What should I do about a crack in the concrete slab in my living room? .
- How to Put Down Flooring on a Cracked Concrete Slab .
- Warning Signs of Foundation/Slab Failure .
- Don't Sweat the Small Cracks in Slab .
- What should I know about cracks in slab foundations? .
- Mike Holmes: How to recognize a problematic foundation crack and what to do about it .
- Is a Quarter-Inch Crack in My Foundation a Major Concern? .
- Signs of Foundation Problems .
- Slab Foundation Crack, Should we break contract? .
- How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Foundation? .
- Cracked Foundation Repair .
- Expert Home Improvement Advice .
- CONCRETE LEVELING SERVICES .
- Concrete Crack Repair Methods .
- Home inspector, and appraiser miss a cracked slab. Agents deny request to view cracks in slab. Home purchased using FHA loan, can anything be done? .
- Ask the Builder .
- COMMUNITY FORUM .
- HomeImprovement .
- Slab on Grade Foundations .
- Soils and Settlement May Cause Slab Cracks .
- How to Build a Solid Foundation: The Key to a Well-BuiltHome .
- Will fixed cracked slab distract buyers? .
*i*m*g*We purchased the house about 2 years ago. The house is about 50 years old. Today we removed the carpet and the hardwood floors under the carpet. We found out the slab has an approximately 10ft long crack. See the picture. The crack goes from hairline and branches off to bigger cracks. See photo. It's about 5 inches deep from what I could measure.The house is in Granada Hills, California. I was thinking it's maybe due to earthquakes or earth shifting. I know a major earthquake happened in 1994. The walls appears to be fine and show no sign of structural damage.What type of crack is this? How can I fix it and should I be concerned? Should I use cement, Emecole 555 or a bottle of concrete filler? Any help or insight would be appreciated.This is not going to be the answer you wanted to hear, but here goes.Although I cannot see the cracks up close, it appears that the cracks were created by the floor flexing in a fairly straight line. The cracks wander in a band about a foot wide with some parallel and joining cracks.My first plan of attack would be to remove a rectangle of the damaged and weakened concrete apx one foot wide by the length of the crack, apx 10 feet. This can be done with a small hand held jackhammer. ($30 to $40/day at rental store). Slightly bevel the edges back from the surface to create an inverted V, so it is slightly wider at the bottom than the top. Once the edges are clean of dust and chips, carefully fill the open void with a mixture of concrete mix equivalent to a 5000 pound mix. You can use a ready mixed in a bag, just add water. Keep the mixture a bit to the stiff side, not too wet. Fill the entire void be sure to push the mix tightly against the existing concrete. Wetting the existing concrete isn't a bad idea. Trowel smooth. Done.The reason I would not recommend a quick fill fix is that there may be lots of other cracks below the surface. If you don't get a good solid patch, water could wick up through cracks or the hidden damage could compress or further separate in future shakes. Although it seems like a big job, a 1 foot by 10 foot removal and repair is not as bad as it sounds. With the proper tools, you should be able to do the whole job in 4 to 6 hours. Good Luck
How to Put Down Flooring on a Cracked Concrete Slab .
Determine the Cause of the CracksTwo common types of cracks, which occur in concrete pads -- shrinkage cracks and settlement cracks -- require different repair strategies. Shrinkage cracks, caused by the evaporation of water out of the concrete as it cures, are typically superficial and not structural. Settlement cracks result from a deficiency in the original construction, the failure of construction materials used under the slab or the intrusion of foreign material under the slab, like moving water or tree roots. Settlement cracks are commonly structural because they usually extend through the entire depth of the slab. Determining the cause of the crack is not always easy and may require you to seek professional advice before proceeding.How to Repair Shrinkage CracksShrinkage cracks are always smaller in size than settlement cracks. They are not very deep and usually do not have any vertical displacement on one side of the crack. To repair shrinkage cracks, begin by removing any jagged edges along the crack with a hammer and cold chisel. Vacuum the crack to remove all of the dust and debris.
Apply duct tape along both sides of the entire crack, and apply an epoxy-based resin into the crack. Fill the crack entirely with the resin, and smooth it with a gloved finger. Sprinkle sand on the surface of the resin to allow flooring finishes to bond to the surface of the crack. Allow the resin to cure completely before you remove the duct tape.How to Repair Settlement CracksSettlement cracks are always larger and more dramatic than shrinkage cracks. They will often have vertical displacement on one side of the crack, they will almost always extend down through the slab and sometimes they will leak water continuously. Begin the repair in the same manner as the shrinkage crack: Cold-chisel the crack’s edges and vacuum away the debris.
If water is present in the crack, make sure to completely dry out the crack before applying the epoxy resin. A handheld hair dryer works well in this situation. Completely fill the crack with resin and cover it with a crack-suppression membrane when the resin has cured. Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions, and extend the membrane to at least 5 inches on each side of the crack.Level and Seal the Concrete Slab’s SurfaceLevel the concrete slab by using a long, rigid straightedge to locate high and low spots in the surface of the concrete pad. High spots may require grinding the concrete to achieve a level surface. You can usually find concrete grinders at local tool rental locations. Clean the concrete surface, and apply a thinset compound to all of the low areas until the surface of the concrete pad is smooth and level. Allow the thinset to completely dry before you seal the surface of the concrete pad.
Sealing prevents moisture from evaporating out of the porous concrete surface onto the new flooring installation. There are various types of concrete sealants. Make sure that the sealant you plan to use will work properly with the flooring you plan to install.Install the Right Flooring for the SituationAny type of flooring may be used over properly repaired shrinkage cracks if the entire concrete surface of the pad is leveled and sealed. The vertical displacement associated with settlement cracks is not curable, and it will continue to worsen over time. This will limit the type of flooring you can use over it.
Linoleum, ceramic tile and any other type of rigid or brittle surface will be damaged as the crack shifts or expands in the future. Carpeting or laminate flooring with a foam membrane underlayment would work well in this situation.
Warning Signs of Foundation/Slab Failure .
Foundation Repair Home What causes foundations and slabs to sink? Warning signs of foundation/slab failure Foundation Repair Costs: Foundation repair cost: What are the variables? Foundation Repair Methods Concrete foundation repair methods Piering: Home foundation repair Slabjacking: What is slabjacking? Related Information: How to hire a foundation repair contractor Concrete repair: Repair methods and troubleshooting basics Read more about foundation repair on FoundationRepairNetwork.com Texas Foundation Repair: An expert’s guide to spotting home foundation issuesWarning Signs of Foundation/Slab FailureBulging floors, cracked walls, and doors that won't close are all signs of foundation distress. Sixty percent of all homes built on expansive soils suffer from foundation distress.
The problem occurs when only part of the foundation heaves or settles, causing cracks and other damage.This differential movement is largely caused by differences in soil moisture. Loss or gain of soil moisture can cause serious shrinkage or swelling. See what causes foundations and slabs to sink.If the frame of a house does not begin to distort until after three or more years of satisfactory performance, it is doubtful that the distortion is caused by full-depth foundation settlement, which is always evidenced by matching cracks. Cracks occur at each side of a portion of the foundation wall that is undergoing downward movement caused by soil bearing failure.Settlement cracks are nearly always vertical, and they should not be confused with cracks that occur when a wall is subjected to lateral movement from soil pressure.Exterior Warning SignsWall RotationSeparation around garage door, windows and/or wallsCracked bricksBroken and/or cracked foundationDisplaced MoldingsInterior Warning SignsMisaligned Doors and WindowsCracked sheetrockCracks in FloorFind a Foundation Repair ContractorReturn to Foundation Repair
Don't Sweat the Small Cracks in Slab .
QUESTION: When we bought our home, the inspector reported no problems with the foundation. After moving in, we installed new carpet, and when the old carpet was removed, we found several cracks in the concrete slab floor.The carpet layer said this is normal, but cracks in our house don't seem very normal to us. We're wondering if something could be wrong with our foundation. Do your think our home inspector made a mistake?ANSWER: Every concrete slab has cracks. Even when you don't see them, slabs are laced with networks of micro-cracks resulting from common shrinkage.When new concrete hardens, shrinkage always occurs. And because concrete is not an elastic material, cracks are inevitable and rarely a cause for concern.Unless the cracks in your floor are an eighth of an inch or wider, they are probably the result of normal stress, as the carpet layer said.In some localities, cracks in slabs may also result from expansive clay soil. When this happens, the floor elevation will usually be higher toward the center of the house and slope downward toward the outside walls.But again, if the cracks appear narrow and even, serious concern is usually unwarranted.If the adverse effects of expansive soil are significant, other symptoms, such as cracks in walls and ceilings or ill-fitting doors and windows, are likely to be observed. When such damage becomes apparent, or when the slab cracks are unusually wide, a licensed engineer should be consulted.Cracks in slab floors can also result from tree roots.
If large trees are growing too near your home, removal of some roots, or possibly even the trees, may be warranted.Chimney Cap Can End Slow Water SeepageQ: A home inspector noticed a white, fuzzy substance on the inside walls of my fireplace and advised installing a chimney cap. This stuff is kind of powdery and appears on the bricks from time to time.I just clean it off whenever it occurs and haven't noticed any other problems. How can a cap on the chimney possibly affect the inside of the fireplace?A: The white chalky substance in your fireplace consists of mineral salts known as efflorescence. These typically form on brick and concrete surfaces when moderate moisture penetration occurs.Slow water seepage is the most common way that mineral salts get on masonry surfaces. When the water dries, these salts crystallize.
This typically occurs with brick fireplaces because rain caps are not required on masonry chimneys. Consequently, rainwater entering a chimney can penetrate through the smoke shelf into the firebrick lining.Fortunately, a small amount of efflorescence is not likely to have a significant effect on the general strength and integrity of the masonry lining of the firebox. But if continuous moisture seepage is left unchecked for many years, the bricks and mortar can gradually weaken and disintegrate.The home inspector was correct in his recommendation. Have a certified chimney sweep install a metal cap on the flue top. In so doing, you can prevent continued moisture intrusion. In the process, you can also ensure that an approved spark arrester is in place and that no significant deterioration of the masonry has occurred.Commercial Building Needs an InspectionQ: I am involved in my first commercial real estate transaction. When I requested that the property be reviewed by an inspector, my agent said that this is an uncommon practice, typically reserved for residential property.I'm afraid to buy any kind of real estate without a professional inspection and am surprised that anyone would take such a risk.
