Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Gina Lowell's Avatar
    Gina Lowell Guest

    Default Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Any post tension slab inspectors out there?! I am building a new home in Longview, Texas, and they poured our post tension slab 7 days ago. By the third day, I noticed a crack in the back patio, and by the fourth, there were sprawling cracks throughout the entire foundation. Some of the cracks are more than 30 feet long, and I can feel a slight difference in the rise on each side (you can even feel the uneveness with your shoe if you rub it across the cracks). They appear to be bigger than "hairline" cracks to me, but they are not 1/4 of an inch wide. When they removed the forms 2 days ago, we realized that several of the cracks also travel down the side of the slab, all the way to the soil...

    We have talked to our builder, the head of the engineering firm that drew up the foundation plans, and the city commission. Someone is coming out to inspect, but per our phone conversations everyone that we have spoken with has told us that this cracking is "normal" and will not be an issue. I am not convinced, and a little paranoid about placing my new house on this slab.

    Another note: the guy that came to "pull" the tendons on the slab asked us if we were trying to "save money", because houses our size usually have about 50 tendons across and ours has 23. We were definitely not trying to save money.... is their a standard number of tendons based on square footage, or does it vary depending on soil type,etc?!

    Any feedback on the cracking we are experiencing would be greatly appreciated! I am going to try to attach some photos to this post!

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Inspection Referral

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Gina, do you have a third party engineer or inspector?
    It sounds like you need someone that does not "have a dog in the hunt" to give you some straight answers.
    What little we can see from the picture does not look good but then there is nothing in the photo to establish scale.
    Our resident know-it-all has a saying about concrete, "you can count on concrete to do two things, it gets hard and it cracks."
    While this is simplified, it does point out very important realities that the novice may not be prepared for.
    BUT, not all cracks are created equal and you need a trained professional to look at the slab. At first glance it APPEARS the concrete was too wet when placed or was overworked.
    While there are standards concerning the number of tendons, an engineer would need to look at the plan and specifications to determine that.
    Good luck.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    When they pulled the tension on the cables, this will close some of the cracks. About the only way to know if you have enough cables is what Jim has said. You will need to get the foundation plans and have an engineer look at them. You could always count and compare what you have to what is on the plans. If it says 50 and you have 23, then I would say that you have a little problem......

    With a PT slab, you have less concrete that with a non-PT slab. One of the selling points to a builder is that they can use less concrete with a PT slab. The other is that it takes a good amount of movement to break one to the point of failure. In areas of expansive soil they are about your best option.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    My face is getting older and it is cracking. Does that mean I am normal ?

    If one were to go to ten pours in a day where the cables have not been tightened up yet one would see cracks in almost every pour.

    I thing Jim is quite correct about the concrete being over worked and or too wet. It does not mean one has a bad slab.

    If one were to pull the carpet up in 10 homes they would see cracks in the concrete in all of them.

    Concrete is like my face, it gets old and hard and cracks


  5. #5
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Why not hire a local home inspector in your area instead of trying to get freebies from this site?

    Without one, it looks like you are on the fast track to a home you dont want to own.


  6. #6
    Gina Lowell's Avatar
    Gina Lowell Guest

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Thank you for the responses...
    Some more details... The concrete was poured by a pump truck, and I've been told that it is relatively "dry" when it is poured that way, BUT we did have a major rain the day AFTER the slab was poured.

    The cables have been "pulled" and I do not see any change in the size of the cracks yet (they were pulled two days ago).

    We have contacted the TRCC (Texas Residential Construction Commission)and they told us to contact the City, who would possibly recommend a third party inspector or engineer to come out. It's amazing how difficult it is to get someone out (besides the owner/president of the structural engineering firm that drew up the plans - not quite third party, but at least he can compare the work done to the drawings - he is coming Monday).

    Two more questions:
    1. What is a good way to measure the depth of the cracks?
    2. Does anyone have a referral for a good third party inspector in East Texas (Tyler/Longview area)?


  7. #7
    Gina Lowell's Avatar
    Gina Lowell Guest

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    One more question: Would you feel comfortable building your new home on a slab that initially had a lot of cracks? We are toying with the "what if's". What if everyone available checks this slab out and claims that it is fine?! There are only so many channels for us to go through out here, and if it comes to it would you recommend replacing the slab at our own cost?! Just looking for some honest opinions!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    My face is getting older and it is cracking. Does that mean I am normal ?

    If one were to go to ten pours in a day where the cables have not been tightened up yet one would see cracks in almost every pour.

    I thing Jim is quite correct about the concrete being over worked and or too wet. It does not mean one has a bad slab.

