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  1. #1
    ywongyzh's Avatar
    ywongyzh Guest

    Default vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    i am looking at this foreclosed one story house built in 1958 , i have so far located one vertical crack in the perimeter foundation because the parge coat came off revealing the foundation behind, this crack is also near one corner of the house, i assume there may be more perimeter cracks

    there is another vertical crack in the interior foundation separating the house and the garage

    in the garage there is an area where the slab has cracked and whole pieces are buckled up

    also some parts of the front brick fascia have loose mortar and is detaching from the house, and maybe even the whole brick column is separating from the house

    another troubling thing is there is a horizontal crack throughout the outside perimeter wall (except the front) just about where the mudsill is, some of the parge coat is loose under this line , all three corners' parge coats have come loose, although the stucco on the exterior wall above this crack line appears to be in good condition, and the house appears to be straight and plumb aside from these foundation issues

    i would like to know what you experts think....

    is the loose parge coat everywhere something to be concerned about? what caused it to become loose? is it caused by foundation problem, or no biggie given the parge coat tends to become loose over time, since it has nothing to hold on to except "stick" to the concrete beneath?


    photo link:

    2010-12-08 10:14 pictures from home & garden photos on webshots

    the house is in the bottom of a mildly sloped cul-de-sac, MLS link here if it helps:

    1730 Francisca Ct, Benicia, CA 94510 | MLS# 21019560

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    Last edited by ywongyzh; 12-08-2010 at 11:50 AM.
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  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    Well, first off the coating should have stopped just below the framing onto the foundation but that is not the slightest bit the least of your worries from what see from where it is chipped off. I see wood framing with the chicken wire mesh directly to it.

    I cannot go on. You need an inspector out there to evaluate the property for you. If not a home inspector a stucco/ home inspector/contractor to give you the whole picture and costs related to such.

    There was no bond applied to the concrete surface first but again it is wrong anyway. You do not want any coating continuing from the framing all the way into the dirt for many reasons and one is termites. But you need the entire application evaluated.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    I think the obvious is most likely the problem-- you're in a seismically active area, right over the San Andreas fault.

    I'd have a local expert & an engineer look at the structure.

    Dom.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    No wonder the people who bought that for over 300G have walked away.
    For the price you are paying, there is hope for that place.
    From the pictures alone, it needs foundation repair where those corners have cracked.

    I suggest a termite inspection would be $$ well spent. The inspector may tell you if there is any rot there, even if no termites.
    Pic 7 shows a crack from the window to the wall. That area should be checked out with a level and a probe. Get a home inspector to check the place out.

    All that parge work needs to be peeled off. What's wrong with exposing the concrete? You need to see the foundation all round the house to keep termites out.
    All the downspouts need to either empty into a buried drain system or have extensions out away from the foundation. Some of that cracking could be due to water sitting around the footings. Ask the inspector to dig around in the crawlspace. There might not be spread footings under those foundation walls.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
    ywongyzh's Avatar
    ywongyzh Guest

    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    thanks for your input guys, i went over there last sunday, checked out the exterior, but could not go inside because they said it was open house but door was locked, the house is going on auction coming saturday so i don't have a lot of time to get things checked out by an inspector, starting bid is 69k, i think it could go up to around 130k but no more due to the problems, needs an all cash offer because no bank would want to finance

    the guy bought it for 255k in 2002, the 340k was probably the mortgage owned to the bank when it foreclosed, this house would easily be sold for 500k in 2006, but is now only worth half of that even in the best condition, such is the sad state of affair in the outlying areas of San Francisco

    as to the parge coat all the way to dirt, it's quite common around here for older houses, all the neighbors houses with stucco are like this and my brother's 1940 era house also has parging over foundation

    i agree there is hope given its low price, there may be multiple foundation cracks but considering the age (1958) of the house it may even be normal from soil settling? the house appears level and plumb, the cracks i can see are not wide gap, it's a one story house should be pretty easy to work on, the stucco outside framing is in good condition, i've been poking around i doubt there is too much dry rot or termite damage, this should be pretty straight forward problem to work on, ie. remove the parge coat, patch the corners, extend downsprouts, fill the cracks with epoxy, etc

    is my assessment correct?

    Last edited by ywongyzh; 12-08-2010 at 10:56 PM.

  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    Just so you know that the prices you quoted for what is was worth and what the mortgage was is completely whacked

    "255k in 2002, the 340k was probably the mortgage owned to the bank"

    Those were make believe fantasy prices. That is what went wrong with the housing market (one of the things)

    That home was really only worth the price you think it may go for on bid (130) when it sold for 255k in 2002. By the looks of just the picks we see it was probably not worth that.

    Sorry but California started living in Disneyland way back when Disneyland was built.

    As in your Gov is declaring a state of emergency because they owe 130 or 140 billion over what it takes in.