What do you advise?A: During recent years, the real estate market has gradually adopted the custom of home inspections for most residential purchases. The process began in the mid-1970s and by the 1990s had become a standard practice for most home buyers.But with commercial real estate, an awareness of inspection services has barely awakened in the minds of many investors. In fact, in some areas, the very topic of building inspection rarely enters the discussion when commercial property purchases are negotiated.The reason for this disparity is a mystery. From the standpoint of structural integrity, general safety and financial liability, the need for a detailed physical inspection is just as vital with commercial real estate as with residential property.Roofs are just as prone to deterioration and leakage, foundations and wall construction is equally subject to damage and settlement, plumbing fixtures and piping are no less likely to incur leakage, and the risks of fire and shock hazards in electrical systems are equally probable regardless of the type of building being purchased.Furthermore, the price of most commercial buildings exceeds that of most residential properties.With purchase figures ranging in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes in the millions, the price of an inspection is a bargain when you measure the consumer protection it provides. What's more, the inspection fee can often be recouped in the form of repairs contracted by the seller.When you tally the pros and cons, commercial property should be purchased with both eyes open, and those eyes should belong to a qualified property inspector.*Got a question about any aspect of the home inspection?
Send it to Barry Stone, Los Angeles Times, 540 Atascadero Road, Morro Bay, CA 93442. Queries can also be sent via e-mail to: [email protected] questions will be considered for use in Ask the Inspector but cannot be answered individually.
What should I know about cracks in slab foundations? .
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Some cracks are indicators of problems you should RUN from. Others are caused by the curing process of concrete, expected settlement and even thermal expansion and contraction. A trained eye can tell the difference.August 16 2013flat ground is irrelevant.a home inspector is not qualified to do much more than point out there is a crack and suggest you have someone else look at it. a foundation repair company will most likely sell you an idea or solution.a structural engineer will most likely evaluate the problem and define possible solutions (then you can call those people for free estimates).keep in mind also that once there is work done to deal with the crack (if required) the repair may cause the need for peripheral repairs (shingles, windows, flooring etc). if I weren't running away from it I'd have a structural engineer review it- i'd choose this engineer by asking my insurance company for names of them. Then I'd probably only buy if the price were fantastic and I loved the land and didn't mind if everyoen was wrong and I needed to level the house in a few years. but that's just me- not necessarily advice.December 31 2011This is definitely something not to be overlooked, regardless of the fact that the house is on a level lot. I would have a certified home inspector look at the home immediately, and, based on his reccommendation, secondly, have a structural engineer take a look at the foundation as well.
It may cost a little bit of money out of pocket, but it could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. I've seen houses built on clay soil that expands and contracts seasonly that causes these cracks and worst case, I've seen grass actually growing up out of the carpet!December 30 2011
Mike Holmes: How to recognize a problematic foundation crack and what to do about it .
No matter what time of year it is, among the top issues I get asked about are cracks in a house’s foundation: Is it a problem? Should I be worried? How can they be fixed?Not all cracks are serious. Sometimes when concrete cures or dries it cracks, so it’s not uncommon for new homes to have some cracks along the foundation or in the floor slab. For that same reason I wouldn’t recommend finishing a basement until it’s gone through at least a couple of freeze-thaw cycles (winter and spring). That way if any cracks do show up or get worse they can be fixed.How do you know if it’s serious?There are different types of cracks — step, vertical, horizontal, along walls and in basement floors.
If a dime can fit into the crack, get it checked.You don’t want to see step cracks in cinder block and brick foundations. A step crack is horizontal and vertical cracking between the cinder blocks or bricks the crack line can look like steps. These types of cracks allow water to get into the basement. Cracks in the cinder blocks themselves are also serious if you see them, call a foundation specialist as soon as possible.Extensive cracks — which get longer and wider — in the concrete slab are also no good, and might even cause parts of the concrete slab to heave, become uneven or collapse.If that’s the case, a foundation specialist might recommend mudjacking. This process involves drilling holes into the part of the slab that’s lower and then using pressure to pump concrete in and raise the slab up so it’s even.You cannot mudjack concrete slabs that have voids below them, such as a porch with a cold room underneath. The concrete slab must be sitting on the ground. You need the pressure of concrete being pumped in between the slab and the ground to raise it.
And mudjacking is only good to raise concrete slabs. If the repair involves re-supporting structure, then underpinning — which is a massive project — will be needed.Horizontal cracks along the foundation wall can also be serious between soil particles. They can indicate that the structural integrity of the wall has been compromised either due to freeze-thaw cycles or hydrostatic pressure, which is when groundwater or extra water from rain or melted snow presses against the foundation wall from the outside. This pressure is very strong, can cause walls to buckle, and is a leading cause of foundation cracks and water seeping in.A horizontal crack about three or four feet below grade is typically caused by freezing and thawing. That’s where the frost line is usually located.What about vertical cracks?Vertical cracks — from the top of the wall to the bottom — on two adjacent walls could mean the foundation’s footing is broken. If that’s the case the footing needs to be repaired — which means excavating all the way down, another big job. But there should be at least two cracks. If there’s only one vertical crack then it could be the result of concrete shrinkage as the wall cured.What’s the solution?The best foundation repairs happen from the outside.In serious cases, the ground should be excavated to expose the crack on the outside of the wall.
The crack is then filled with hydraulic cement that expands as it dries, creating a seal. A waterproof coating is sprayed on and it cures to a rubbery membrane that is 100% waterproof. A dimpled membrane is fastened over top. This process is not cheap but it’s effective.If you find any cracks in your foundation, either inside your basement or on your home’s exterior, mark them with tape and check them again after a few months. If they haven’t changed in any way they can usually be filled in with an epoxy injection or expandable foam.But if they get worse bring in a pro, such as a structural engineer or foundation specialist, to assess the situation and recommend the proper solution.Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV.
For more information visit makeitright.ca.
Is a Quarter-Inch Crack in My Foundation a Major Concern? .
Having cracks sprout up along the exterior of your home’s foundation is a common occurrence, especially in older homes.A quarter-inch wide crack, though, is large enough to warrant concern, especially if the wall on one side of the crack sticks out more. That could indicate a serious settlement issue, says Rich Able, owner of highly rated Indy Inspection Service in Indianapolis.“That’s a pretty good-sized crack for the foundation,” Able says. “There are many variables that determine how to respond to it.”While hairline cracks are common along poured concrete, a quarter-inch crack is large enough to allow moisture to come into the home, Able says.“How old is the house?” he asks. “If it’s a new house, I’d be concerned about settlement in the foundation. But I’d have to take a look at it to know for sure. You’d have to look at all of these factors to determine what needs to be done.”In most cases, experts recommend calling a professional to evaluate the crack to see if it’s, indeed, a major concern. Hiring a home inspector can cost between $100 and $150, Able says, while some don’t charge just for an inspection.
He adds that a structural engineer may charge more.Able says a homeowner could try sealing the crack with cement grout or epoxy injection , but adds that may not solve the issue. Sealing a crack through a DIY repair typically costs between $100 and $300, according to CostHelper .com.If the crack has been patched before only to come back, then it’s likely a settlement issue and could lead to an expensive foundation repair. Settlement problems typically are caused when the soil shifts under the home.A moderate foundation repair can cost $8,000 to $12,000, while an expensive repair can range in cost from $20,000 to $30,000, according to CostHelper.For concrete foundations, slab jacking is one common repair for both vertical and horizontal cracks. Holes are drilled in the slab to access areas underneath, and a sealant is placed into the hole to fill the empty area, causing the foundation to rise to its original level.According to the International Association of Home Inspectors, slab jacking costs on average of $5 per foot of concrete that needs to be lifted. A 5-by-4-foot job may cost $60.The direction of the crack also provides clues to the seriousness of the problem, says Rob Rehm, property inspector for highly rated BPG Property Inspection Services in Indianapolis.“Horizontal cracking can be evidence of more-than-normal shrinkage or settlement and may require further evaluation to determine what type of foundation repair is needed,” Rehm says.Able adds that horizontal cracking is generally more serious and could indicate the wall is buckling from outside soil pressure.Vertical cracking, meanwhile, can be caused by common shrinkage and is not always a structural concern, but can lead to water leakage, Rehm says.“Epoxy injection is typically the repair with this type vertical cracking,” Rehm says. “An expandable type foam is injected into the crack, and an epoxy sealant is caulked over the cracking.”I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe.
That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources.
Plant some food instead.I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness.
I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint.
You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.
Signs of Foundation Problems .
*i*m*g*Signs of Foundation Problems - TopicsWet BasementLeaking BasementMusty Smell in BasementCrawl Space MoistureUneven FloorsSagging FloorsCracked WallsBowed WallCrooked DoorStanding Water Under HouseBugs in BasementCracked ChimneyCracked SlabCracked FoundationResources OverviewSigns of ProblemsHomeowners often wonder how to identify the different signs of foundation problems. It's definitely a good question to ask. Here's why - the longer you wait to treat visible signs of damage, the more severe the damage can become. Left untreated, minor cracks and leaks can turn into serious structural issues that compromise the value and overall health of your home.Your home’s structural integrity depends on the strength of your foundation. It supports everything else – walls, windows, floors, doorways, roof—so when your foundation is damaged, it can cause serious problems throughout your home.Like most things in life, your foundation is subject to environmental stress. Expanding and contracting soil, excessive moisture and inadequate drainage are some of the most common threats to your home’s foundation. Over time, environmental stress can cause the foundation to shift, crack or settle unevenly.
