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  1. #1
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    Default Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Inspected a 3 yr old home in west burbs yesterday with multiple foundation cracks, some straight vertical underneath the fire egress windows (and wells) at the corners as well as a half dozen throughout the basement. This is a well built home and luckily the basement is still unfinished.

    Are these normal settling cracks? Do 7 or 8 of them raise significant suspicion? Here's a couple...

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Did you actually measure those at 1/8" or is that an estimate? The pictures, albeit small, look like hariline cracks. If they are actually 1/8" I think it would warrant some looking into. If hairline IMO they're not worth worrying about.

    The most common rule of thumb I run into with cracks is the dime or tip of a ball point pen.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    MOST of them were hairline but a couple had been grouted by previous owner/builder and remaining were large enough in areas that they got my attention. I honestly don't feel they are worrisome, but may warrant injection for peace of mind.


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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    These situations are tough... I have a comment I often use that goes something like this:

    Cracking was noted througout the foundation at the xxx. This does not appear to be negativeliy affenting the structure at this time. A more indepth inspection from an engineer or foundation expert may reveal addtional information about future performance and should be obtained if desired.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Ross your pics blow, too small.
    Anyway, I can't see anything in pic 1
    Pics 2 and 3 are worrisome though the running cracks are going to/from key intersection/load points. I would write those two as concerns and tell the client to monitor, get an eval, blah, blah.
    Mind you I am generally not overly concerned about hairline cracks in new foundations. Every new foundation seems to have them these days but that's another discussion. Cracks running from stress points like those are another matter though, at least for me.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Almost forgot, what did the wall/floor intersection look like under these areas? Original, patched or separation. Anything except original can be a good indicator of problems.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    The pictures are just not large enough to see the details in them.

    It looks like they used steel forms to pour and form the concrete. Walls like this usually do not show cracks that pass from one panel to the other unless something is causing it to happen. I would be suspect of the backfill, but again the pictures don't show the detail.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Your pictures are too small for any type of advice.

    However, the cracks I do see are typically in these locations. Anytime you have a corner (ie window, step-down, pocket) that's where you're gonna get cracking.

    It looks like normal shrinkage, but really can't see enough.

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    "not worth worrying about"?

    Hey,just trying to help YOU not get sued.
    Don`t get too huffy about my tone eh, going through 30+ years of this chtt might ruffle some of you too,especially when ya see homeowners get screwed....your clients.

    You should worry about any crack that can certainly allow water in and any buyer should be made AWARE they may-could have to spend money to fix/waterproof any crack or any other possible exterior opening(s) that are NOT always visible on the inside.
    Here ya have tiny lil hairline crack and some open-leaky rod holes
    Snapfish: Share Photo:Registration

    What some thin hairline cracks look like OUTSIDE,newer house, and notice the dumb GRADE is pitched away and builder/sub put in some incompetent underground drainage pipe that does NOT fix/waterproof the crack,existing defect
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    Go ahead `n click 'slideshow',clay etc.Little cracks can widen just from lateral soil pressure and-or possible underground roots or concrete slabs leaning against a wall or a porch-footing

    Yeah right right right,HI are going to note/report what they see at time/on day of inspection.What many HI`s apparently don`t see or get is many homeowners who`ve had inspections DO get water in after your gone through small-thin cracks and if you say don`t worry about it,i`ll gladly do what i can to help them recover money(at least that fee) to help PAY for something they should have been warned about that could leak,could widen a lil or lil more. Yeah do what ya like,sure its YOUR inspection but its also your az thats on-the-hook if you don`t warn them.

    See many tell homeowners incompetent crap like,'just raise and slope the grade etc',and then homeowner leaks,even when they`ve followed that recommendation and spent time and some money on incompetent recommendation.

