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Thread: slab cracks

  1. #1
    Ron Bishop's Avatar
    Ron Bishop Guest

    Default slab cracks

    The slab on this house appears to have been poured incorrectly. I observed cold joints, and cracks running horizontally and vertically. I am trying to decide if this foundation should be reported as in need of further evaluation. The house was built in 2004, and a slight negative grade is present at the front. No surface drains are present.
    Any thoughts?

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  2. #2
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: slab cracks

    Hey Ron good to see you are out and doing inspection. I was talking to my brother-in-Law he owners Trinity Termite and pest control. they are keeping the inspection book full.

    As your cracks. L.O.L. I Would not call that out if it was just 1 vertically. I would say no big deal but with that horizontall one. that another story... did it look like the ran out of concrete on the poor?

    sometimes that will do it... your area has been very dry for years now and the lakes are all the way down. thats one of the first things i think about. that ground get dry in your next of the woods.

    Best

    Ron


  3. #3
    Ron Bishop's Avatar
    Ron Bishop Guest

    Default Re: slab cracks

    I run into Steve quite often. He is a good guy. I lived in Healdsburg in the 80s. Glad to be here now. I am sure that the concrete guy ran out of concrete on the pour. What is the effect that that will have on the house?


  4. #4
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: slab cracks

    If thats the case then its not going to be much of a issue. Just make a note of the cracks and to keep the areas under inspection from time to time and if they need any further information call in the foundation contractor for that home...

    Steve is a good man. I sold him and Dan the company about 15 years back. I was so glad to get out of that area.... to dang HOT!!!

    I love it hear in Healdsburg... Good working weather

    I trained Steve and help him get his Branch # Building/Inspection license... He is one of the best workers I have ever work with...

    Best

    Ron


  5. #5
    Martin lehman's Avatar
    Martin lehman Guest

    Default Re: slab cracks

    I deferr most of the cracks I see in a foundation. I would deferr that. I am not comfortable deciding if a crack is a problem or not - maybe you are? Moreover, it's way beyond the scope of a home inspection to determine if ANY crack is ok or not or what is causing it. Better to get an Ok from someone who is qualified to diagnos the crack, takes the inspector off the hook and puts the buyer at ease if good news or even bad news.

    Here is one of my standard comments:
    Cracks were observed in the slab. Determining the cause and severity of the observed cracks and whether the cracks are structurally significant is beyond the expertise of the inspector and the scope of a home inspection. We recommend a full evaluation and correction as needed by a qualified, licensed contractor specializing in foundation systems repair who utilizes the services of a qualified civil, structural or geo-technical engineer, prior to your final purchase decision.


  6. #6
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
    Brandon Chew Guest

    Default Re: slab cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin lehman View Post
    I deferr most of the cracks I see in a foundation. I would deferr that. I am not comfortable deciding if a crack is a problem or not - maybe you are? Moreover, it's way beyond the scope of a home inspection to determine if ANY crack is ok or not or what is causing it. Better to get an Ok from someone who is qualified to diagnos the crack, takes the inspector off the hook and puts the buyer at ease if good news or even bad news.

    Here is one of my standard comments:
    Cracks were observed in the slab. Determining the cause and severity of the observed cracks and whether the cracks are structurally significant is beyond the expertise of the inspector and the scope of a home inspection. We recommend a full evaluation and correction as needed by a qualified, licensed contractor specializing in foundation systems repair who utilizes the services of a qualified civil, structural or geo-technical engineer, prior to your final purchase decision.

    I respectfully disagree. The above approach provides no value to the client and will leave the client wondering ... "Even I can see a crack ... what exactly did I pay this inspector to do?"

    While it may be outside the scope and beyond the expertise of the inspector to determine the cause of the crack with a high degree of confidence, or to determine an appropriate repair, the inspector can and should form an opinion about whether a particular crack indicates a problem that needs further attention... or if it does not. Many cracks are not indicative of a problem. Deferring those does not do the client, the inspector, or the inspection profession any good ... but it may add some $ to the person who the buck was passed to.

    Most deferrals "for further evaluation" are a red flag that the inspector should beef up his knowledge and skills in a particular area. The inspector needs to invest some time and energy in learning more about foundations and the types and causes of cracks in order to be better able to determine which cracks indicate problems with the foundation and which cracks do not.


  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: slab cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Chew View Post
    I respectfully disagree. The above approach provides no value to the client and will leave the client wondering ... "Even I can see a crack ... what exactly did I pay this inspector to do?"

    While it may be outside the scope and beyond the expertise of the inspector to determine the cause of the crack with a high degree of confidence, or to determine an appropriate repair, the inspector can and should form an opinion about whether a particular crack indicates a problem that needs further attention... or if it does not. Many cracks are not indicative of a problem. Deferring those does not do the client, the inspector, or the inspection profession any good ... but it may add some $ to the person who the buck was passed to.

    Most deferrals "for further evaluation" are a red flag that the inspector should beef up his knowledge and skills in a particular area. The inspector needs to invest some time and energy in learning more about foundations and the types and causes of cracks in order to be better able to determine which cracks indicate problems with the foundation and which cracks do not.
    Brandon

    I respectfully agree and respectfully disagree.

    This ongoing banter between inspectors about finding and electrical concern or foundation concern or some form of mechanical concern and referring/deferring it to the appropriate contractor for "further evaluation" should really stop.

    The home inspector is not going to do the repair. The appropriate tradesman is going to do the repair. To think that person is just going to take the home inspectors word for what is wrong and just fix it how the inspector suggests with out doing his own "evaluation" , well, is simply nuts. Every tradesman is going to "evaluate the concern" himself before making the repairs. It might only take 3 seconds to evaluate the concern but he will evaluate it. I use the term evaluation and repair.

    As far as gaining knowledge about any particular part of an inspection? One should always be educating one self. As far as foundations/slabs it takes a good period of time and past knowledge to see all the signs that will tell one of what might be going on. Even with that knowledge one is not going to take measurement of the slab around the entire home. As far as minor cracks. What exactly is a minor crack. There may be absolutely no other visible signs but that home may continue its movement causing more damage in the future. One could suggest better grading and drainage (I almost always do around here) but even with grading and drainage that home may be in need of repair to stabilize the foundation from further movement. There may be an under salb leak or what ever. When this home continues to move cracking the interior drywall and exterior brick, making doors out of square and non functional, what are you going to do with that telephone call that the home needs 10,000 in pier work. Fat chance right??? No, not a fat chance. It is a very possible chance.

    I may even use the term It appears to be from normal settling of the slab foundfation over time. I will list all the signs that are not there for movement but still suggest for there piece of mind and possible future expence that they have a foundation repair company come in for measurements and evaluation. Around here the foundation companies will take there measurments and opinion for free. No I have never seen around here where the folks were taken advatage of in that situation. Most get a least a couple foundation folks out for evaluation of the situation. 99.9 percent of the time the foundation folks agree with me in a good or bad sence. It does takes years of experience (whether it be construction background or inspection/education) to properly evaluate what is going on.

    Well, so much for my Saturday morning ramble.

    Of course all of this is just my opinion.

    On the top note. Concerns you may find after your evaluation of the concern WILL be evaluated by the next in line before they do the repair.


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