And homeowners can often miss the early warning signs of foundation damage.Foundation problems can create several issues throughout the home regardless of the foundation type. This includes slab on grade foundations, basements and crawl space homes like pier and beam foundations or block and base builds.Fortunately, most of these problems are rarely invisible, but signs of foundation problems need to be recognized as early as possible to correct (and sometimes even prevent) problems quickly.Detecting Warning Signs Early is Key Usually the signs are obvious—cracks in plaster walls, a basement wall crack that extends from floor to ceiling, doors that stick, sagging floors, pooling water near a slab foundation, or a wet crawl space after precipitation falls.Some signs are less subtle, for example, strange smells coming from the basement or uncomfortable indoor humidity can signal structural problems. However, sometimes signs of foundation problems are not immediately associated with foundation damage and go unnoticed by the untrained eye.Most foundation issues begin with the soil under and surrounding the home. Every building foundation is affected by the soil underneath and around it. Expansive soils contain minerals that absorb water.
As the soil absorbs water, it increases in volume. Themore water it absorbs the more its volume increases.The process works like a sponge, the soil expands when wet and shrinks when it’s dry.Expansions of ten percent or more are not uncommon. This change involume can exert enough force on a building or other structure to cause seriousdamage. As signs of foundation problems begin to manifest they can often be found in all rooms of the home.For basement and crawl space homes, poor drainage and hydrostatic pressure are often the #1 culprits. As pressure builds beneath the surface around the basement or crawl space, force is excreted on walls that lead to cracked and/or bowing walls. These areas leave the basement vulnerable to intrusive subsurface water and invite leaks and water problems.
Over time a damp basement will become humid and uncomfortable, inviting mold and allergens into the home.How to Identify the IssueTo identify foundation problems, start in the basement or crawl space. Is there a musty odor? A leaking basement or crawl space can reveal foundation cracks and a musty basement smell or crawl space odor is a red flag. Excess moisture invites insects to enter, and insects in a basements or crawl spaces often point to foundation issues.Inspect each room of the house. Carefully look at the walls, in particular where the wall meets the ceiling. House or slab foundation problems can cause walls to separate from the ceiling. Other warning signs include cracks splintering up the walls, any wall that is bowing outward or molding, and baseboards that are separating from their mitered corners.Simply put, the movement and shifting of the soil underneath your home is often the root of foundation problems. Signs and symptoms of these problems include:Basement/crawl space moisture: A wet, leaking basement or crawl space moisture can contribute to several home issues including musty smells, mold growth and sagging, uneven floors throughout the house.
Water and moisture seep in through foundation cracks.Bugs in the basement: Bugs such as centipedes, pill bugs, silverfish, earwigs, carpenter ants and roaches are drawn to wet basements and often enter through cracks in the foundation.Uneven and sagging floors: Warped or sagging flooring can be related directly to foundation problems. Shifting soil, humidity from water seepage and inadequate foundation waterproofing can contribute to flooring issues.Cracked and bowed walls: Cracks and bowing in walls can be fixed. However, there is often an underlying issue – soil movement under the foundation, hydrostatic pressure and poor water drainage are three common culprits.Crooked doors: When a foundation settles, cracks or shifts, problems such as crooked doors develop in the house. Like flooring and wall issues, crooked doors may occur because of moisture issues in the basement or crawl space.Cracked chimney: Poor exterior drainage or expanding soil can cause foundations to crack and settle, resulting in a tilting or cracked chimney. Pilings can be installed to reinforce an unstable chimney.Standing water under house: Rainwater must divert away from the house via gutters, properly directed downspouts and drainage systems. Improper drainage often causes water to collect under the house, resulting in foundation problems.In addition to expansive soil, many homes’ foundations are adversely affected by the following problems:Improper drainage: The most common sign of poor drainage is water pooling and forming swampy areas near a home’s foundation another indication is a damp or leaky basement.
Poor drainage can occur as a result of clogged or damaged gutters, or because the land surrounding a home isn’t properly graded away from the structure.Water leaks under the slab: Slab foundations conceal sewer lines and water pipes when a leak develops in hidden line, it can cause the slab to deteriorate. This type of problem may cause moist areas in interior floors, or homeowners may notice a sudden spike in their water bills – but more often than not a slab leak will go unnoticed. Leak isolation testing is the preferred method for detecting slab leaks.Tree root intrusions: Large trees can cause foundation problems as roots grow through the soil underneath the home. The intruding roots can exert significant pressure on under-slab water pipes and basement foundations. They can also leech moisture from the ground, causing soil to contract away from the home.A foundation inspection by a qualified repair specialist can be the best way to determine if the signs indicate foundation troubles.
Slab Foundation Crack, Should we break contract? .
Hi Everyone,We are searching for our first family home in Mountain View. Inventory is extremely low and it is very hard to get your offer accepted with contingencies. Our offer has been accepted for a house. We wrote an offer that was con-contingent, 21 days close, picking seller's closing costs. We always believed that we had written a really high offer (14% higher than list) but we also feel that it is necessary in this market and the way prices are going up we are better off if we get a house as soon as we can.Another reason we believe that it was an higher offer is that house needs floors, kitchen, bathroom, dual pane windows, LARGE fruit tree removal (we want plane playarea for kids). But anyway, we were still happy until we saw a crack in slab foundation right at the bathroom door. The strange thing is that carpet had been cut open from that area before house was put on the market. We never sat down to have a peek what is inside until yesterday (15 days into contract, 7 more to go).
The crack does not look very wide but it is not hairline crack either. It runs through the ground to the outer wall. We suspect that as carpet had been cut open from that place, then someone at some point suspected something and opened the carpet to check (may be a potential buyer?). That specific door does not close on jamb properly, and there is a crack in the top side of the door which looked minor before. We suspect that owner/seller agent were aware of the foundation crack but failed to mention it in disclosure. I mention this because that it may help us get our 3% deposit back if we break the deal.
We have no claim because we wrote a non-contingen offer but if we could prove that seller intentionally shied away from disclosing structural fault then do we have a claim?We are first time home buyers with no experience of construction or remodeling. So, this looks like deal breaker to us. We don't want to deal with structural construction. In past we passed on houses which needed a wall removal. This looks huge to us in comparison to a wall removal etc.
Please advise, do you think it is a deal breaker or should we close the deal? We are not looking forward to be back in market again anytime soon. Should we negotiate a price decrease to accommodate repair and future reselling problems because of structural fault?We are meeting structural engineer tomorrow to his opinion.Quick Summaryview historyUsers like you can add images, links and other relevant information about this topic.atikovi said: dmlavigne1 said: Why would you write a non-contingent offer without a home inspection?A home inspection is usually a waste of money. Inspectors only check accessable areas which you can do yourself just fine. It's the hidden stuff behind walls or in ceilings that will cost you. When they do do find a potential problem, they alway say to consult a professional for advice. Well, isn't THAT what you hire an inspector for?Not everyone is a handyman.
Besides, it's not just whether something is in working order, but if it meets current code.dhirschNew Memberatikovi said: dmlavigne1 said: Why would you write a non-contingent offer without a home inspection?A home inspection is usually a waste of money. Inspectors only check accessable areas which you can do yourself just fine. It's the hidden stuff behind walls or in ceilings that will cost you. When they do do find a potential problem, they alway say to consult a professional for advice. Well, isn't THAT what you hire an inspector for?A good home inspection is money well spent, in my humble opinion. My inspector saved me from a disaster that I never would've found on my own.To the poster:I would consult your Realtor.
They would be able to tell you what your recourse is with the earnest money.My non-professional understanding is that the seller only needs to disclose what they are aware of, and what you ask them about. If the home is vacant, it is possible the sellers do not know anything is amiss.Do you have a disclosure statement that says They are not aware of any foundation issues?dcwilburAncient Memberatikovi said: dmlavigne1 said: Why would you write a non-contingent offer without a home inspection?A home inspection is usually a waste of money. Inspectors only check accessable areas which you can do yourself just fine...For a first-time home buyer, a home inspection is most certainly NOT a waste of money. Most people know very little about what to look for in a home, how to make sure everything is operating correctly, what kind of useful life might be remaining on major systems and appliances, etc. Even if the offer is non-contingent, having a good home inspector come in to show the buyer how to operate major systems, where the main water shut-off is, how to read and operate breakers in the electrical panel, how to cut off outside hose bibs in the winter, etc., can be money well spent. Most first-time home buyers have no idea.As for the OP - get an expert to look at the foundation. These kinds of issues are usually NOT deal breakers.atikoviSenior Member - 2KA home inspector will be quick to point out a leaky faucet or bad wall switch, all nickel and dime repairs, but he can't see behind walls to tell you if the wiring is aluminum or won't bother to climb into a hot attic to check for a leaking roof. (He may use binoculars to check the shingles and guestimate the lifespan.) For those that are clueless, a home inspection may be of value but in most cases, bringing along a friend or relative who knows a little DIY may be better.rufflesincSenior Member - 5Katikovi said: A home inspector will be quick to point out a leaky faucet or bad wall switch, all nickel and dime repairs, but he can't see behind walls to tell you if the wiring is aluminum or won't bother to climb into a hot attic to check for a leaking roof. (He may use binoculars to check the shingles and guestimate the lifespan.) For those that are clueless, a home inspection may be of value but in most cases, bringing along a friend or relative who knows a little DIY may be better.My inspector goes into the attic with a bunny suit and goes up on the roof. Not worth it to FW these things.breaux124Senior Member - 2KWe just bought a house last November and we had a home inspection, but our inspector missed a few things he should have found (add-on room with incorrectly spaced floor joists, signs of water leakage in basement) and a few things that it would have been hard for anyone to find (cracks in concrete slab under carpet).
The structural engineer we brought it later, also is a home inspector and he was the one who pointed out a few things that the original inspector should have caught. So if you can find out the background of the inspector, because it can make a huge differenceInspector #1 - Reputable company and a certified home inspector.Inspector #2 - Certified home inspector, Certified Professional Engineer in Structural and Civil EngineeringmeriyakiNew Memberseller provided us with inspection report. Our realtor said that your home inspection would not bring any new information. That is why we wrote a non-contignent offer. Report mentioned that door does not close properly. But they don't mention crack in the slab, although it is visible if you sit down and peek under the worn out carpet.
