel movement etc. After seeing pictures, like you, I am on the fence. Thus the difficulty of troubleshooting by picture. Unless I saw something else, I would go with your gut instinct. If you feel it warrants further evaluation, based on your experience and training...go for it. If you feel it warrants a slightly less significant response...monitor for further activity, future repairs may become necessary.

    Knowing full well that you don't want to be unnecessarily "heavy handed", What's your gut say?


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Block wall cracks

    Step cracking *around* a concrete block is not unusual, any movement and ... well ... like I say - concrete gets hard and concrete cracks, BUT ... cracking *THROUGH* a concrete block is not a sign of a crack to be ignored.

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

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