Foundation Wall Cracks New Construction Home Please Help

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  #1  
Old 12-07-16, 08:01 AM
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Question Foundation Wall Cracks New Construction Home Please Help

Hello all I am new to the Forum, but have been following the site for a while.

I would really appreciate it if you can share your 2 cents on the wall cracks that I have noticed a couple of weeks on our 2-story New Construction home located in Florida.
Home was probably finished sometime in March 2016. We purchased it at the end of May 2016 and started living in it at the end of July 2016.
I have noticed alot of cracks about 2 weeks ago right after the few nights where the temperature dropped into 40F.
I do not think that the cracks were there earlier than that because I do my own yard work and I am around the home at least twice a week.
This winter has been dry and have not rained for a good 2 months. Yesterday finally we had a few showers.
I have not seen any cracks on the second floor interior and exterior.
The ones I have found are all in the 1st floor.
Cracks are mostly on the left wall of the home. Maybe around 5 or 6.
2 Cracks are in the back wall only under the 2 window frames.
3 to 4 cracks in the Right wall of the home.
They all are hariline cracks at the moment, but I am concerned since it is not only 1-2 cracks we are talking about.
Builder wants to just seal from outside.
The Garage left wall which is concrete block has hairline cracks that through the block and matches the cracked locations in the stucco.


There are couple of doors not closing properly in the home, but these were there when we moved in and they are in the second floor.
No cracks in door frames or around door frames.
No issues when opening or closing windows.
No funny sounds at night.
Garage floor has only a couple of hairline cracks far away from the expansion cuts.

I appreciate your time and advice.
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Last edited by Shadeladie; 12-08-16 at 09:28 AM.
  #2  
Old 12-13-16, 05:08 PM
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It is normal to see some cracking in concrete, I've had cracks in basements, driveways, garages. Not a question of if, just when!!

The one picture that you posted that got my interest is the block wall but would be related to improper support.

Is the entire house block?
 
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Old 12-23-16, 11:49 AM
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I appreciate it.
Only the 1st floor is concrete. 2nd floor is frame and stucco.
No basement. This is in Florida Slab-on-grade foundation.
I understand settlement cracks are expected, but 15-20 cracks in 6 months sounds a little too much.
It looks like the county does not require any soil testing load borings prior to building.
The builder just shaves the ground and starts building.
The builder only promises they will compacting the soil at 95% if the area was a disturbed location. The county does not test or verifies for compaction either.
It i hard to believe there are stricter building codes in a state like FL where sinkholes and bad soil is very common.

The builder says these are just minor settlement hairline cracks. Supposedly cosmetic, but the guys who is saying that is not a structural engineer and has been in construction customer service no more than a year.

The builder wants to just caulk and paint.

What do you guys think?
 
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Old 12-29-16, 01:06 PM
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Any comments?

Any comments or input.

Best regards
 
  #5  
Old 12-29-16, 01:20 PM
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Hi SW, I'm not a pro on this, but to get the builders attention I would hire a structural engineer to have him examine the problem and render a professional opinion. Two advantages, if he say it is just cosmetic then his insurance will back up that opinion and if he says it is a problem he can advise on how it needs to be fixed.

My personal opinion is, way too soon to be seeing that many cracks.

Bud
 
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Old 12-31-16, 03:17 PM
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I agree with what was posted earlier. These cracks look perfectly normal, especially in a wall that is built from concrete block. If it was a poured concrete wall or the cracks were through the blocks instead of between them I would be more worried but minor cracks between the joints in concrete blocks is very normal and expected.

Do you know if the stucco on that level of your home was applied directly to the block or is there an intermediate layer between them? It's normal to use a layer of foam board or some other material and then wire mesh when applying stucco to any surface. If the stucco was adhered directly to the blocks this cracking would be expected and extremely normal.

You didn't state what part of Florida you are in the majority of soil in Florida is basically sandy and will not become very stable no matter how much compaction force is applied. The only way to truly overcome this is through a much thicker footing with sufficient reinforcing and even then it's a gamble.
 
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Old 12-31-16, 05:01 PM
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I am not a pro on this either although I have had some personal experience in Louisiana with foundation issues & repairs of my own.

My only question is, the pic taken inside the garage, is that interior finished with concrete, stucco or sheet rock etc? If its sheet rock, for me, that would be a bit of a concern.

I dont know much about the concrete & stucco style homes built in Florida, but within a few months, that seems quick to have that many settlement cracks in the material. If one or two small cracks, maybe, but you have outlined quite a few.... & fairly long cracks at that. I am by no means saying its a problem cause I don't know, but for me (not knowing) its suspicious.
I think I'd ask some neighbors if it sounds right to them. I mean, those type construction materials are used quite regularly in Florida, so they may be able to give you some first hand advice. If its common for hair line cracks to appear that quick.

Again, if its sheet rock in that garage, I'd really be suspicious.
 
  #8  
Old 01-01-17, 05:12 AM
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I used to live in fla and painted a lot of block/stucco homes. Almost all had 1 coat of stucco applied directly to the block. It is somewhat normal to see some minor cracks and caulking is usually the fix BUT it needs to be done correctly in order to have a repair that doesn't show. You need to 'scratch' out the crack a little, fill with caulk and after that dries apply more caulk to mimic the stucco's texture.

The main thing is to keep an eye on it to make sure the cracks don't grow. Fla requires builders to warrant the construction for a minimum of 1 yr. As Dixie said, talk with the neighbors and see how their houses fare - especially if they were built by the same builder.
 
 

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