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    Here, another homeowner just bought house,was told by seller and home inspector there are/were NO problems,no leaks,no cracks etc..NONSENSE,incompetent and time ta sue baby,yep,recover some money that she has to PAY for waterproofing existing DEFECTS that was patched and painted over,tar along drive-house etc,garabge and NONE of this junk fixes the actual-problems,play SLIDESHOW!!! See underground ROOT against wall,under the driveway that was tarred pfftt! Slabs slope away too,SOME just don`t GET IT/incompetent.
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    Just a thin vertical hairline crack but sure leaked/allowed quite a bit of water in,thats why my guys and my stinky az are there,you can call this lady too if you like.....got milk?
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    I see quite a few HI`s WEBSITES stating how educated/thorough they claim to be(and SOME are,some aren`t),including thoroughly inspecting the foundation/walls/possible leaks etc....well,some need to stop being so dang defensive and LEARN something to help THEMSELVES AND their CLIENTS,you apparently aren`t learning this in any books/exams you supposedly take,go ahead `n fire away!

    Better WATCH recommending INJECTIONS for poured wall cracks,what you see on the INSIDE is NOT whats always open on the OUTSIDE
    LOOK.....have more of exact same occurrences/other homes
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    Pic 1. Diagonal crack right,you may think thats the problem/crack/exterior opening.You might recommend your favorite lil injection company and they come and do their thing,right.Better watch those 'vertical seams' in poured walls,you may not know whats open on outside that also allows water in
    Pics 2-6. Their problems,leak are at back corner.See OTHER openings/gaps just BELOW(some above) grade? They ARE allowing water in as well,they sure are. And they`re also allowing any insects direct `n easy access into home.
    Pics 7-10. Hello???? Do you/would you or any inside system/injection company SEE THIS on the INSIDE? No you don`t,there`s a seam there that one SHOULD notice and be aware of though,can-could leak,may be exterior-crack JUST as ya see in pics 7-10....some water IS entering here too.So injecting that DIAGONAL will NOT be all this and other homeowners need! Sheessssssssh. Can anyone see my valid/legit/real points here? Don`t care? Fine! lol

    Thats why i say and a FEW others say/KNOW its always BEST to waterproof on the outside.Homeowner would have PAID what,$350-$650 to INJECT that diagonel crack and STILL would have leaked,still would have needed to PAY MORE for exterior waterproofing,oh yes.
    This homeowner paid,if i remember right,$1,175...includes saw cutting by side door and back slab.They`d have paid MORE than that for the intial injection AND then exterior work.....don`t forget those OTHER gaps under door ledge etc and in bricks/joints eh,inside systems/injections don`t repair these either...bye bye now,got MILK???

    Last edited by John Bubber; 02-17-2010 at 07:46 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    One more,Pardon the Interuption, PTI boys `n girls,good night Canada!

    poured wall....watch out recommending INJECTIONS.
    Snapfish: Share:Registration
    Eyeball pictures but start from the last pic,may help

    10. Problems,cracks,leaks,rod holes is at back left corner,she has a sump
    8,9 See diagonal crack? Thats what ya see inside....and some leaky rod holes.
    Ok, see the sump discharge vertical pipe???

    Behind that,notice the vertical SEAM??? Its about 8-10" off corner

    MOST of the water she gets comes out onto floor at bottom of wall,floor-wall joint right where the seam is!
    Yes, water also coming through some rod holes and through the diagonal BELOW the one leaky rod hole (i`ll leave that alone right now).
    That diagonal keeps going past that seam/discharge pipe.

    Let`s go outside n see whats up/open....what is NOT visible on the inside unless ya know about vertical seams....
    1-4. See vertical cracks/seam,see scraper? Water enters through the lower part of this crack.....at least.
    How far off the corner is this?
    Do you,will you/injection co see this? They will only see the diagonal crack and inject it....basement/seam will STILL leak,gotta go outside to repair/waterproof this!

    Homeowner would now have to go through all the BS w/injection Co,they`ll say they did their job etc,NOT good enough,homeowner still leaks,is out $$$ and NOW has to pay MORE for correct fix/outside.

