Cracks in new retaining wall and basement floor

Old 02-18-21, 07:05 AM
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Cracks in new retaining wall and basement floor

Hi, I recently had a basement poured. Unfortunately there are a lot of cracks so I am concerned. My main concern is the retaining wall (first 2 pictures). You can see a big horizontal crack that has already formed in the front of it. There is also a large crack on the top slab piece of it. Lastly, there are a bunch of cracks in the floor. I am guessing this is because they didn't cut the slab far enough. When I brought this up to the contractor they said it is just cosmetic. I am not too nervous about the floor but am feeling pretty uneasy about the cracks in the retaining wall. Is this going to be a problem? If so, how would it be fixed? Thanks.

Retaining Wall

Retaining Wall 2

Floor 1

Floor 2

Floor 3
Old 02-18-21, 10:09 AM
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Concrete cracks. It has water in it... and that water has volume... when it evaporates, you usually get a few stress cracks that show up and you can't always control where it cracks.

On most of the floor it cracked exactly where it was supposed to, at their cut lines. On the last photo, concrete is going to want to crack at any square outside corner.

On that first photo, that looks like a cold joint, where they quit pouring, then came back and added more under the ductwork later. Anytime you do that you will get an uncontrolled joint between concrete that is a few minutes older than the first. And yes, its unfortunate and it looks bad but it is largely cosmetic. If that was outside, I would say redo it, because it would not stand up to freeze/thaw cycles. In a basement, it is pretty stable and it isn't going to want to break up like it would outside. But inside you could caulk it, or just put some topping mix on it if you don't want to see the big crack. If they cut out a 2 foot section and redo it, you will have 2 cracks, on either side of the repair. As the concrete cures, you are likely to get more microfractures on that ledge, because concrete does not like to be long and skinny like the ledge is. Anytime you have a long, skinny piece of concrete, it wants to break into smaller sections. This stress is greater outside when you have temperature extremes of hot / cold. A basement will be more of a constant temperature, but it doesn't mean it won't crack.

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