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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    81

    Default Poured concrete foundation

    13 year old home with numerous cold joints in foundation. A few joints have cracks. Should I recommend an engineer?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Poured concrete foundation

    If not an engineer, then at least an evaluation by a qualified testing lab. It almost looks as if the two separate placements took place on different days, with the mud intentionally floated smooth along the edge of the first placement. And that concrete looks like it was poured extremely "loose," meaning an abnormally high slump. With a corresponding high water-cement ratio, which is usually an indicator of low strength and questionable durability.

    Is that daylight streaming through the ceiling? The one missing its insulation?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Poured concrete foundation

    What puzzles me each time I come back and look at the photos is the nice, straight, angle between the lifts, certainly not a random up-down variation as the concrete was being placed.

    Is almost as though the top of the forms were angled like that and then someone realized 'Oh, wait, that is the slope of the grade outside the forms ... we want a horizontal and level top to build on.'

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Poured concrete foundation

    Oops--my bad! Tired old eyes mistook reflections off duct work as daylight.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Poured concrete foundation

    The rebar is in there to hold the top and bottom together, we hope. Sure, call for an expert opinion.

    Bridgeman may be correct. A very fluid mix could flow and leave a straight line like that after the first pour. Something caused a delay there, but the forms were built full height, just looking at the seams.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 02-15-2014 at 09:47 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Poured concrete foundation

    I have seen this hundreds of times and as an engineer it usually does not bother me too much. But I have not seen distinct cracks at the cold joints. That would concern me a bit, especially if there were any signs of lateral movement. Due to the cracks calling for an engineer would be justified.

    If rebar was present then structurally this would not be a concern, but residential foundations in my area never have rebar.

    Regarding the nice straight lines, that is what you get when you add water to the concrete to make it flow nicely.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Poured concrete foundation

    Although I did not notice any water stains, it may be prone to water entry 'if' the cracks go through to exterior. It could get costly to repair leakage even if the wall is stable.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Poured concrete foundation

    I have seen this exact thing a few years (20+, at a retail strip center in NJ) ago on a commercial job where the last concrete delivery truck was late and we ended up taking it down and redoing it after testing came back with issues

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: Poured concrete foundation

    I agree, the crack is a concern, you could check with a level against the wall to see if there is a bow in it, unless you already did, for lateral movement.

    The other issue I see is it looks like vertical cracks by the window corners and one looks like it goes to the floor, at least out of the picture. I know the corners are a weak area, but you have both vertical and horizontal cracking, and like others said, maybe a questionable poor, so yeah, I agree with the engineer call.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Manitoba
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Poured concrete foundation

    If I saw this I would have a coniption. Never are you aloud to add water on site to a pour that was sent from the mixer. The company that brought the concrete has 1 1/2 hours to pour the concete in the forms from when it was made unless an admixture was introduced to extend the pour time. The pour height "drop of concrete into the forms" should never exceed 4'. And the pour should not be done in temperatures below 10 degrees celcius unless the forms are heated or kept warm so the temp does not fall below 10 degrees. I would have them perform a do over and start new if this was my place. I realize this is not a recent pour, but those horizontal cracks are significant. Like another said, water penetration into the foudation is likely. What about hydrolic load! the problems that can happen in the future could add up to some $$$$$.

    Last edited by Griffen; 02-17-2014 at 10:58 AM. Reason: ad info

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Poured concrete foundation

    Photo 4, is there also a vertical control-joint crack?

    Sometimes those cold joint cracks allow water in, sometimes not... at that point in time.
    They can/could get wider and then allow water in.

    Can get wider in coming months/years due to lateral soil pressure and-or possible tree roots against basement wall or if there's a porch footing or driveway slab(s) that could settle against foundation wall and other possible scenarios

    All you can do is try and inform HO's of these/other possible future problem, causes, costs etc

    If HO's want to get an SE opinion then of course,by all means, have at it.


    Diagonal cracks here widened, due to lateral soil pressure. HO hired an interior drainage system company who installed an interior system and patched, injected cracks on the inside.
    Picasa Web Albums - LeakyBasement - Basement Wate...

    Interior systems don't relieve, reduce any soil pressure etc against walls.

    Same house, a control joint crack etc, still leaks, interior system installed here too
    Picasa Web Albums - LeakyBasement - Basement Wate...


    Us waterproofing a control joint crack,rod holes etc outside... HO just bought house, basement is finished
    Picasa Web Albums - LeakyBasement - Basement Wate...
    interior injections don't seal/fix any OTHER possible exterior openings/gaps/joints that fairly often exist just ABOVE a crack and water can certainly enter these
    Picasa Web Albums - LeakyBasement - Basement Wate...
    When there are other exterior openings like this, then homeowners who had an injection done on the inside will still leak (see screwdriver, and there were other ext openings above wall not visible in pic)

    Last edited by John Bubber; 02-21-2014 at 01:32 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Manitoba
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Poured concrete foundation

    One reason that control joints may not leak is that a suitable caulk is to be applied to the control joint.


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