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  1. #1
    Dave McD's Avatar
    Dave McD Guest

    Default House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Hey guys,

    I have a Liquid Amber tree that was planted by the previous owners about 5 ft from the front corner of the house (ya pretty dumb). The tree is fairly mature (20yrs old) and about 50ft tall. The house is on a concrete slab, built in 1983.

    About 2 years ago while doing some wiring in the room facing that corner, I pulled the carpet back and noticed a diagonal running crack in the slab in that corner, about 4 ft in. I called a structural engineer at the time to get some advice, but he was reluctant to come out because everyone knows concrete cracks, right? So I left it.

    Today, I noticed that the dryall beneath one of the windows in that area was cracked. The stucco knockdown texture along the crack had delaminated/bubbled somewhat. The drywall appeared to be soft somewhat under its facing paper in some areas along the crack. The corner of the drywall has a similar appearance. I 've seen minor cracking in the drywall of the house in other areas which I attribute to some settling, but this was much worse. The texture delamination smells like moisture intrusion to me, so I'll proably pull the drywall off in this corner to have a closer look.

    I decided to go outside to have a look also. There is some decoration brickwork built along the outside of the house in this corner beneath the windows and extends out about 1ft out and down to the ground. There appears to be a new crack now in this brickwork that extends horizontally all the way across and down vertically to the ground. The crack is along the mortar joint at the top, about 1/8" - 3/16" wide, and thin near the ground. I took a flat edge to the top of the brickwork, and the area near the crack appears to have sunk maybe < 1/16", although this seems counterintuitive to the crack's appearance.

    So I assume maybe this tree needs to be removed. I don't really know what damage has been done to the house or slab, so I need a structural engineer to come out and have a look. Does anyone know of a good structural engineer with experience like this in the Sacramento area?

    thanks

    dave mc

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    AD, So what are the other problems aside from Termites if they cut the tree down.
    I need some splaining lucy.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Wayne,

    Imagine what happens to all of those dead tree roots. What the termites don't eat, wood decay sets in and rots the roots causing the soil above to settle which in turn leads to more foundation issues.

    You got to keep in mind how large a tree root system is. Most are as wide as the canopy of the tree and you have to figure in that the tree has probably had trimming over the years which make the roots probably even further horizontally than expected.

    rick


  4. #4
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    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Thanks Rick, That's what I thought A.D. was implying but thought maybe he had something else up his sleeve.
    So the solution, I guess, is to cut down the house so the tree can grow


  5. #5
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Gee I love Google! Take a look at this site and the thread about the beautiful Liquid Amber tree! Liquid Amber Tree -- problem roots? - UBC Botanical Garden Forums

    Sounds like removing the tree and reworking the foundation might be the only solution.

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

  6. #6
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    Thanks Rick, That's what I thought A.D. was implying but thought maybe he had something else up his sleeve.
    So the solution, I guess, is to cut down the house so the tree can grow
    Absolutely, the house has to go. The tree takes in CO2 and gives off O2. You will get a special thank-you card from ALGORE.


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

    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    RH got half of the equation. The other half requires and understanding of transpiration or the manner in which water travels through live and dead tree structures. Read up on it and figure it out for yourselves. I'm only just starting on this morning's report which is certain to approach 100 pages . . . barrier EIFS . . .CSST . . .
    Hm.....Only 100 pages. You are slipping

    As to tree roots one of the most aggressive tree root systems in the south is the fruitless mulberry tree. Never mind how big the canopy is. These trees will grow in your front yard., follow moisture from plumbing pipes under your home and come out the back of your home because they find more moisture out back. As far as cutting them down make sure there are no roots showing on the surface or the darn thing will be growing a new tree where the root was exposed long after the original tree is gone.

    The Californian Alder tree or Alder berry (what ever the name is) tree is just as bad or worse with the roots spreading forever. As long as there is a moisture path they will follow it.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    117 pages is not a report.
    That's a book called "How to F*%# Up a Home!"