You can not see it standing up because its carpet there.I am meeting structural engineer and realtor at property in half an hour. Our realtor is emphasizing that all houses with slab in that area have crack because of the soil. She also mentioned that seller may be upset that we pulled away the carpet to have a look. It is not true we did not displace even a inch of carpet just had a peek. Crack is right there where the cut open carpets ends meet. Is that a concern?vegas4x4Senior MemberYou're already headed down the right road.
Post back and let us know what the structural engineer says.I'm guessing this is an older home? Main things I look for in foundation cracks is vertical differential, if there is vertical differential then you probably have some sort of soil or settling issue. Horizontal cracks usually aren't an issue unless they are huge, even then you can saw cut them and fill them with epoxy as a repair. The door jamb sounds suspect, but it depends on how bad you're talking about.soundtechieEagle Pelletmeriyaki said: Our realtor is emphasizing that all houses with slab in that area have crack because of the soil. She also mentioned that seller may be upset that we pulled away the carpet to have a look.
It is not true we did not displace even a inch of carpet just had a peek. Crack is right there where the cut open carpets ends meet. Is that a concern?If the seller gives you grief about moving a piece of carpet that's already cut in order to see a crack in the foundation, Laugh at them loudly, honk their nose, and walk out of the room.brettdoyleSenior Member - 3Katikovi said: A home inspection is usually a waste of money. Inspectors only check accessable areas which you can do yourself just fine. It's the hidden stuff behind walls or in ceilings that will cost you. When they do do find a potential problem, they alway say to consult a professional for advice. Well, isn't THAT what you hire an inspector for? atikovi said: A home inspector will be quick to point out a leaky faucet or bad wall switch, all nickel and dime repairs, but he can't see behind walls to tell you if the wiring is aluminum or won't bother to climb into a hot attic to check for a leaking roof. (He may use binoculars to check the shingles and guestimate the lifespan.) For those that are clueless, a home inspection may be of value but in most cases, bringing along a friend or relative who knows a little DIY may be better.You must have had a lousy home inspector experience to continue to post such poor advice.suezyqueDuct Tape Rulesdcwilbur said: You must have had a lousy home inspector experience to continue to post such poor advice.Only had one inspection 15 years ago for $350 that took 2 hours.
Guy spent half the time turning on faucets, flushing toilets, checking under sinks and turning on and off wall outlets. Jeez, I can do that for nothing. Any other items he had concerns about he wrote down to contact a qualified plumber, electrician, roofer, carpenter, etc. for further evaluation. Jeez, ain't I'm paying HIM for his knowledge and expertise? A few months later the hot water heater and furnace boiler quit. Luckily a home warranty covered most of it.
I'd say you'd be better buying, or have the seller include a one year warranty on the house. It will be of more use than the inspection.lotusgardenerBroke MemberIt depends on the age of the house. If it's under 4 years old I would be concerned. If its older than twenty years I wouldn't worry. You want to get a feeling of how fast the crack is widening.
Next, water leakage would be my concern. Is the house on a hill, flat or is it in a valley? If you think ground water can be pushed up through the crack then I would pull out of the deal. Cracks can be patched but I would doubt that this is the only one. As others have mentioned it's rare to have a house 40 year + without cracks in the foundation.StevenColoradoStand up guyatikovi said: dcwilbur said: You must have had a lousy home inspector experience to continue to post such poor advice.Only had one inspection 15 years ago for $350 that took 2 hours.
Guy spent half the time turning on faucets, flushing toilets, checking under sinks and turning on and off wall outlets. Jeez, I can do that for nothing. Any other items he had concerns about he wrote down to contact a qualified plumber, electrician, roofer, carpenter, etc. for further evaluation. Jeez, ain't I'm paying HIM for his knowledge and expertise? A few months later the hot water heater and furnace boiler quit. Luckily a home warranty covered most of it.
I'd say you'd be better buying, or have the seller include a one year warranty on the house. It will be of more use than the inspection.Mine found aluminum wiring and an unsafe breaker box, leaks in the roof, and settling of the foundation. Sorry yours was substandard.mrandEnthusiastic Memberatikovi said: dcwilbur said: You must have had a lousy home inspector experience to continue to post such poor advice.Only had one inspection 15 years ago for $350 that took 2 hours. Guy spent half the time turning on faucets, flushing toilets, checking under sinks and turning on and off wall outlets. Jeez, I can do that for nothing. Any other items he had concerns about he wrote down to contact a qualified plumber, electrician, roofer, carpenter, etc. for further evaluation. Jeez, ain't I'm paying HIM for his knowledge and expertise?
A few months later the hot water heater and furnace boiler quit. Luckily a home warranty covered most of it. I'd say you'd be better buying, or have the seller include a one year warranty on the house. It will be of more use than the inspection.I'm not sure I'd have quite as a pessimistic view, but I also don't completely disagree. The vast majority of the findings are trivial. Water heater and HVAC inspection are the main thing you get out of it, along with someone that is willing to go crawling under the house and in your attic looking for anything else obvious (leaks and/or pest infestation, be it rodents or bugs).If you want more detail on the structure, hire Inspector #2 descibed above: Certified home inspector, Certified Professional Engineer in Structural and Civil Engineering.Hint: the VAST majority of inspectors aren't structural engineers.Edit: as someone else posted, they should also remove the panel over the circuit breakers and inspect that. Aluminum wiring, in itself, isn't bad, but it does warrant additional inspections.Marcrobby69Senior Member - 8KAs someone that currently has the basement bedroom wall drywall removed and 2 leaking cracks in the poured finished basement walkout wall being injected with epoxy (as we speak), if its not a structural issue then they can be permanently repaired.
With concrete its not a matter of if, its a matter of when it will crack.Cracks in the slab, again not do to a structural issue, will generally not leak if there is a good drainage tile system and sump pump under it.When we purchased the home, (new)-(4 years old) there was also a door sticking issue on inspection or rather us just trying the door. It was not a structural issue and a simple fix.As far as home inspections not showing much, there is some truth to it that they quote miss some bigger issues, it does give you an easy OUT with the contingency, if there is something suspicious that doesn't feel right.ShandrilSenior Member - 2KGood home inspector can save you a lot of money if they do their job right. You can pass the cost of remedies for major stuff to the sellers and be sure what you're getting. They should do structural damage inspection, termite damage, check electrical and plumbing for issues. And they usually know very well how much it'd cost to remedy for whatever issues they find. In our last inspection, the sellers had to put about $8k in remedies for stuff the inspector found. I doubt we would have found a fraction of them ourselves and that wasn't our first home purchase either.breaux124Senior Member - 2KDepending on the cause of the crack it could be major money. We only had surface cracks, but it was due to ground settling underneath the entire slab (20x24 family room and minor settling under the two car garage), which also meant the main sewer pipe didn't have the proper grade.We had settlement from a 2-3 inches under the garage, and under the family room gaps up to 18 (majority of voids were 5-8 inches)In the end we had the concrete cut out, replaced the entire sewer line, filled that part back in with stone, and then had to get the rest of the void slab jacked to make the area solid.
But this was after having the structural engineer come in and do compaction testing on the existing soil and ground.meriyakiNew MemberI just got back from the inspection appointment. Engineer was brought in by our realtor, unexpectedly seller agent was already there that masked my overall experience with the engineer. I felt like engineer will only answer what i will ask. But to be honest, I don't know what questions to ask. Engineer even had moments alone with seller agent in the corner. While I was supposed to pay for the inspection. I told my concern to realtor and informed her that we will bring out another engineer for second opinion. She did not let me pay for the engineer as she thought I didn't trust him.
She paid for him even though I wrote the check and insisted. I was uncomfortable that our realtor was putting words in his mouth by saying that we live in valley and it moves, so all the houses have cracks. It is difficult to find a house without crack etc. I didn't appreciate that engineer spoke less and listened more and only answered the questions I asked.So, it goes like this. Our realtor, seller agent and engineer were in the backyard, looking at what looks like a horizontal crack in the visible slab foundation all around the circumference of the master bedroom.
We had a look at it before, with our contractor who said it is not a crack but cold pour join in slab. So, today engineer said that it is a structural failure and it requires fixing. He mentioned that metal bars if corroded can be busted by expansion of concrete. Similar crack/cold joint are all around the circumference of house. When he was told about the possibility of these crack being the cold joints he said he will have to drill some holes to figure out if it is structural failure or pour joints. It will cost $500/holes.So, the initial crack I was talking about, was not discussed much. He said this crack is bigger than hairline but it is not really significant to be concerned right now.
He did not rule out the possibility of it growing it bigger over the years. He said the crack in the middle of room are not considered structural failure, it is only structural if it is on the perimeter of the wall that has thicker slab. I reminded him that this crack is on the threshold of the door, so it can be defined as structural. He said yes it can be.Backyard is slopped towards the house. I reminded him to check the water valve on our way out to see if anything is leaking. Well, we forgot to check that on our way out. But I really wanted him to mention that. He wanted to answer my questions but I didn't know what question to ask.
So, I am not satisfied. We are meeting another engineer tomorrow morning 'without' seller agent.breaux124Senior Member - 2Kbreaux124, he is going to send a report later today. Were those holes digger up for inspection purposes or for repair? If it was for inspection, what did you find out? This guy said that if there is a problem, then it will take $400/linear foot to fix it.
And the process will take three weeks. So, $500/hole is only for inspection to find out if there is a problem or its just cold joint. If there is no problem then we should still fix cold joints to avoid water seeping into the joint line? I will take pictures tomorrow and post it to show it.Please suggest, what are the scenario in which we should pass on this house? Please keep in mind that buyers are having hard time getting their offer accepted as there are a lot of buyers with all cash offers.
