Foundation Crack - big problem?


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Old 04-06-09, 02:55 PM
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Foundation Crack - big problem?

Hi All,
I'm considering making an offer on a house that has a foundation crack. here's a link to an image of it.

http://www.dhumpherys.com/crack.jpg

There doesn't seem to be any water damage, or musty smeel in the basement, which is finished on that side.

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?
Does this look like a serious problem?
Any thoughts on how much it would cost to fix?

any advice helpful.

David
 
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Old 04-06-09, 03:10 PM
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Just a quick comment. It is moving as you can see where it has been patched before. Resolving why it is moving is more important than fixing it. Age of house? pictures of the landscape around the house? Does it have gutters? Are the leaders drained away from the house? Has the soil settled next to the foundation? Soil types as best you can tell?

Bud
 
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Old 04-06-09, 04:20 PM
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Thanks for the reply bud.
The house was built in 1964... it's a split-ranch
It does have gutters, but the crack is on the side that's the end of the house - so no gutters necessary (if that makes sense).

They do have the gutters drained away from the house, but they are tunneled extention things that are buried. I couldn't tell how long they have been that way.

The general soil is just normal - dirt with grass on top. It didn't seem overly soft or hard.

Here's a pic that's a bit further away. I don't have anything else that shows the yard real well.
http://www.dhumpherys.com/crack2.jpg

thanks for your help!
 
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Old 04-06-09, 06:02 PM
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The farther away you get the better it looks. If a wall is pulling away from the house, there will generally be two or more cracks. If a section of the footing/foundation is sinking, there may only be one crack. If the crack is opening on the top, then one or both sides are sinking or pulling away. This logic doesn't apply to all cracks, but the thinking process can point you to the problem it there is one.

Built id 64, I don't think it is going anywhere. Rebar inside and simple to patch so I don't see a problem.

Now the siding, looks like the old asbestos I used to install. Not sure, but it can be a touchy subject with some people.

Good Luck,
Bud
 
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Old 04-06-09, 07:00 PM
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Bud, take a look at the siding sagging towards the fireplace. On a plane line, it looks to me down 2" lower. Just from the pictures I'd say the chimney is leaning in to the house, settling un-even, and the wall foundation broke there.

Put a bubble level on the bricks, one end on ground, measure for out of plumb. Then repeat, this time as high as you can hold the level up over your head and still see the bubble for plumb. Add the two measurements?

Can I get a picture of the chimney:

1. from the frontyard, include the house corner;

2. from the backyard, include the house corner? I hope I'm wrong. Be safe, GBR
 
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Old 04-06-09, 07:40 PM
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GBR, I couldn't tell whether that was the fishbowl optics effect or a shift, but upon reviewing the pictures again, it does seem to bend right on the crack. If it has moved that much, you would think there would be other indications, but spackle and paint can hide a lot.

More pictures and perhaps an inspection of the rest of the walls and foundation would help.

Bud
 
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Old 04-07-09, 05:01 AM
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That is a nasty one and I am willing to bet the house has settled out of level. Shoot the corners with a transit and check for plumb walls. You better also pull a string along the walls to see how or if they are bowing in also The last time I saw cracks like that in a basement wall we found it was out of level by 6". It was built on a footing poured on about a foot of black muck over about 12 more feet of white Marl or loon $h*t call it what you like. We had extensive repairs to that place having to rip up floor and jet down 4" pipe casing piling and pour a grade beam atop them with fingers going beneath the footing. Wasn't a whole lot of additional options. House should never have been built there in the first place.

bs5
 
 

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