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06-08-2010, 07:48 PM #1
House on Concrete Slab; tree issue
I've noticed that I may be getting some symptoms of issues with a liquid Amber tree that is fairly mature (ie. 50 ft tall, 20yrs old) that was planted by the previous owners no more than about 5ft from the front corner of the house (ya, pretty dumb). The house is built on a concrete slab, located in Sacramento, CA, and was built in 1983. About 2 yrs ago when I lifted the carpet to do some wiring in that corner of the house, I noticed a diagonal crack across the corner of the slab there about 4 ft in. I contacted a strcutural engineer over the phone at the time, and he was reluctant to even come out since of course everyone knows concrete cracks, and I'm sure he has been called before for insignificant ones. So I left it. Today I noticed in that corner that the drywall underneath the bay window there and in the corner has bulged, distorted , cracked along what it appears to be a seam (straight vertical line down). There is a knock down texture on the wall which has delaminated as well. The drywall itself seems to have crumbled somewhat behind its face paper. I have seen cracking similar to this around the house due to settling, but this looks worse. The texture delamination to me smells like a moisture penetration issue, so I will likely remove the drywall in this area to check it more thoroughly. I went outside to take a look at the brick veneer ledge built underneath this window and I saw a new crack in the brickwork across the top and all the way down vertically into the soil, about 12" from the corner. The crack is quite wide, about 1/8 to 3/16"' in the worst spot on the top and smallest in the vertical area near the ground. I took a flat edge to the top of the brickwork and it appears as though it has sunk rather than been raised near the crack, although that seems counterintuitive to the crack's appearance. So I am assuming that this tree should be removed ASAP, but I'm not sure what damage has been done to the house and slab. I will try to get a structural engineer out to have a look at it. Does anyone have a recommendation for someone in the Sacramento area that is experienced with this? If anyone is really interested, I can post pics of this area.