  9. #9
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    TM: The final total was 117 pages.
    Thank Zeus for drop down click on remarks Ay?

    117 pages.....I was board this afternoon and that's how many sheets were left on my toilet paper roll Lets see. Each of those pages is the equivalent of 4 sheets of tp so it will last them for some time I hope for there sake you sent them some aspirin and a free visit to the eye doctors for eye strain.

    117 pages. I sure hope there were a lot of built in remarks to click on. To type out 117 pages without the menu would take forever and then you would need the aspirin.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    TM: The final total was 117 pages.
    Why such a short report? Was it that good?

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

  11. #11
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Just how much of that report was boiler plate posting?


  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    Just how much of that report was boiler plate posting?
    Lots and lots of pictures and a tremendous amount of boiler plate I am quite sure. Just think of the time it would take to literally type out every word explaining every detail at 117 pages, then add pictures detailing every one of them as well.


  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    If P or TM knew anything about the profession, or anything else for that matter, they would know that properly-placed "boiler plate" is worth its weight in gold. Photos are good, and I take about 75-100 on the average inspection, but I only use about 10-15 in any report.

    You boys are just stingy with the information - maybe because you don't have any.
    Lots of useful info. Some boiler plate (I hate calling it that) and many pictures in my report. 25 to 100 pics or more per inspection and many into the report. Not much boiler plate. Just useful typed out information that only pertains to the home I am inspecting. all the rest of the info will be obtained from the folks doing the follow up after me with actual repairs needed and pricing.

    I do not explain repairs in any kind of depth and then make my folks eat a book in details that they need not or want to know. They want to know what the concerns are with the home they are thinking of purchasing and what steps to take after the inspection. Pretty cut and dry. A book...a sfar as I or my clients are concerned....not needed.

    My reports generally are 20ish pages and maybe up to 25 pages for problematic homes and a touch more for nasty homes. Some homes are as little as 16 pages due to the fact that there is just not that much to say about a home that has about no concerns to speak of.

    Just about any concern can be explained in a paragraph and a few to several pictures. Some need a sentence and some need a bit more. I do not go into the history of home building and every aspect of how siding is applied to tell them it is wrong and needs repair and this is the tradesman they need to follow up with.


  14. #14
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    AD, you might just be right. But I am so old I read the last panel of the comic to see if I am interested in the beginning. Do you really think that the homeburyers, be they single or attached, are going to sit down together and pour over all the info that you have delivered unto them.
    Who is in on this site that says "see wisely". Well let us add to that wisdom to tell them the important items, lest they be lost in fine print.


  15. #15
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Or, you can not see the forest for the trees. Or was it you can not see the trees for the forest? Seems like both works for me.


  16. #16
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    AD, you should apply for a Library of Congress number for such a tome. Your clients probably stopped reading at page twenty. I think your report is more to CYA than to inform the homeowner of significant defects in the home. You missed your true calling. You should have been a lawyer, bureaucrat, or warranty writer where you can wallow in the fine print.


  17. #17
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Not sure if I'm in agreement with anybody or not but I think a report that is concise and to the point is more useful than a long report with stuff that does not help people understand the problems with the house they are buying. My reports are usually about 35 pages with lots of pictures. I send a full report with pictures, a summary only with no pictures, and a summary only with pictures. It seems to help buyers and agents share the report with other people without a lot of C&P'ing.


  18. #18
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    P: Thank you for the kind words. Whatever you may think of my writing, in 35 years I have never been successfully sued. I like to think, and my attorneys over the years have assured me, that it this is due in no small part to devoting ample space in my reports to describing what was inspected and how, and what was not inspected and why not, as well as informing the client of why things noted as deficient are wrong and what can be done to right these things.

    When two people agree to do business together, whatever the job at hand, a thorough understanding of what is and what is not to take place is crucial to the success of the venture.

    The devil is in the details.
    AD, of course your lawyers would love you.


  19. #19
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    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: House Concrete slab crack and a tree

    "Be happy you are not in my area"

    I think most of us are happy were not in your area.

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

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