Foundation still shifting?


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Old 08-10-06, 03:59 AM
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Foundation still shifting?

I purchased a home in April built in the 60's in an area that has had shifting causing foundation problems. The seller had the foundation repaired at closing and the engineer's inspection came back good.

There were cracks in the interior walls. After I moved in, about a month, I went and marked where the cracks stopped so that I could determine if they were getting worse and decided to wait a few months before I fixed all of the cracks.....well...now I'm seeing that the cracks are progressing a little...maybe half an inch since May in a few of the rooms.

What I'm wondering is if this is normal or is my foundation shifting again? Thoughts? The people at the foundation repair company the seller used are on vacation this week so they won't get back with me till next week...just thought I'd see if anyone had any input on this. Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 08-10-06, 06:50 AM
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Foundation still shifting?

I assume the cracks are in wood frame/sheetrock walls and not masonry walls. The relatively short term between the past repair and today makes it difficult to determine the cause of the new cracks.

Marking existing cracks is good to identify them for future reference.

Unfortunately, the cracks in a wood frame/sheetrock walls are difficult to assess since they respond unpredictably to short term changes in moisture and temperature in addition to any foundation movement that could result in cracks. You may just be looking at the short term changes in the above grade structure and not the differential movement of the foundation. The type of foundation (continuous, piers, etc.) has an effect on the possibilities.

Fortunately, there are methods to measure and not just estimate crack movement and activity in all types of walls. The measurement of activity for concrete walls are more accurate, while wood has more factors affecting the short term.

It is possible to purchase DIY adhesive crack measuement devices. The interpretation is difficult for the untrained or unexperienced.

The fact that the repairing company shuts down for a vacation during a potential busy season, indicates the size of the company and the dedication to professional customer satisfaction. I would document any attempts to get information. Since you did not have the repairs done, you may not be entitled to future guarantees and quick action may not be expected.

You may want to explore areas where someone might be able to examine the actual foundation (not easy to do or clean normally).

All this may scare you, but if you are looking a sheetrock crack extending just a 1/2" in length during a seasonal change and not a 1/2" widening of a crack, then immediate action is not required.

Since you are in an area that has had a history of foundation problems, it would be prudent and take action to determine the long term foundation condition with a professional and not with a repair company. An initial investigation and annual observations will save more sleep than a new mattress.

Dick
 
 

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