Foundation cracks

Old 08-30-06, 06:47 AM
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Foundation cracks

I've noticed some recent settling on one side of my 1929 home. There are a couple of new cracks in the concrete block foundation, and some cracks in the brick mortar on both the front and back of the house. No recent changes have been made to the house, yard, etc.

What is the best way to proceed? I've talked to several people around here, but no one has any recommendations for people to talk to.

Should I start with an engineer? (structural, or otherwise?) or should I talk to a foundation contractor first?
Old 08-31-06, 03:19 AM
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Strange that this is happening all of a sudden after all this time but mother nature does live on despite the semi permanent state of a good block masonry foundation. Even they can show signs of deterioration after many years of battling the physics of weight, motion and time.

Is the structure a full basement or a crawl space? After all, a basement is normally excavated much deeper and footings are placed on undisturbed soil that has usually been subject to more weight than top layers. However, water pressure and weight of backfill against basement walls continues on sometimes increasing over the years. The quality of concrete and mortar in recent years has likely increased when compared to raw aggregate taken unwashed from a local pit and used to mix concrete in 1929.

Let's start on the bottom rung and think about quantifying the damage. This means you need to assess the damage. Any good foundation contractor should be able to shoot the corners of that structure with a transit for level and check the foundation with a tightly stretched string for strait assuming the foundation was strait and level to begin with. If you determine any major deviation exists then it may be time to consult an engineer and find out the whys and establish a plan of correction.

Good luck.


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