Move in ready house is almost impossible to get for a first time home buyer who are going to finance. We don't want to cancel the deal if something is minor.Our realtor said, if you repair it then you don't have to worry about resale? But I am concerned that if we get it repaired and sell the house after 10 years then repair warranty will be void by that time. Also, I believe just because some structural work was done in the house, some buyers will shy away from property? My realtor is insisting that my concern about resale are not valid.Inspection report did not even mention those visible crack/cold joint? Is it a regular practice to just ignore something that look like cold joint in inspection.1Our situation was different from yours, we were trying to assess how the ground had settled under a slab and if it was stable enough to support slab jacking (they pump a limestone/concrete mixture under the slab to fill the voids, but it requires somewhat solid soil or else it will continue to settle) or if it would require structural piers (more $$)So our engineer had to drill small holes (maybe 1 diameter) to use a push rod to test compaction and get soil samples.
He also put a flexible camera down a few to try and determine the expansion of the void. He also cut out a block of concrete 6 around, to confirm the slab was sitting on the block foundation between the family room and garage. So these were all inspection related holes, which I didn't get any additional charges for. I guess he counted these in his time to complete the inspection report.My understanding is, once you get an official report and the sellers know, it will be tied to the house and they are legally required to share that in the disclosure to any future buyers. Not sure how your contract is written, but I would try and get them to complete the work since they would have to share this info with any future buyers which would probably influence any offers.Also, I would tell my realtor to let the engineer speak and that you will ask all the questions. Remember they are working for you (even though your interests aren't directly tied together)BradisBradSenior Member - 1KHave you explained to your realtor in a reasonable manner that given the facts:1. You're a first time home-buyer2. You've heard plenty of horror stories3.
You are a weary individual to begin with4. You have no structural background,you want to be absolutely certain this will be a good purchase for you? If he or she is getting pushy, just try to calmly remind them that your home may be the biggest purchase of your life and you want to be as thorough as humanly possible continue post such. That should get them off your back and possibly adjust their perspective.mistycouponSenior Member - 3Katikovi said: dcwilbur said: You must have had a lousy home inspector experience to continue to post such poor advice.Only had one inspection 15 years ago for $350 that took 2 hours. Guy spent half the time turning on faucets, flushing toilets, checking under sinks and turning on and off wall outlets. Jeez, I can do that for nothing.
Any other items he had concerns about he wrote down to contact a qualified plumber, electrician, roofer, carpenter, etc. for further evaluation. Jeez, ain't I'm paying HIM for his knowledge and expertise? A few months later the hot water heater and furnace boiler quit. Luckily a home warranty covered most of it. I'd say you'd be better buying, or have the seller include a one year warranty on the house. It will be of more use than the inspection.First the sidewalk thread nonsense, then this nonsense about a home inspection being a waste of money? It sounds like you take one solitary bad experience in your life and extrapolate it as gospel to all other similar situations.
This really gives you a lot of backwards ideas, man.dematNew Membermeriyaki said: I just got back from the inspection appointment. Engineer was brought in by our realtor, unexpectedly seller agent was already there that masked my overall experience with the engineer. I felt like engineer will only answer what i will ask. But to be honest, I don't know what questions to ask. Engineer even had moments alone with seller agent in the corner.
While I was supposed to pay for the inspection. I told my concern to realtor and informed her that we will bring out another engineer for second opinion. She did not let me pay for the engineer as she thought I didn't trust him. She paid for him even though I wrote the check and insisted. I was uncomfortable that our realtor was putting words in his mouth by saying that we live in valley and it moves, so all the houses have cracks.
It is difficult to find a house without crack etc. I didn't appreciate that engineer spoke less and listened more and only answered the questions I asked.So, it goes like this. Our realtor, seller agent and engineer were in the backyard, looking at what looks like a horizontal crack in the visible slab foundation all around the circumference of the master bedroom. We had a look at it before, with our contractor who said it is not a crack but cold pour join in slab. So, today engineer said that it is a structural failure and it requires fixing. He mentioned that metal bars if corroded can be busted by expansion of concrete. Similar crack/cold joint are all around the circumference of house. When he was told about the possibility of these crack being the cold joints he said he will have to drill some holes to figure out if it is structural failure or pour joints.
It will cost $500/holes.So, the initial crack I was talking about, was not discussed much. He said this crack is bigger than hairline but it is not really significant to be concerned right now. He did not rule out the possibility of it growing it bigger over the years. He said the crack in the middle of room are not considered structural failure, it is only structural if it is on the perimeter of the wall that has thicker slab. I reminded him that this crack is on the threshold of the door, so it can be defined as structural.
He said yes it can be.Backyard is slopped towards the house. I reminded him to check the water valve on our way out to see if anything is leaking. Well, we forgot to check that on our way out. But I really wanted him to mention that. He wanted to answer my questions but I didn't know what question to ask. So, I am not satisfied.
We are meeting another engineer tomorrow morning 'without' seller agent.Get your own engineer, spend time directly with him or her and don't involve the realtors, they hate a deal worth commissions of tens of thousands of dollars blowing up, their interests are not aligned with yours.Skipping 29 Messages...meriyakiNew MemberShoppingEarn Cash Back while you shop - just 3 simple steps.1. Sign Up so we know who to pay! (It's FREE.)2. Shop through FatWallet for deals from your favorite stores. Your online purchases earn Cash Back that builds in your FatWallet account.3. Get Paid by requesting a payment via check or PayPal.FatWallet coupons help you save more when shopping online. Use our Coupons Search to browse coupons and offers from thousands of stores, gathered into one convenient location.ForumsAs part of our FatWallet Community, you can share deals with almost a million shoppers in our forums.
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How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Foundation? .
Foundation ProblemsFoundations that have been built on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils, or have been poorly maintained can have serious damage as the foundation settles and moves. If you see signs of foundation problems, things like cracks in walls or doors that won't close properly, it is important to talk to a professional right away. Damaged foundations that are not repaired quickly can lead not only to irreparable damage, but to structures that are unsafe. The longer you wait, the worse the damage can get and the more costly it is to repair.Structural ReportsIf you see that there are foundation issues, it is worth it to spend the money for a report from a structural engineer. A structural engineer has no vested interest in selling you a solution to your problem and so you will most likely get an unbiased opinion as t the best solution for fixing your problem. If you go straight to a repair professional they may want to sell you the solution that seems right for them, rather than right for you.
It is better to come to a repair pro, with your structural report in hand and ask them the cost of doing that particular solutionPiering and SlabjackingThere are two common methods for lifting a sinking concrete foundation: piering and slabjacking. Piering places supports underground that lift and support the concrete. To use piering, the foundation repair professional will need to dig many feet into the ground to solidify the pier which is then placed under your foundation and raised with hydraulics to lift the foundation back into place and stabilize it for the future. This repair method requires the use of multiple piers placed at different points under the foundation.Home Resale ValueOne of the biggest worries when any foundation issue appears is if it will make your home difficult or impossible to resell. Granted you must disclose any work that you have had done on your foundation when it is listed for sale, but if you have had hydraulic piers installed in some cases that could be seen as an asset rather than a drawback.
In areas known to have expansive clay or soil issues, having hydraulic piers installed can be seen as a solution to a problem that every homeowner in the area will encounter at one time while owning a home in that area.
Cracked Foundation Repair .
Home Improvement Writer: Jon NunanOf the issues that can make a homeowner antsy, a cracked foundation is probably pretty close to the top of the list. Not only can cracked foundations become very expensive to repair, their appearance can lead to many other problems throughout the structure, driving expenses up even more. The fact is, though, that if they are caught early enough, many foundation difficulties can be remedied faster--and even less expensively--than many might imagine. It is for this reason that calling for service as soon as a problem is noticed is the best course of action.Since these cracks not only look bad but may allow moisture to seep indoors, filling them is probably a good idea. 1.Why Does Concrete Crack?Though there are several different foundation materials that have been used throughout history, concrete has become the modern standard.
Slabs, footings, piers, and insulated concrete forms (ICFs) all make use of this tough, durable material, and according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, these concrete elements are typically expected to last 100 years or more. This estimate is only valid, however, when the elements were built properly and constructed upon a stable base factors like earthquakes, shifting or unstable subsoil, and erosion can cause concrete elements to age prematurely. In some cases, a single event can severely damage installations that would have otherwise lasted for decades and decades more.2.What Are the Signs of Foundation Problems?A structure that is visibly sinking or shifting obviously has some foundation issues, and large cracks in basements or slabs are sure signs, too. There are, however, several other more subtle indicators that your home's foundation may be in trouble.• One window or door that isn't closing properly is probably a sign of a problem with that individual window or door. A series of windows and doors that are sticking shut or not closing fully may be a sign of foundation issues.• Old flooring is bound to experience a certain degree of warping. However, sloping floors are a sign of issues in the foundation.• The cracks and separation in the places where walls meet the floor, the ceiling, and each other can be a sign of foundation issues.
If these planes pull apart or the walls themselves begin to bow, foundation problems could be the culprit.3.Repairing Cracks in the FoundationSmall cracks (less than ? inch wide) on basement floors and walls may be nothing more than a sign of aging. However, since these cracks not only look bad but may allow moisture to seep indoors, filling them is probably a good idea. Caulk or putty can often be used to fill in these small cracks injecting such fissures with epoxy is also an option.4.How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost?Filling in cracks isn't rocket science, and even homeowners with very little experience can typically perform this job themselves. However, because these cracks can be indicators of much larger problems in the future, having them examined by a professional is highly recommended. A professional inspection will be able to identify potentially large problems while they are still small (and while a permanent fix may still be relatively inexpensive). Bringing in a pair of seasoned eyes might cost a couple hundred bucks, but because it could save you thousands in the long run, this is definitely an investment worth making. Sure, you might find out that the cracks are harmless and end up filling them in yourself anyway, but the knowledge that a larger issue isn't waiting just around the corner is something you'll be glad you have. To learn more, see our article on the cost to repair a foundation.5.Avoid Free InspectionsHome improvements and repairs are rarely cheap, and the contractors who are good at their jobs are not afraid to charge premium prices for their work.
Inspectors operate similarly. While some companies who offer a free inspection (for any home component from the roof to the foundation) may be doing so to meet potential clients and leave a good impression, no-cost inspections may also be a ploy to provide services that are unnecessary. Competent work is worth paying for if you want a good, unbiased inspection, it is worth the time to find an inspector who will only profit from the inspection--not from fixing the problems he or she identifies.
