Crack in bricks and foundation serious?

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  #1  
Old 08-18-12, 09:10 AM
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Crack in bricks and foundation serious?

Hello all,

First time poster here so go easy on me.

I just noticed in the corner of my house a crack coming down from the bricks into the foundation. Can anyone tell me if this is looks serious? also how I can fix it?

Below are a couple pictures of the crack:

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Old 08-18-12, 02:51 PM
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Welcome to the forums! You have had some foundation settlement. May not be serious, but since the crack goes below grade, it is a prime place for water to find it's way to your basement, if you have one. Is this the only crack you see?
 
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Old 08-18-12, 03:18 PM
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Appears to be a combination of a few things--corner settlement of the foundation's footings, weakness in the wall itself below the brick, combined with not enough brick ties holding the brick to the wall. Not really serious if it doesn't get any worse--if it does, then it's time to determine exactly what is causing it. The specific repair depends on what needs to be done to correct it.

It's not unusual to see minor corner settlement in some foundations, often caused by incomplete subgrade compaction in the corner(s) of the footing trench. Usually diminishes to nothing after a few years. More serious and continuing settlement could be caused by subsurface water movement, resulting from plumbing leaks, improper surface drainage, roof downspouts too short, or perimeter drain failure. Time to do some detective work in the basement or crawl space, looking for indications to help pin down the cause of the settlement.
 
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Old 08-18-12, 04:05 PM
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Two questions that come to me as I look at your photos:
  1. The downspout we can see appears to be fed into a plastic pipe. What happens to the water then? Is is taken away from the house to flow out into the yard somewhere?
  2. What is to the left of the deck board, or the piece of 1x6, that is standing next to the downspout? IOW, what do the side of the house, and the foundation, look like around the corner?
 
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Old 08-18-12, 04:33 PM
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The two pics are OK so far as they go, but cracks also need to be shown in their context. A few wider-angle pics showing alittle more of the house would give a better view of what might be going on.
 
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Old 08-18-12, 04:33 PM
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The photos are a little to close and detailed to give a good picture of the structure and other possible problems. the cracks shown seem fairly recent and the knee-jerk reaction is to just fill them with some "gloop", but there may be more to situation including the site and location.

Dick
 
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Old 08-19-12, 09:19 AM
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First of all, thanks everyone for the quick replies.

Here are two more further shots that might help:

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chandler- I also have a much smaller crack in the front corner of my house. It's tiny. It's been the same way for almost 3 years.

Nashkat1 - The downspout carries the water to the garden. Around the corner the foundation looks fine. No cracks.


My basement is finished so hard to see if any water has seeped in. The drywall in that area looks fine. I guess I would have to open it up to make sure.
 
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Old 08-19-12, 10:00 AM
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My basement is finished so hard to see if any water has seeped in. The drywall in that area looks fine. I guess I would have to open it up to make sure.
Probably so. We only discovered damage to the framing in the finished basement of our middle son's former house when he decided to renovate that corner, and pulled the drywall. He immediately went outside with a shovel and dug up the soil drain for the downspout just outside. Turned out it ended maybe 2' down. Just ended; not even a gravel pit. He hauled it out, shoveled all the dirt back in the hole, and let the pipe trail across the planting bed out toward the grass.

We reworked the framing and left the wall open, for drying and observation, for 2 or 3 weeks. All remained dry, so we finished it out. Everything was still good when they sold the place 3 or 4 years later.

Seems hardly worth the effort in your case, since you know where the water goes.
 
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Old 08-19-12, 01:30 PM
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From what I can see it appears a good foundation sealing system was used, so quite possibly you won't have any problems with this small crack. I would keep an eye on it and if it gets worse, plan B. Any others comment on the waterproofing membrane. Is that what you see?
 
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Old 08-20-12, 06:31 AM
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Ok, so I guess I will keep an eye on it for the time being. The problem is I never noticed this crack before and not sure when it started. It may have been there when we purchased the home 2-3 years ago, but because it's on the side of the house which I never pass by I may have missed it.

Should I attempt to fill it with anything?
 
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Old 08-20-12, 12:17 PM
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I would use a siliconized latex caulk but would not try to completely fill the crack, just enough to keep water out of it.
 
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Old 08-21-12, 07:25 AM
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cracks like this often appear in times of drought like we have seen this year in a large part of the country. A lack of water sometimes causes the subsoil under the foundation to compress more than it did in the past and it can create such cracks. Not sure this is what you have but it is very possible. I am seeing it on the old section of my house because we know we have alot of organic fill on the one side and every time we get a drought the foundation settles and the cracks open up again.
 
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Old 08-21-12, 07:33 AM
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We definitely had some serious drought this year in my area. I'm just wondering if structurally I should be concerned?
 
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Old 08-21-12, 10:57 AM
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Probably not - but now that you know it's there, keep an eye on it so you can track any changes.
 
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