horizontal crack in basement drywall

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Old 11-07-19, 07:32 AM
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horizontal crack in basement drywall

Like the title says a horizontal crack appeared about 6' up from the floor in the drywall. The foundation and basement walls are poured concrete. The crack appeared about 2 months ago and is ~3' long now, (according to my wife) it is slowly growing in length. The drywall is leaning in about 3/4" at the top of the wall. Both companies used a laser to measure it. We've had 2 companies out to look at it. One company said there wasn't must wrong now but to keep monitoring it and contact them if it get worse. The 2nd company cried "chicken little" and said there are significant structural issues with the wall and soil pressure. They would install earth anchors every 6' along 2 foundation walls for about $8000. Of course the 2nd company was much larger and had a slick predetermined sales presentation. So we have two widely different evaluations of the problem. Personally could related better to the 1st company, the 2nd company seemed to "slick willie" for us. We're trying to find 3rd and 4th companies to look at it but haven't been able to do so yet.

We have not stripped the dry wall off yet to look at the wall itself. I suppose that should be done at some point.
How do we a true unbiased evaluation of the problem, if there is any?
 
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Old 11-07-19, 08:33 AM
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Do you have much access to the exterior side of that wall? The odds are you'll need to remove the drywall so you can figure out what caused the issue. It could be something simple or it could be major - no way to tell without looking at the framing and the foundation wall.
 
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Old 11-07-19, 09:16 AM
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Until you get the drywall off the wall everybody is just guessing.
 
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Old 11-07-19, 09:27 AM
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We have not stripped the dry wall off yet to look at the wall itself. I suppose that should be done at some point.
So they based an $8K basement structural estimate on a drywall crack?

I think you can throw that contractor away!
 
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Old 11-07-19, 10:01 AM
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I omitted some information. The poured concrete foundation extends out of the house to a walk up basement. It appears that the entire foundation was poured as a monolithic structure. They also measured the wall on the outside approx 10 ft from the corner. It was also sloping ~.75 in at the top. They assumed that the slope was also about the same across the whole wall. THere are no major structural cracks in the exposed slab in the walkup area. There is some minor cracks at the corners. Both companies said those weren't anything major and were probably due to some ground settling over the 41 years that the house was built.
 
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Old 11-07-19, 12:56 PM
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"They assumed that the slope was also about the same across the whole wall."
That is an awful big assumption.
So if the corners are also sloping in then odds are that the basement was poured this way.
So what exactly are they going to fix?
 
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Old 11-07-19, 02:11 PM
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Not clear on exactly what you have, but if a walkout those walls need to have their footings below the frost line as measured from the exposed surfaces. Disregard if I'm lost but it is common for a walkout to just carry the basement footing in that direction, but it needs to be many feet deeper if exposed.

Bud
 
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Old 11-07-19, 03:01 PM
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The wall in question is the far wall which extends into the basement going left.
The proposed solution is to drill holes thru the concrete every 6-7 feet, attach rods to plates in the ground, and fasten nuts to each end. The interior nut would be tightened over time bringing the wall perpendicular again. They said that the earth has settled and compacted over time, pressing against the wall causing it to bow out. The top of the wall bows since there's not much support for it. Here's a link to the proposed solution: https://www.gothrasher.com/wp-conten...LockSystem.pdf
 
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Old 11-07-19, 03:08 PM
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I think a $5 masons line stretched tight and wrapped around a couple stakes... running from end to end would tell you how much the wall is out of line.

Don't count on those anchors pulling anything back into line no matter what they say. And what are you going to do, leave the drywall off that wall permanently so that you can tighten the nuts once or twice a year?

Those anchors can stop or at least slow the degredation of the foundation, so if you go that route, you would probably just put them in to hopefully stop the bowing so that it doesn't get worse. Then a drywall repair would last. But if the walls are cracked, your waterproofing is compromised.
 
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Old 11-09-19, 06:25 AM
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The wall isn't leaking, so far, that we know of. My wife was concerned about the crack. We probably won't get the big bucks, slick willie fix. The salesman (that's what he was) was insistent about going thru his entire presentation and didn't try to give us any straight unbiased information.

Thanks to everyone who responded.
 
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