Expert Home Improvement Advice .
A major structural problem with your home is probably every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Structural problems left unattended decrease your homes value and only worsen over time.So if you are seeing signs of foundation problems around your home like cracks in your drywall, or if you have doors that do not open or close properly you probably need to have an evaluation done. Is your home suffering from foundation problems?If your home is exhibiting symptoms of foundation problems like cracks in walls, sticking and swinging doors, or uneven floors it may need foundation repair. Experienced professionals can give you an accurate analysis of your home and design a foundation repair solution. Can you sell your house for a reduced price rather than repair the foundation?If you are financing the sale yourself, this poses no problem. Loaning institutions generally will not close a loan without repairs being done or scheduled. However, beware as some state laws impose severe penalties for fraudulently concealing a structural problem from a buyer. Is your home less marketable because you have had the foundation repaired?Quite the contrary.
If the foundation of your home is repaired by a reputable contractor it is considered stronger after the repairs are performed. Therefore, appraisal values will be the same, as if the problem had never developed. If you are planning on selling your home after the foundation repair work is performed the warranty from the contractor and their reputation are more important than ever. Selecting a reputable contractor to repair you homeFinally, here are some important factors to consider before taking this daunting foundation problem on.No Contract Labor: Make sure the people performing the repairs work for the company.I moved into a brand new home. It’s less than a year old and in its basement the load bearing walls some have a hairline crack. The walls consist of walled sections. The concrete walled sections that the load-bearing steel beam the upper level of the house rest on the cracks are more pronounce which extend from the top where the steel beam rest and protrude downward approximately the length of the wall. Is the normal with settling of the house or something that need to be evaluated by a professional?AUSTIN SAMPSON Says:June 12th, 2007 at 6:30 pmI’m with you.
I did the same thing and have the same problem x four beams. Forget about piers, not the problem. Research humidity problems, improper venting and moisture problems causing dryrot. Beams crumble then collapse, caused by moisture, mostly drain problems from your own plumbing. Get an old time pier and beam man, familiar with chain wall construction.
Sorry, not only will beams have to go, but wet problem must also be fixed. Good Luck keep in touch. [email protected] Manyango Says:June 22nd, 2007 at 9:57 amPaula,Minor flaws in sheetrock are common, especially if the house was attached with nails rather than screws as is now the custom. Nail pops and slight cracks at joints above doors and windows from seasonal movement of the wood framing are two of the most often noticed defects, and should be repaired before you repaint. Larger problems, such as you described, could be the result of improper sheetrock installation, excessive moisture in the wall, or settling of the foundation. A moisture meter can be used to see if the wall in question varies significantly from other areas of the house. If it does, check your roof and siding and repair any leaks.Stacey Says:August 14th, 2007 at 11:46 amStacy, any professional company is going to cost you alot of money but you want to make sure to check references, even if they say they have been in business for years, make sure they have done the type of work you are looking to have done.
Get several estimates, check all the references, and when you decide on a contractor make sure he is licensed and insured. Make sure the estimate is in writing and he gives you a copy of his certificate of insurance. Any reputable contractor will have no problem giving you these things for that type of work. Debbie, I don’t understand your question? You want to build apartments on the same land that you’ve built your house on, but your having problems with the house?
Are you asking what can be done to the land so that you wont have problems with the building of apartments? If so, again, a contractor is the one to contact. You will have to have permits and such and a good contractor would know what would have to be done in your case.Deb T Says:November 5th, 2007 at 3:58 pmKim do you currently have a sump pump installed? Does water collect in the basement ever? From the little info you’ve given me I would opt for number one, it depends why the water is coming in tho. Make sure to again check all the references for THIS type of work, get a written estimate and certificates of ins. Make sure he doesn’t make the problem worse by directing the water to an area where it hits your neighbors property and gives them problems or reroutes to a different part of your foundation. I have this same issue going on myself and when it floods it is not fun especially if your lower level is finished ( mine was..its now being remodelled) I can’t stress enough the importance of checking references for THIS TYPE of work, no matter how long this person has been working in the business..just because he is a contractor and is good at building things doesnt mean he is an expert at all things.
So cover yourself.Ray Says:November 5th, 2007 at 6:38 pmI live in a home that is 12 years old. The builder is one of the local high-volume builders. When I ripped out the carpet to put down hard wood, I noticed that there was a raised spot on the floor that the builder did not grind down. As it turns out, there is a pvc pipe that wasn’t cut down enough (maybe they were going to put an outlet?) and the concrete is piled up to the height of the pipe. Over time, that has led to a small crack in the concrete that extends to the porch outside. Otherwise, I have had no problems with the house. On the face of it, is this a major problem?Deb T Says:January 8th, 2008 at 5:59 pmFoundation.. I would consider it a major problem.
If the foundation is not correct it can not support the rest of the house. I would fix it while it was minor ..just my opinion after going through it with a house we bought at auction and wish we had inspected better:) It may not be expensive now..theres no way to know unless a pro looks but I DO know its better taken care of sooner than later. And if you are aware of the problem and sell the house without telling the buyer you will be held liable. You dont want that hassle. Just my opinion.Jen Says:February 1st, 2008 at 11:13 amHi.We bought our home year and half ago. No major problems noted in the inspection. Since that time we noticed major creaking of the floors on all 3 levels that has progressively gotten worse. Now you can’t step anywhere without loud creaks/groans.
Also we have noticed horizontal cracks, especially around door frames and doors are not shutting properly. It seems to be getting worse. House is 25 years old. Who to call? We are nervous that someone will come and diagnose a major problem just to get the contract to fix it.
Do we get multiple estimates? Thanks.Shirley W. Bodiford Says:February 10th, 2008 at 3:53 pmOur house is about 100 or so years old, and was re-stumped by its previous owner about 15 years ago, and is heritage listed.We have cracks throughout our ceiling, which are replicated in the same spot upstairs, and directly beneath these cracks are even larger gaps between the floorboards. Our dining room is elevated in its centre and slops in a downwards direction towards the kick boards, and the wood paneling on the wall no longer sits probably against the existing plaster board.Some of our floorboards actually bend when they are stood on, and barley any of our windows or doors open or close without having to really push them.The tiles in our kitchen and bathroom have began to lift off the walls, due to the new cement sheeting cracking, and our kitchen bench no longer sits correctly and seems to be leaning. We have also experienced some major leaks, caused by the actual tiles moving on the roof, and have had large amounts of water going down the walls directly under the house.We have received two quotes, and have been told that we need to rip up the majority of the floorboards in the back part of the house, due to the joists needing to be replaced and that it will cost around $20,000. Is this quote too much, and do we actually need to rip up our floorboards?Kristin Says:March 18th, 2008 at 5:32 pmMy husband and i are about to buy a house that is 4 years old. We had the inspection done yesterday and the guy found that it has already had foundation work done recently. He says it may have had something to do with the way the windows were put in but we would have to get a structural engineer to look at it. Since it has had work do you think we should get it looked at again or just not buy it at all?
We do not know if we want to take the risk of something happening down the road. What do we do?Keith Joiner Says:April 13th, 2008 at 7:45 pmI am looking into buy buying a foreclosure. It is a nice brick home in a nice community, the problem is that it has major foundation issues. There is a crack about two feet at the corner of a bedroom in the cement floor. The brick fireplace has a crack that actually broke through the brick instead of following the morter(?) lines. Also, about a foot off the bottom of the house on the outside brick is a crack that runs from the patio door to the end of the house!
Because it is a foreclosure and has been on the market a long time, not to mention the extensibe problems with the foundation, I was wondering if I my offer could refect those things. Mainly I’m wondering if the foundation damage would allow me to ask $70,000 off the asking price due to labor and cost to fix the damages? ( I would not be buying a house with problems if it wasnt such a nice house in the best neighborhood….big return later)…Advice please!!!Ben Erickson Says:June 13th, 2008 at 12:02 pmI bought my house about 2 years ago. I went into the unfinshed part of the basement about 3 months ago and there are cracks all along the wall. In one place of the wall I can see the sunlight outside. Water was getting in part of the basement but not from the cracks.
Before we baught the house and a company came out and put a draining system to the current drain. No water gets in but I want to build a deck. I had a guy tell me to have someone come out and look at it. How do I know that the contractor does not make it sound worse than it is? All of the cracks are on the seam of the blocks except for one. I was told that if the block is cracked in the middle it is because of stress and I should be worried about it. What do I do?Sam Says:August 12th, 2008 at 8:56 pmMy utility room used to be a garage.
At some point it was closed in. The floor of the utility room is the original slab from the old garage. The floor is not even and where the concrete slab intersects the wall (there are no baseboards), water permeates through that part of the wall when it rains. I had a general contractor assess and he thinks a chain wall needs to be added and the foundation built up. But I don’t understand what a chain wall is. Could you explain?Fernando Rivas Says:September 5th, 2008 at 6:22 pmGood day. We bought a house in 2002. The realtor we bought the house from works for Ebby Holiday.
The house has foundation problems estimated at $20k, for a complete repair. I am very sure the realtor knew about the house having foundation problems back when we bought it but did not disclose the problem to us. Can anyone tell me what are my legal rights after living in the house for six years. Second, can anyone tell me an estimated loss figure I will suffer if we sell the house with foundation problems? The market area goes for $120k, the debt is some $69k, and the estimated foundation repair is some $20k.
I will really, really, appreciate a sincere answer please.Guardduck25 Says:September 13th, 2008 at 6:13 pmHello ALL: I need help! I am a new homeowner I brought my 102 yr old home 2 yrs ago. Previous owners remolded both bathrooms, mud room entry way, living room and two bed rooms with new blasted plaster (dry wall has a bubbled beaded look to it. I brought the home from an old friend that was in the realitor business. The inspector gave it a clean billed stated that it had some mild settling issues. wHEN IT RAINS in the middle of the basement the floor gets a bit wet mostly damp. I thought about dry lock to keep moisure out? comments on dry lock? my problems got worse because About 2 months later I noticed the floors on the upper level were higher towards the walls and the floor started to slope. I had the same inspector come out and he told me normal settling d/t the beam in basement had not sunk. then stated could be pressure from new tub prior owners put in?