    Truly something to think about. Some day California is going to come back to reality.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    Quote Originally Posted by ywongyzh View Post
    i agree there is hope given its low price, there may be multiple foundation cracks but considering the age (1958) of the house it may even be normal from soil settling? the house appears level and plumb, the cracks i can see are not wide gap, it's a one story house should be pretty easy to work on, the stucco outside framing is in good condition, i've been poking around i doubt there is too much dry rot or termite damage, this should be pretty straight forward problem to work on, ie. remove the parge coat, patch the corners, extend downspouts, fill the cracks with epoxy, etc

    is my assessment correct?
    Those are worse than average cracks IMO, and they are at the corners, not a good thing. Epoxy will mask the problem but is not a real fix. A cracked corner will allow the perimeter wall to tilt out of plumb. The crack from the window to the wall on the inside is also at a corner.
    So the repair should involve reinforcing the corners to stop movement.
    That is why I suggest digging down to see what those walls are resting on. If they were simply poured in a dirt trench without a wide footing under them, that explains the cracking and means future trouble.

    House prices are all relative to where you live or want to live.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Those are worse than average cracks IMO, and they are at the corners, not a good thing. Epoxy will mask the problem but is not a real fix. A cracked corner will allow the perimeter wall to tilt out of plumb. The crack from the window to the wall on the inside is also at a corner.
    So the repair should involve reinforcing the corners to stop movement.
    That is why I suggest digging down to see what those walls are resting on. If they were simply poured in a dirt trench without a wide footing under them, that explains the cracking and means future trouble.

    House prices are all relative to where you live or want to live.
    I do not agree with that and never had. Over priced Real Estate is just over priced Real Estate no matter where you live. Just because homes are selling fo 3 times what they are really worth it does not make them worth that 3 times more than what they are worth.

    I know that sounds foolish but just take a good look at California and Florida. My nieces house went from 240,000 to 425,000 and then when reality came to play it suddenly was not worth any more than 275 and that was stretching it.

    I think it was Jerry Peck I had a discussion with before the crash talking of the foolishness California was going thru and how the home were only worth half at tha very best and more likely a third of what they were being bought for. He came back with the exact same tune you did. Again, we see what happened and we all knew it would happen so the fact of the matter that housing prices are not relevant to where you live. Housing prices that are inflated are just that. Inflated housing prices and only a fool (sorry for those that did it) would buy a home after years of inflated prices drive a home from 150,000 to 600,000 and we certainly saw how many fools there are out there.

    I told my nephew "buy silver now. By the end of next year the prices will be up to $30.00 or better an ounce and when they hit 30 sell. The prices were only 17 an ounce at the latter part of 2009. Now for those fools that bought silver at 30.00 thinking it is on the rise and they better buy in now........well, it is already back down to 28.60 an ounce. It may pop back up again but will crash big time as soon as the dollar gets a little of it's value back.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 12-10-2010 at 06:41 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    [quote=Ted Menelly;153183]I do not agree with that and never had. Over priced Real Estate is just over priced Real Estate no matter where you live. Just because homes are selling fo 3 times what they are really woorth it does not make them worth that 3 times more than what they are worth.

    I agree Ted... very well put!

    A house like that in our area would sell between 100k-150K. Is it worth more in CA then MI, no the house is the same house. Yes location, location, location. Property values can vary, however a house is a house.

    This home also has been poorly maintained. Look at the pic of the front of the house. I think the gutters need mowed...buyer needs to have this house checked thouroughly.

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  10. #10
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    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    WTFs up with them not letting perspective bidders go in the house?

    I wouldn't go near that house...let the bank choke on it. What I can see on the surface of every foreclosed home I've inspected is just the beginning...things are much worse when you start crawling around the attic and crawlspace. Keep your cash in hand...housing prices are heading lower.

    We've given the banks enough money. When you do purchase try to purchase a house that's owner occupied and even better... For Sale by Owner. Helps an everyday person out and allows them to move to wherever in search of another job.


  11. #11

    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Those are worse than average cracks IMO, and they are at the corners, not a good thing. Epoxy will mask the problem but is not a real fix. A cracked corner will allow the perimeter wall to tilt out of plumb. The crack from the window to the wall on the inside is also at a corner.
    So the repair should involve reinforcing the corners to stop movement.
    That is why I suggest digging down to see what those walls are resting on. If they were simply poured in a dirt trench without a wide footing under them, that explains the cracking and means future trouble.

    House prices are all relative to where you live or want to live.
    It depends on the area. For example in La it is common to find corner cracks on foundations, even where a small chunk like that has separated. Other than termite risks or moisture intrusion on the framing, onebody will complain about that in here; it is just not considered serious here for some reason. In FL I know anything over a few millimiters will set of people screaming so I guess you need to ask the local folk. Just my 2 cents...


