Shrinkage Cracks in Foundation?


Old 04-11-13, 03:39 PM
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Shrinkage Cracks in Foundation?

Hello, these are photos from the home inspection on a house I'm looking at buying. The inspector says they're shrinkage cracks and nothing to worry about. Can anyone here confirm? I want to be 100% sure.

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Old 04-11-13, 03:42 PM
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The first and second almost certainly are, but the third one looks to have displacement.
Old 04-11-13, 04:04 PM
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How can you tell if there is displacement, and what would you do about it?

Old 04-11-13, 05:27 PM
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Is there a basement? if so, what does the foundation look like on the other side?
Old 04-11-13, 05:31 PM
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yes but its finished, so you cant see the inside of the foundation
Old 04-11-13, 07:03 PM
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I would be concerned about water getting in (especially on the third one), hard to know at this point.
Old 04-11-13, 07:35 PM
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Yeah I was going to seal them as best I can
Old 04-11-13, 08:34 PM
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shrinkage cracks

to me they look like settleing cracks and don't think it is a big deal, if you want tyo fix them all you have to do is v out the cracks about an inch deep and get 1/4 inch backer rod stuff into crack the best you can and use a hyd. cement add with a concret binder you can get at any hardware store or lumber yard
Old 04-12-13, 11:42 AM
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The level of worry you should have would depend on your perspective.

Could cracks like this lead to leaks in the basement? yes and that could cause problems for you.

Could the slight settlement that appears to be evident on the third picture lead to cracked drywall and binding windows? Yes and that could cause problems for you.

Does it appear as though the buidling is structurally unsound? Highly unlikely.

The one foundation wall of my home sits on top of Peat and as such it rises and falls seamingly at will. The fix to eliminate it is beyond my budget so I live with some cracked drywall and other minor issues. Still I sleep like a baby because the house is sound, the roof is water tight and 25 years later I am still here. I would say that by the looks of your pictures this home has a tiny fraction of the issues that mine does. The question is what can and will you be willing to live with.
Old 04-12-13, 04:16 PM
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You can never be 100% certain from pics, but those cracks are typical of CMU wall shrinkage. If the crack is roughly the same width top-to-bottom, that suggests normal shrinkage. If it is noticeably wider at one end compared with the other, that could suggest settlement.
Some blocks shrink more than others, and the amount of shrinkage depends on the block-type, the mortar used, and weather conditions when they were laid.
A long wall (greater than 30ft) will usually crack somewhere near the middle.
Old 04-12-13, 04:23 PM
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All good advice so far. Whose inspector is it? Did you hire him independently or was he a referral from the Real Estate agent? If the latter, get one on your own. He is just there to facilitate a sale, and will gloss over some things in order to get you to think it is "nothing to worry about" and buy the house. Just be cautious.

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