Now I noticed majot cracking in the kitchen dry walls, floor slopes to middle of house. slopes down about 1/4 inch from wall to support beam. In basement (my basement is top1/2 old city brick/ bottom half field rock that have white ash on them)no cracks found around major wood support beam but, could the metal beams holding up the wood support beam could those sink into the cement floor? is that possible? It seems that slopping is getting worse every year!! The prior owner also cut one of the smaller support beam to install the tub. I believe they had some prior water damage d/t there is all new wood around the tub area (visual from basemant) I also notice the tiles are coming up in the secound floor bathroom. The secound floor is also very cold during the winter and hot and humid during the summer. (i do have CAir does not appear to reach upper level)also, (there are 2 heating vents one is on the wall does not appear to be working? one on the floor in corner of bedroom which works.) I need some major help and advice. Is the prior owner liable? I brought the house as is in the contract.
They did not disclose any foundation problems. My old nfriend does not talk to me anymore which leads me to belive that he knew of the problems and must have gottern a bonus for selling me this headache of a house! ANYONE PLEASE GIVE ME SOME ADVICE DIRECTION ON WHAT TO DO! desparte in wisconsin for help!Rosanne Says:October 21st, 2008 at 11:29 pmWhat about cracks that are mainly in the ceiling? What does this mean? I have a high sloped ceiling and there are cracks running from the peak and down both sides but not next to each other. One of the cracks runs down the side wall to a vent. I also have a crack running across the ceiling of a small hallway then a little down the side wall.
There is a crack running across a small part of a ceiling in a bedroom next to the box ceiling. There is a crack running completely through the brick pillar that holds up the extended end of the front porch covering. No problems with windows, doors or floors and there aren’t any diagonal cracks.Shirley Ranger Says:November 8th, 2008 at 10:58 pmWe just bought a house, it is 31 years old.There is cracks in the concrete floor in the basement laundry room, don’t know where else because it is carpeted.I have been noticing on a lot of the walls, epecially in basement, that where the drywall joints are, it is becoming more noticable. Two inside walls in the basement have vertical cracks in paint, where the drywall joints are?Anyway, I am worried! Is this normal shifting or could it be a foundation problem? No problems with doors or anything else.sande wood Says:February 21st, 2009 at 1:12 pmOur house is built at 1965 and we are planning to sell it this year.There are several symptoms which indicate the house has foundation problem:– Cracks at garage and patio floors– Sloping floors: kitchen and stairway– Diagonal cracks in the wall at corners of doors (master bedroom, hall bathroom) and cracks at kitchen ceilingWe think all of these symptoms are caused by water problem. There is a creek at back of the house and whenever there is heavy rain water will get in garage and crawlspace. We did install sump pump and well to help resolving the problem but sometime with the heavy rain, we still have water in these two areas.If we decide to hire foundation repair contractor to fix it we are not sure if there is “solid ground” under the foundation since this is a poor building site to begin with.We appreciate if you can help us out by answering the following questions:1.
Does it help to install helical pier to stabilize our house foundation or there is other way to resolve it?2. We think this house builder did a bad job and the town did not supervise this job well. Can we ask our town to be responsible for the foundation repair?Thanks for your time in advance.Krystal Says:July 4th, 2009 at 7:31 pmMy home is currently under construction and the builder installed the plumbing to bathroom 3 in the wrong location. He installed it in the doorway of my gameroom!! The builder has offered to relocate the plumbing to its proper place but has to break through my newly poured and still curing foundation. I need to know if this will compromise the foundation or pose any future problems. Also, I am worried about future plumbing/drainage problems as a result of this repair.
Thank you so much for your response.Cassie J. Says:July 6th, 2009 at 10:17 amHey Guys. I am looking to purchase a house in North Carolina that was built in 1941. It has a brick foundation, which are not common in the North, where I am from and learned all I know about home construction. There are two three-inch vertical separations in the brick at the back end of the house that run the length of the foundation. It doesn’t seem like it has affected the house much, but is this something I should consider before I buy it? Could I patch it with concrete or reinforce the wall from the inside crawlspace with another layer of brick?Any input would be awesome.wendy douglass Says:July 6th, 2009 at 7:19 pmHiWe built a house in 2002 on sandy clay.
The last couple of years we have had major droughts in Texas. We have crackes diagonal about three doors, three windows and our front door will not open. We see no cracks outside around the foundation however we have hardiplank, so not sure if you can see any cracks. Could we have a foundation problem. My husband seems to think that the wood has shrunk, especially since it was really green during the building process. We have beams every 12 feet and lots of iron in the foundation.Any help would be appreciated.susan Says:August 8th, 2009 at 6:26 pmI had a house built 4 years ago so it relatively still new. About six months after being in my home, I started noticing cracks above doors.
I called the builder and he had it repaired and he said the house was just settling. Well I have had more cracks and some doors won’t close. I called my builder and again he had it repaired. This has been going on for the last four years. I’ve done some research and had some estimates from foundation companies.
My question is isn’t my builder responsible for having the foundation repaired. I don’t have the funds. I think this was faulty construction from the beginning stages of pouring the foundation. What are my rights? HELP!!steven dossett Says:August 16th, 2009 at 5:37 pmMy husband and I bought a house in 2008. We noticed a crack from top to bottom on one of the rooms last year, 2009.
We also see the uneven door level, as being noted on some of the above comments. We are now starting to see cracks on the ceiling on some of the other rooms. I didnot know what to do so I was looking online and came across your website. After reading some of the comments abvove, I think its also a foundation problem. Is the previous owner responsible for paying if it’s foundation problem? Do you know who I can escalate this to pleaseDale Kerr Construction Inc. Says:March 9th, 2010 at 9:56 pmI am a home builder in Texas where the soil is always shifting from reading all of yalls notes compalints I suggest you all contact a soil stabilization company there are 3 in this area,I repair foundations and i can tell you the cost are high its a very labor intensive process soil injection company can almost usually fix the problem immediate and its warrentied for the life of the house the warrenty transfers over to the new owners everytime the house sells so dont let any contractor sell you a pipe dream call the soil stabilization specialist unless the concrete is dead and i mean deteoriating to the point it is brittle and easily falling apart then you have no choice but to raise the house about 3 inches and change the cement out both cost about the same one is a quick fix and the other takes a week or two to complete at about $40,000 to $45,000 depending on your location in the US and the size of you foundation. Good luck to each and everyone of you.JEFF Wall Says:April 7th, 2010 at 2:53 pmHusband and I just had our home inspected.
Upon inspection, they found a horizontal hairline crack about two feet in length, and 1/16th of an inch in width. Slight bowing, but not much along the crack. The crack is located in the morter and NOT the cinder blocks. We are hiring a Certified Foundation Structural Engineer to tell us if this is a failing structure or not. We have no other problems with the home, no cracks any where else. The buyers want to hire a repair person to come out. We are frustrated because we have dumped so much money into this house, paying all the buyers closing costs, and we have come down in price, not to mention all of the updates we have done to this home due to the age. Any suggestions on this type of crack?Dale Kerr Construction Says:August 17th, 2010 at 9:15 pmJoeIf you have trees in your slab, I suggest you call both a tree specialist and a foundation specialist both together can help you with your problem.But to much water can cause lifting so i wouldnt try to solve a problem with water, the pros in your area are familiar with your soil and ground conditions and can help you save a little now are a lot later.
Remember it doesnt cost that much more to go first class so take care of your investment now or it may cost you thousands later.Debbie Says:August 23rd, 2010 at 1:58 amMy husdand and I brought a 35 year old house almose 3months ago and after heavy rain one day, we noticed in the dining room a large square shape where it looks like ceiling is leaking from water. What are our options? The seller had to known about this. This could not be the first time, from one day of heavy rain. Should I contact my lawyer to see if the seller if oglicated to fix? We have already put in a lot of money to fix other things with this house, but I am thinking their is an issue with the roof, that was not disclosed or hidden by the seller saying “Do not Know” on the seller’s disclosure.Kerry Says:September 11th, 2010 at 10:06 amI purchased a home five years ago. Its a slab house that is now 47 years old. The house was “flipped” by a real estate company.
They did a poor job on alot of the remodeling. After I moved in, approximately 3 months later diagonal cracks appreared in my bedrooms at the windows and in the living room. The real estate company did not disclose that there were any types of cracks on the walls during their remodeling. They did not have any permits for the work they did on the house (I checked). They put that they did not live in the house so they did not disclose any of the cracks. They had to know because their painters had to patch them to paint over them. The cracks come back everytime after I patch over them with joint mud. Can I sue them for non disclosure fraud?Jimmie Says:October 3rd, 2010 at 4:20 pmI purchase my home last October 2009 in the last few months of 2010 had massive movement in the foundation and bricking of my home.
First AAA is canceling my Home Owner Insurance, as of October 19, 2010, due to the cracking in the mortar in the bricking (Side of the house). I called the original Inspector that inspected the house for me. He looked over the house a seconded time, and notice things that he did not see the first time. Long story short, I had a foundation company come out to give me an estimate to fix this issue to Michigan Stands, It will cost me $20.000 to fix the foundation, not including the cracking and bowing of the bricks on all sides of the house. The foundation company found a crack in the basement wall, from the top of the basement to the bottom (floor). The crack measures about 7ft. long and ? – 1in wide I have pictures before and after removal of dry wall.
In the disclaimer list, there was nothing stating that there was a foundation problem or cracking behind basement walls.When I purchase this house, I trusted my Realtor, and the Home Inspector, to see and point out these things that I would not see. I purchase this house in good faith, that nothing major was wrong with it. Now I have to find $20.000 to fix this problem and get my Home Insurance back. I believe that the previous owner hide this problems behind the basement walls, with dry wall. When the foundation company took down a section of the basement wall, it was so obvious that this house had foundation problems. I would not have purchase this home if I knew that it had foundation issues. What can I do legally?Julie Fisher Says:October 5th, 2010 at 12:22 pmMy husband and I bought our home in June of this year.