    If one were to pull the carpet up in 10 homes they would see cracks in the concrete in all of them.

    Concrete is like my face, it gets old and hard and cracks
    And it scares small children.

    rick


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina Lowell View Post
    One more question: Would you feel comfortable building your new home on a slab that initially had a lot of cracks? We are toying with the "what if's". What if everyone available checks this slab out and claims that it is fine?! There are only so many channels for us to go through out here, and if it comes to it would you recommend replacing the slab at our own cost?! Just looking for some honest opinions!
    First question, The first house I ever built for myself had many curing cracks the day after the pour of concrete. Lived there for 13 yrs. and those never lead to any foundation movement.

    Second question, Replacing a slab? I've never seen that done personally. You'd be talking a major expense. Everything would have to be redone, soil preparation, grading, plumbing......Wow

    Do you already own the property this home is being built on?

    rick


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Gina, I understand you are anxious, I would be too in your situation but:
    EVERY slab, post tension or otherwise has cracks.

    The question that remains is are the cracks within the normal tolerances which I would only trust a true third party engineer to evaluate. Contact your local real estate agent and ask for the the name of the meanest, most nit-picky home inspector around and call them and ask him for a referral to a good quality engineer who is not afraid to call it like he sees it and possibly go to court and prove it.
    My guess is they will agree with the other experts you have talked with, but you never know until you pay them to look.
    Do not rely on the engineer who works for the builder, nor the city, they have already approved what went on and MAY not be willing to admit there is a problem.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Gina,

    I made a few phone calls and have a referral for you. He is a Structural Engineer there in Longview.

    You might give him a call, and ask for him for advice.

    His name is:

    CUMMINGS, CHRISTOPHER MAX
    1308 ENCHANTED
    LONGVIEW, TX 75604
    903-237-5849


  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina Lowell View Post
    One more question: Would you feel comfortable building your new home on a slab that initially had a lot of cracks? We are toying with the "what if's". What if everyone available checks this slab out and claims that it is fine?! There are only so many channels for us to go through out here, and if it comes to it would you recommend replacing the slab at our own cost?! Just looking for some honest opinions!

    If it comes to it which I seriously doubt then you could have piers put in to stabilize things and not have to worry about it again. It would be a fraction of the cost but to have to have it done or things actually be that bad, well, like I said I seriously doubt it. You would never lose money on piers and the finer larger homes I have seen already have then in the ground under the slab. FOr the initial cost you would never lose and never have to worry about it agai. Nost give a lifetime warranty and will do periodic adjustments if necessary.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    There you go, Rick is one of the meanest, most nit-picky inspectors on the east side of Dallas according to the realtors

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  14. #14
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Gina,

    You can contact this inspector over in East Texas. He is very thorough, qualified and looks out for you ... the client. He would be valuable to do the ongoing phase inspections during the construction of your new home.

    Rick's referral is excellent as well.

    Bruce Carpenter
    Regal Real Estate Inspections, LLC
    Pittsburg, TX 75686
    (903) 856-3320
    Cell: (903) 235-2483
    Welcome to Regal Real Estate Inspections, LLC
    License Number: TREC No. 1376


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,243

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Second question, Replacing a slab? I've never seen that done personally. You'd be talking a major expense. Everything would have to be redone, soil preparation, grading, plumbing......Wow

    Rick,

    Worst case, absolutely worst case, would be pouring another PT slab on top of that and using that as the "footing". No need to "remove" that first slab.

    Man, if one did that, you'd have a Saturn V launch pad for a slab. Never a worry about putting a house on it, heck, the house would weigh less than the double slab.

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

  16. #16
    Gina Lowell's Avatar
    Gina Lowell Guest

    Default Re: Lots of cracks in new post tension slab

    Thank you everyone for the excellent advice and the referrals...
    I will definitely be making some phone calls.

    Rick, we do own the property that the home is being built on - we bought the lot in April '08. Thank you for your extra research. We will give Christopher a call tomorrow!

    Ted, thank you for the information about the piers... hadn't heard of that before, but we were definitely sweating the cost of starting over from the ground up! (No pun intended! )

    Scott, thanks for making me feel better about our choice for the post tension slab!

    Jim, I feel a little better about the cracks knowing that we all have them!Maybe ours aren't as horrible as they seem to me!

    Nolan, thanks for the recommendation - Pittsburg is not far from us at all, we may be making that contact, too.

    And John Smith... wasn't looking for a freebie, just some good advice from someone who knows more on this subject than I do! Looking for a good lead to an engineer or inspector... who I definitely plan to PAY for their work!


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
  •