    This is one reason/fact WHY The Crack Team and others who only do injections have/get complaints,reasonable complaints!
    Crack Team/STL had 23 customer complaints about 3-4 years ago
    BBB Review of Crack Team in Saint Louis, MO
    Now 7, at least and ummmm....some UNANSWERED complaints.
    yeah,right,keep telling peeps on radio Hm Imp shows you really care about every homeowner,you never have problems etc.....Blchtt!

    And sure, the continued leaky basement situation after an injection would be that company`s fault/problem..sure. But if ya recommend them or tell homeowner that is WHAT THEY NEED,it doesn`t exactly make you/HI looks so good eh.Not shtting on ya,just TRYING to inform

    Last edited by John Bubber; 02-17-2010 at 08:45 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Wow,

    Is it me or is that difficult to read?

    Meds please!

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    "Is it me or is that difficult to read?"

    You mean to tell us you STILL read his post?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Miller View Post
    Wow,

    Is it me or is that difficult to read?
    I had no problem whatsoever. A couple of "Page Downs" and it was gone!

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Just as i expected,same as some over on Nachi etc,some good,some fools/think they know enough/everything on this subject,couldn`t possibly learn anything from my azz right.

    Posted pic`s of what SOME cracks/leaks 'look like' on the inside which is NOT always the total story on the outside,DUH!

    Ok....question for you 3.....don`t SEE/UNDERSTAND whats occurred,that just because YOU see a diagonal crack INSIDE does NOT mean thats the only problem/crack/water pathways OUTSIDE??? Don`t care,what is it?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    John
    It's not that what you say is wrong, you just keep saying the same thing, over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, well.. do you understand.

    Does anyone disagree?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    I didn`t READ anyone consider/think of the possibilities i brought up/pics-posted. Saw one say don`t worry about it.Quite a few HI`s often/only recommend INJECTIONS for poured wall cracks and all i was CLEARLY pointing out was,for YOUR clients sake......don`t be so quick w/assumptions-recommendations...thats VERY CLEAR if anyone THINKS and LOOKS at pic`s posted.....some think i`m shtting on them and i`m really just trying to show MORE possibilities/PROBABILITIES due to the 30 years doing this shtt,just trying to help some HI`s/homeowners who don`t know.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    real quick....you say i repeat same shtt over and over....and i do because of what i CONSTANTLY hear and read over and over and over from HI`s,SE`s etc......part or all the wrong shtt on this subject...incl`g on their websites,can post a quick 1000 right now.If THEY KNOW?UNDERSTAND then change the SHHT posted on websites on what i constantly read over and over on supposed solutions for leaky basements


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    As home inspectors we really should not recommend HOW to repair defects; we should identify the problem and recommend further review or repair by a qualified professional. If you feel comfortable prescribing repairs then by all means go for it.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    John
    OK.
    So what do you think the inspector should write in the report?
    What should he recommend the client do?

    Remember, the client is not the homeowner, so excavating the yard is not an option.

    BWT
    I (and many others) do not have, or want, a Snapfish account. We cannot see the pix clearly, you might try using a different service.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    John, have you ever considered taking up smoking?






  21. #21
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    John, have you ever considered taking up smoking?



    I think you mean giving up smokin'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    John, you might get less resistance to what you say if you tone it down and leave the veiled expletives out of your posts. Even though I'm sure most of us are not offended by cursing, for the most part we have some level of professional decorum here and leave the coarse language out of our posts.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bubber View Post
    I didn`t READ anyone consider/think of the possibilities i brought up/pics-posted. Saw one say don`t worry about it.Quite a few HI`s often/only recommend INJECTIONS for poured wall cracks and all i was CLEARLY pointing out was,for YOUR clients sake......don`t be so quick w/assumptions-recommendations...thats VERY CLEAR if anyone THINKS and LOOKS at pic`s posted.....some think i`m shtting on them and i`m really just trying to show MORE possibilities/PROBABILITIES due to the 30 years doing this shtt,just trying to help some HI`s/homeowners who don`t know.
    John,

    You may be an very intelligent person; it's your communications that needs help. I stopped reading the above post after the first sentence. If we (professionals) can't understand what you're trying to say, how can your clients.

