New Foundation Crack?


Old 01-15-10, 07:54 AM
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New Foundation Crack?


I have discovered an additional crack in my foundation. The crack in question starts from the bottom (as much as I can see due to the backfill). and winds its way 'up' but not totally to the top of the wall (as far as I can see with the naked eye anyway).

The crack is hairline in nature.

The house is 8 years old, there are other cracks in the foundation but this something that I did not notice before.

I am quite vigilent with regards to checking my foundation....I bought the house 6 mos ago...however it was in the summer and I may have missed it due to sunlight, dirt in the crack , etc.

The crack itself is not 'stepped'... that is I can place a straight edge across it at various points and it is dead level on both sides.

The ground slopes away quite considerably in this area so I don't think it is a water problem.

The crack is located on the left side of the house about 3/4 down toward the back of the house.

The temperature was -8 degrees c when I found the crack....would summertime temperatures hide a hairline crack?

I have included a picture, however it does not go all the way to the top (where the vynil siding starts). I only captured the area where I could visually see the there is about a 2 to 3 inch area above the picture where the crack tappers off...ends...where the foundation is sound.

It is difficult to see, but it starts to the right of the foundation vertical 'seam'.

Thanking you in advance

- Jim

Foundations pictures by Mach73 - Photobucket
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Old 01-15-10, 10:31 AM
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more information for whomever responds....

Can you tell me whether this looks like an old crack or a new one? I think you can zoom in on the picture with photobucket. ALso, there is plant growth (folage) in this area during the summer time...right up against the foundatation...There is a very good chance I missed it during the home inspection due to the plant growth. Now that winter has arrived, more foundation is exposed.
Old 01-15-10, 02:54 PM
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Cement by nature will crack. You checked with straight edge and found no offset. Thats good. You can monitor this over time for spreading but if the house was built to code then there should be at least 4 continuous rebar running through the foundation to prevent spreading. Water and air could attack the rebar within and cause some rusting but this is very slow and probably won't be an issue.

As temperature changes your foundation will change also, not always the way you think. An expansion/contraction in one area could cause a crack in another to open/close.

If the crack stays closed on the top and continues to open on the bottom or vice versa then you have a problem.

Enjoy your house
Old 01-15-10, 04:41 PM
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All building materials will contract as their temperature goes down. This can make a very small crack open because the wall shrinks between the cracks and the cracks get larger and more noticeable. A crack will also be narrower in the summer than in the winter unless there are severe moisture changes.

The pattern of the cracks and the variations in widths in different places at the same time are clue to the cause of the cracks.

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