  12. #12
    Bruce Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    If you do not have the time or means to get this inspected properly. Run like hell. Not worth the time.


  13. #13
    ywongyzh's Avatar
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    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    i agree CA was crazy several years back, if you bought in 1998, your house would go up around 3x at the peak in 2006, no matter if it was good or bad area, rising tide lifts all boat, however, with the recent crash, those areas near coveted metro SF are still holding their values pretty well, not so with the area where this house is, 2 bridges and 30 miles from SF, even though this is a very nice small town with very low crime rate, residents are mostly middle class folks, however property values have plummeted, thus it presents a good value, i don't see prices can go much lower in this area, it already got at least a 50% haircut, it fared a bit better than the ghetto city next to it, that got a 75% drop from its high

    as to whether houses near SF and LA should fetch more, yes a house is a house, in terms of its building cost, but we all know location matters, and the fact its close to metro areas with its employment opportunities, cultural and recreational amenities should fetch more value, whether it should go up as much as it did was debatable, what makes it a hyper bubble was that even far away less desirable areas also went up at the same rate as the metro area, now those ghetto areas have crashed the hardest

    bummer they didn't open the house probably because it was the last day of the open houses plus it was raining, and the dude they hired got lazy and just didn't bother to open the door, it happens.....yes the gutters are full of weeds, to be expected for a house left vacant since june, however it was owner occupied, looks like the roof and gutters are pretty new, he put on new windows, other than the foundation issues and possible termite, another thing is the original piping if they are cast iron may be corroded and leaking under the house, that 's why i appreciate your advice to crawl underneath, other than these it looks like a cosmetic fixer


  14. #14
    ywongyzh's Avatar
    ywongyzh Guest

    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Adams View Post
    If you do not have the time or means to get this inspected properly. Run like hell. Not worth the time.

    could you elaborate? i understand foundation issues sound pretty scary, but its not like this house is falling off its foundation, i knew a guy who bought a 500k house for 270k because it had some foundation problems and no body would touch it until he got it at an auction, turned out he got it fixed for about 15k from a contractor

    if this house has a market value of 200k and you can get it for 120k i think it may be well worth it, as i said before, my plan of attack is to inject epoxy into cracks (easy), carbon fibre strap (probably not necessary), direct water away from perimeter, patch the corners, bolt down foundation ( future project), all the existing problems can be remedied quite easily, i am not a professional but looks i can even do bulk of the work myself, my rationale is the house was built in 1958 and it does not look like it's crumbling anytime soon

    another gentleman from Texas mentioned the parge coat should not go all the way to the dirt, i 've been driving around yesterday and noticed all the older stucco houses around here (not built in the last 30 years) have parging over foundation like this one


  15. #15
    Bruce Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    Quote Originally Posted by ywongyzh View Post
    could you elaborate? i understand foundation issues sound pretty scary, but its not like this house is falling off its foundation, i knew a guy who bought a 500k house for 270k because it had some foundation problems and no body would touch it until he got it at an auction, turned out he got it fixed for about 15k from a contractor

    if this house has a market value of 200k and you can get it for 120k i think it may be well worth it, as i said before, my plan of attack is to inject epoxy into cracks (easy), carbon fibre strap (probably not necessary), direct water away from perimeter, patch the corners, bolt down foundation ( future project), all the existing problems can be remedied quite easily, i am not a professional but looks i can even do bulk of the work myself, my rationale is the house was built in 1958 and it does not look like it's crumbling anytime soon

    another gentleman from Texas mentioned the parge coat should not go all the way to the dirt, i 've been driving around yesterday and noticed all the older stucco houses around here (not built in the last 30 years) have parging over foundation like this one
    By your pictures this home has a major foundation problems, that will need to be addressed. The stucco material does not appear to be properly installed. What else is wrong with this home? I would recommend that a good Home Inspector and a Structural Engineer inspect the home for other problems. Why is the foundation failing. You need to know before going in and buying something you can not sale. If you have the needed inspections on the home and they say you can make the repairs at a reasonable cost then good, buy the home and good luck. If you buy the home and get into it and you have to spend the bank on the home, your stuck with it. The price of homes has not bottomed out yet. Be sure you know what you are buying. I know of too many people that have bought bank owned homes that have lost on them this day and time.
    Bruce Adams


  16. #16
    ywongyzh's Avatar
    ywongyzh Guest

    Default Re: vertical foundation crack loose parge coat

    somebody won the house for $123k today, however subject to bank's approval, meaning the winning bid is below bank's reserve, i was gunning for a steal at under 100k, but even at 123k it was not a bad price considering the neighborhood is around 250k, if he put down 40k for repair he would still come out ahead, good luck to the dude who got it, hope it's not too serious a problem


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