    It's been said very often that taking a writing course would benefit many home inspectors. I happen to agree; knowing what to say and writing that down on paper are totally different.

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Excuses.......'can`t understand posts' LOL!

    Others have said, 'don`t want to BOTHER with snapfish account'.
    Like that`s a real difficult task!

    Shtt man,if some don`t want to read my shtt then bypass it,sign in and look at the dang pictures...but apparently that`s too difficult.

    Some HI`s at Nachi, at Leaking Homes and Commercial Buildings Require Thermal Imaging! | Leaking Houses, Leaking windows, Leaking Stucco, Leaking Flashing want to see pic`s,maybe learn something.The pics show many homeowners REAL problems and ONLY solution to those problems in those pictures.
    Yep,all you had to do was bypass my shtt, click the stupid links,sign in and view.

    And Jerry,many would think-hope a construction litigation consultant would want to SEE those pictures that SHOW construction defects etc that you have not see,sir....no you have not.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Hey, the Ohio St Atty Gen`s office and others didn`t have any problem signing up to view the pictures, to see what the hlll i`m talking about,nope.Maybe they didn`t care about my lack of writing skills either but they all sure seemed very interested in what is shown in pictures unlike some HI`s or litigation consultants.Got that? Bye bye now,have fun.

    Last edited by John Bubber; 02-18-2010 at 11:17 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    John, you seem to have a lot to say and there is some wisdom in there.... somewhere. But, seriously, if you ever expect to be perceived as anything close to legitimate you've got to clean up your puncutation and write like an earthling.

    It's been brought up numerous times and you just keep shouting at us in some crazy, backwards apostrophe language. And that's not even addressing the implied foul language.

    As someone mentioned, this is a group of professionals and we all deserve to be talked to as such.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    John
    Again, what do you think the inspector (of the OP) should write in the report to his customer about that particular wall?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    There are many factors which can cause a poured wall to crack. This crack appears to be on an inside corner and it looks like a support beam there also. If this is true a crack in this area would need more than an injection for water leakage.
    If there is no crack around the corner this is likely not a settlement crack as you need two vertical cracks on adjacent walls for settlement to occur. There could be extreme hydrostatic pressure in this area...water in the soil from improper grading or drainage. There could also be another possibility..."Street Creep". This occurs when a home has a concrete driveway. The driveway will heat up in the hotter weather, expand and push the interior garage floor into the interior foundation walls. You can look in the garage and check for expansion strips along the wall. If they have not been installed there would be no thermal expansion relief and this would be a consideration.
    This is a case where you really need to recommend the services of a structural engineer.
    He'll do his inspection, make a recommendation, and put a seal on his report. This makes you look good and keeps you out of trouble.
    If this is not settlement an EPOXY injection combined with Fortress carbon fiber staples installed across the crack to ( prevent sympathy cracking ) will stabilize the section. see Fortress Stabilization's carbon-fiber kevlar sheet product line for construction applications for info on this.
    Videos and articles about carbon-fiber kevlar sheet technology in concrete repair and reinforcement is also helpful


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    John B to his client: "I'll tell you what you got here. You got yourself some muther#$%^& cracks is what you got. Chit man. This house is broke. Broke!!! Oops! My muther$%^&* cell is ringing. Hold on, I'll be back. Chit, those are some big cracks".


  30. #30
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bubber View Post
    real quick....you say i repeat same shtt over and over....and i do because of what i CONSTANTLY hear and read over and over and over from HI`s,SE`s etc......part or all the wrong shtt on this subject...incl`g on their websites,can post a quick 1000 right now.If THEY KNOW?UNDERSTAND then change the SHHT posted on websites on what i constantly read over and over on supposed solutions for leaky basements
    John,

    I think the posters were in general agreement with your posts and pics. They were just commenting on how difficult it is to read your posts. I hope your reports don't appear that way. Even a court of law would have trouble with your reports if they were written like that.


