foundations probs?????

Old 12-18-06, 11:32 AM
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foundations probs?????

3 !/2 years ago we bought a new home. Recently we have notices some fine hairline separation on the mortar joints at bottom corners of windows, in basement area, that are "stair stepping" downward to the ground. these 'cracks' are very fine.less than a sixteenth. And they are not prominent at every window. We have no problems with the inside doors sticking. We were wondering if this is just a natural process of the foundation settling in or are we in for more unexpected problems?
Thanks for your input
Old 12-18-06, 07:16 PM
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Over the years, a block foundation can actually shrink as the hydration process takes place. Mid wall location and areas beneath windows and atop door openings are especially suceptable as water leaves the mortar and block. When it's all said and done, something has to give. A 30' X 40' house has 103 8X8X16 concrete Masonry units lined up end to end for one course of block, there might be a total of 12 courses to make up an entire basement wall. If each block and joint shrinks a half of a half of a per cent......well, you do the math.

It sounds to me llike your walls are beginning to show the effects of seasoning over the years. Nothing more ...nothing less. From this vantage point and even though it can't be seen, I say don't worry about it. Should they ever actually seperate or change plane, than some concern might be called for.

Old 12-18-06, 07:31 PM
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CMU is at its maximum size when it leaves the steam room. Brick, on the other hand, is at its minimum size at the same point. Some mortar joint cracking is to be expected; areas of concern are where the crack does not follow a joint or is semi-symetrical around a given point.

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