Basement foundation: light bowing and cracks


Old 03-22-17, 12:47 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Columbus, OH
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Basement foundation: light bowing and cracks

I'm looking at purchasing a house. In the basement there are signs of very slight bowing and some cracking.

There are no visible leaks....and...... the disclosure form says there is/has been no leaks. It does say there is some bulging - and there isn't much - maybe 1/4".

The house was build in 1964, in central Ohio. It's a ranch with a 1/2 basement and crawl space.

Of course - I'm having a structural engineer look at it - but I wanted to get some feedback from here as well.

I have 7 pictures - PLEASE - take a look and comment.
I am going to ask as remedy but what would fixing this look like?

What does it run to have those carbon fiber repairs done - and do you think it would be needed here?


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Last edited by PJmax; 03-22-17 at 01:18 PM. Reason: added/enhanced pics from links.
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Old 03-22-17, 06:41 PM
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From a pure visual perspective there is nothing I see in these pictures that I have not seen in other block basements.
Old 03-23-17, 02:08 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 116
That sort of stuff scares me. If that were me I would walk away. When structural integrity is or has degraded thats a red flag for me. And in these times when more and more people have no issue in lying or 'managing' the issue your risk on not getting the true story increases. Risk = not knowing. Can a structural engineering determine that all of that movement happened years ago, or happened over the course of 40+ years, or did it all happen last year and is actually the real true reason for the seller to be selling. Do your due diligence!

Now if the whole house is a bargain fix-er-up-er and you know you have to put money into it, and you're fine fixing the basement if it gets worse then it might not be such a big deal, but I'm guessing that not to be the case since you are in this forum asking.

Use a plumb bob and measure the gap from the line to the wall. Do that at the top, bottom, and where the bow seems to be the most out. You can take more measuring samples if you like. Give that to the engineer, and post it here if you want.

How to Measure the Amount of Lean, Bow, or Bulge in a Masonry Building Wall
Old 03-23-17, 08:49 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 116
Another reference to cracked walls:
Basement Cracks and Leaks | The ASHI Reporter | Inspection News & Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

There is good reading in both of them.

It looks like both walls have cracking in them. And in the 2nd picture from the bottom, the right side wall looks bowed a fair bit to me, but that might be the image playing with my eyes. And I'm really not qualified to pass any judgement, but it does look like a fair bit to me, especially when I size it up with the windows.

Best wishes!
Old 03-27-17, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 16
Stair stepping cracks you usually want to have a professional look at. Given that it's stair stepping and bowing there's likely some hydraulic pressure causing the issue. Is the water run off from the down spouts ran away from the house correctly? What about the grading away from the house?
Old 11-08-17, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 128
Your basement has similar cracks to ours. Just had a fellow come in and putting carbon fiber on two walls, every 4 feet, tied into rim board and floor, double weave ... 15 of them .. a total of $8400. What did you end up doing? I was expecting a price 1/2 that ... although I know nothing about the product .. 1/2 that sat better financially I guess.

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