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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Ross

    FYI - Any cutout in a basement wall window, beam pocket, door, etc. will cause a stress concentration at the corners. I attached a simple computer printout of a basement I analysed for a client that shows the high stress area in red at the lower corner of a basement window. This was an 8-foot concrete wall with just normal hydrostatic earth pressure applied. A full analysis that includes shrinkage forces and building loads is a real eye opener when it comes to understanding many of the common cracks you will see in a typical basement.

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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    John,
    Here's the deal, shtthead, no one likes to wade through expletives to find out what is wrong with the house. Either clean it up, or go somewhere else to rant.
    We don't care to hear your trailor trash mouth any more.
    Thanks for understanding...


    I'm a dyslexic agnostic-Don't believe there is a dog...

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Multiple 1/8" foundation cracks, 3 yrs old

    Most structural damage to foundations is caused as volume changes occur within the foundation soils (dirt) that surround and support the home. If the soil moves your foundation moves. It’s that simple.

    You need to deterimine if you have lateral movement of foundation walls. This can occur on basement and crawlspace type foundations. When the soil pressure exceeds the lateral design load the wall will move.
    OR
    Do you have heaving or settlement.
    First, all houses settle. The amount may be so small as to be undetectable or may be so uniform as to leave no signs, but without doubt settlement happens. Second because of natural the variation of the lot, the variations caused by construction and variations homeowners cause, there are variations in the soil properties and not every point on a foundation settles the same. Also when soil moisture properties change tilting or heaving is likely. Differential movement is the real enemy.

    The amount of damage and movement that requires repair can depend on the attitudes of the owner and occupants to tolerate distortion as well as damage that actually impairs the usefulness and safety of the structure.

    For Lateral movement:
    A "rule-of-thumb" used by many foundation contractors, engineers, and home inspectors throughout the Kansas City area regarding foundation movement repairs is:
    (1) movement of less than 1" (with no significant cracking - 3/4" with significant cracking) - correct what made it move and monitor it for future movement;
    (2) movement between 1" and 2" - (3/4" with significant cracking) restrain it, correct what made it move and monitor it for future movement;
    (3) movement over 2" or 1/3rd of the walls width - excavate it, realign it as close as possible to the original position, restrain it, correct what made it move, and monitor it for future movement.

    But remember different people have different experience or tolerances, and another professional's opinion may differ from mine. We always urge you to ask a Competent Foundation Contractor or a Licensed Structural Engineer for a second opinion and to determine IF a repair is needed and if so HOW repairs should be performed.
    Non-structural remedial measures may improve foundation performance and reduce
    future movement. Applying non-structural remedial measures and monitoring foundation performance prior to or in lieu of structural repairs may be a prudent approach. Typical recommendations for non-structural remedial measures may include, but are not limited to, the measures listed below.
    Install proper grading and drainage which includes: (a) sloping the soil 1" per foot, for 6'-10' away from the building; (b) installing or improving swaling to direct water runoff away from the building; (c) installing splashblocks or downspout extenders to ensure roof runoff flows away from the foundation; and (d) in hot / dry weather, establish a regular watering program for the soil next to the foundation. These steps also include keeping gutters and downspouts clear of debris, aligned and in good repair. It may also be beneficial to install gutter guards or oversized guttering to prevent clogged gutters.


    For heaving or settlement:
    Remediation Criteria will vary among professional contractors and engineers.
    If the residence is found to be unsafe due to structural inadequacies, then all agree that repairs are needed immediately. But many times the structural integrity is not compromised and only the serviceability or performance is changed. Such as the doors rub, floors are sloped or tiles crack. The amount of diminished performance tolerated varies among homeowners. The cost effectiveness and practicality of any repairs or remediation may change the opinions of a homeowner’s tolerance of diminished performance.

    For example, an owner may choose to perform periodic cosmetic repairs and door adjustments, rather than comprehensive foundation Piering or Underpinning. The latter a much more costly repair. Risks of continued diminished performance are involved in all remedial measures. But not implementing a remedial plan may also increase such risks.

    This is the short answer for structural movement and does not consider water entering the home only structural issues.


    I hope this help somewhat but you need a second opinion from a foundation contractor.



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