It was a HUD held home, but all inspections were done by them and then by us as well. All checked out perfectly. We have a basement that is split down the center of the home. When you get to the bottom landing you can go left to the workshop or right into the laundry area. We recently had about 5.5 inches of rain in a 24 hour period and ended up with 5 inches of water in the right side of the basement which is roughly 20 x 12 so it was like a large kids pool. We can not tell where it came in, there are no cracks in the flooring, signs of water on the ceiling or any spot that stays wet. I find it hard to believe this is the first time this has happened, but it was not disclosed.
What can we do?Jonathan @ Atlas Piers of Atlanta Says:November 1st, 2010 at 9:41 amJimmie,Legally, I’m not sure if you have a case. In the cases I have testified and been a part of, a homeowner (you) would need to prove the previous owner knew about the issue and lied about it. This can be very hard to do unless the basement was finished right before you bought it, or you can find the contractor who finished the basement (he might remember cracks in the wall), but even then you would need to prove that the homeowner had full knowledge.For the repairs, I would get 2-3 opinions and even hire a structural or geotechnical engineer to assess the issues. Many times you can wait to make repairs, allowing years to save up for the repairs. In other situations, you can do some other things to help with the problem (regrading, drainage, etc). Ask around, there are usually more than one way to skin a cat. $20,000 is steep although it may be the actual cost.shelly Says:November 22nd, 2010 at 9:07 pmWe have a 7 year old home. During final walk through, we noticed the carpet wet in the walk-out basement. We were told during the home inspection to keep that side of the house clear of snow during melting (in the spring) to prevent water buildup next to our home.
The previous owners were not aware of the wet carpet. We just had freezing rain storm, mixed with melting snow, now the carpet is soaked. There is also water coming up through cracks in the garage (part of walk out basement) along with the water seeping into the garage through the corners and joints of the wall (the same wall as in the bedroom with wet carpet). HELP SOON!Jill Says:December 9th, 2010 at 9:29 amHi,My husband and I bought a 30 year old house last summer. We had some conerns because we saw some stairstep cracks in the mortar of the bricks outside and a weird looking vertical crack in the garage (which is under the house) wall. We asked the sellers to have it inspected by a structual engineer to see if the cracks were a potential problem. It came back clear from him. Since we moved in however, we are noticing other issues doors that stick through out the house, bubbly-looking corners in several of the upstairs bedrooms, and it makes me wonder if we have any legal recourse if we do, indeed have structural problems.
What do you think?Ronald Sanders Says:January 3rd, 2011 at 7:15 pmI bought my house last year and it is 7 years old. We periodically hear these very load noices in the house… seems like on our 2nd floor deck(sound like someone smashes the house with boards) After inspecting the house more closely, we noticed the beams are all shifting and turning.They do not fit square into the deck flooring that was cut around the beam. I do not know if this is where the noises are coming from or if those beams are shifting now or already shifted previously. I know for sure one has slightly shifted as the railing has pulled away from the beam by 1/4 inch. Is this settling even years later or am i have a structural issue?
Nothing else seems to be an issue. I do not see any foundation problems or any walls cracking or sinkingMark Says:January 21st, 2011 at 10:22 amHi Danny. Great website! Also, I see you are willing to give free advice to people, that is very nice of you. Quick question.
We recently bought a house that has a mild sloped floor in the corner of the kitchen. The slop isn’t much, but is somewhat noticeable. Also, several gaps aroudn the tops of doors are apparent and it looks like the previous owner put some caulking about the tops of the crown molding. Gaps there only about 1/8? or so. This was a FSBO from a Professor at the local University. He seems very honest. Do we need to be concerned that these are structural problems? The house is in an area with a high water table and last year was very dry for the area.
We looked at another house in the same area and were about ready to have a foundation inspector come in when the seller canceled the deal. This house has some real obvious signs of issues…and they obviously weren’t trying to hide them. The house we bought though had new carpeting througout and new paint.Should we be concerned? The house was inspected by a general home inspector who we were told was really good and he didn’t see anything to be concerned with. Given our problems with the other house we looked at, we are really worried this house may have issues the seller hid under new carpeting or paint and spackle. Help please!!!!Mark Says:January 21st, 2011 at 10:26 amHello, my home is about 6 years old and we are the orginal owners. We have large cracks that are diagonal at two different door frames and the doors will no longer shut.
I had the bulder come out and he tells me that a joyst is about 3 inches off and the house is “sagging” under those doors causing the dry wall to crack. Our floors are also very creaky and the carpet has started to bunch and fold. Is he telling me the truth Should I get someone else to look at it?Thanks in advance.WendyDebbie Ray Says:March 12th, 2011 at 5:12 amI buying this house from my parents for half of what they paid for because it needs work. New siding, Windows need to be updated and minor interior work like new carpet and the like. My big concern is the foundation settled about 3 inches when they had a drought years ago.
The house had the front settle the most and you can really see it in the supports in the crawl space. Should I see about having the front under pinned and pushed back to level. Also I spring and summer there is a fair amount of water that seeps in unless it a drought year and in the winter it is dry. I am thinking of put per tubing and then a sump in.K
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Residential Concrete Foundation RepairHomeowners can identify concrete foundation issues from cracks in the basement, either on the foundation wall or on the floor. These cracks are typically due to drying shrinkage, thermal movement or other causes. Foundation cracks can widen over time and result in wet basements or more serious structural problems. Foundation and slab cracks are not only an eyesore, but they may lead to more serious maintenance issues, while lowering the value of the home.There are numerous methods for the repair of settled and unstable foundations. These repair methods are most commonly referred to as Piering, Underpinning, Foundation Stabilization and Foundation Lifting.
Due to the complex nature of these types of foundation problems, the correct repair is critical. A-1 will assess your foundation and provide the best and most economical solution for your particular situation. Foundation Crack RepairThere is an easy way to permanently repair foundation cracks without the need for costly and disruptive excavation or drain tile. Poured foundation cracks can be repaired by the A-1 Concrete Leveling patented process, which uses a two-step Epoxy/Urethane injection.The Epoxy paste is used to set injection ports every 6 from top to bottom of a foundation crack, and to bridge the surface of the crack. The Urethane is then injected into each individual port, which than expands to fill the entire crack from the top to bottom, filling the void and providing a strong, solid repair. Bowed Foundation Walls/Basement RepairPressure from the exterior ground soil can cause block foundation walls to bow and deflect inward. If left unchecked, this condition can result in catastrophic failure.Our method of repair involves installing temporary braces on the interior foundation walls, then excavating the exterior ground around the bowed section of the foundation. The bowed walls are then mechanically pushed back into place, and steel rebar is inserted vertically into each block before pumping the wall full with high quality concrete, which is allowed to cure fully.
We then backfill the ground soil, and the braces are removed from the foundation walls after 3-5 days. This method not only pushes the wall back into place. it also stabilizes the structure to prevent future bowing. Best of all, there are no unsightly plates and screws permanently installed on the interior basement walls. Carbon Fiber ReinforcementCarbon fiber technology was originally used in the military and aerospace industry because of its high strength and ability to resist elongation. Carbon fiber can provide reinforcement to your basement walls by putting the interior of your wall under compression so that continued cracking and bowing cannot occur.
Other Concrete Foundation Repair ServicesLeaning ChimneyLifting Sunken FoundationQuad Power® Piering SystemConcrete sidewalks are a beautiful addition to any home. Seasonal freeze-thaw cycles can cause cracks and displacement which can worsen over time.Uneven stairs can be unsightly and potentially hazardous. Fortunately, uneven stairs can often be permanently repaired without having to replace them.Trust your concrete leveling work to the trained professionals at A-1 Concrete leveling -- the concrete leveling specialists!Fix concrete cracks before they grow! Foundation cracks can happen over time and may appear minor, but they can decrease the value of your home.A-1 Concrete Leveling's trained concrete foundation repair specialists have the experience to do the job right.A beautiful concrete driveway can become uneven over time. A-1 Concrete Leveling's trained professionals can level your driveway, at a greatly reduced cost as compared to tear out and replacement. Trust your driveway to the most experienced and most trusted concrete leveling experts in the nation!For more TIPS, see our Resource Center
Concrete Crack Repair Methods .
Concrete Foundation Crack RepairThe best way to repair a concrete crack in a foundation wall is by injecting it from the inside. The repair is quick and is therefore inexpensive. Injection ports are attached to the surface and a paste is applied over the crack surface. This cures and forms a strong seal to hold the injected epoxy or polyurethane in place. Then the liquid epoxy or polyurethane resin is injected into the crack. Once inside the crack, the soil on the exterior and the surface paste on the interior holds the liquids in place as they react. And then the repair is complete!Concrete Foundation Crack Repair: Polyurethane Injection vs Epoxy InjectionBy far the number one question our new customers ask is Should I use epoxy or polyurethane foam to fix my basement crack? The vast majority of cracks in a foundation wall that leak water should be repaired using a urethane foam.
This is for several reasons.More economical than epoxiesEasier to useCure fasterExpand and fill voidsMost cracks do not need re-enforcing from epoxiesPolyurethane FoamsUrethanes react with moisture in the crack to foam and expand inside the wall. This completely fills the void from top to bottom and all the way through. In fact, the urethanes can expand up to 30x their initial volume. Urethane foams are flexible and move with the expansion and contraction of a foundation wall from freeze/thaw cycles. Much less resin is needed with urethane foams since they expand in volume. That makes them much more economical than epoxies. Finally, urethane injection is relatively easier to do than an epoxy injection.Polyurethanes ProsLess expensiveEasier to use than epoxiesInject actively leaking cracksFills larger width cracksFlexiblePolyurethane ConsNot a structural repairPolyurethane Foundation Crack Repair KitsPolyurethane ResinsEpoxiesEpoxies weld the crack together and restore structural strength. The bond strength can be much higher than concrete.
Movement is eliminated in the concrete wall during expansion and contraction cycles.Foundations that are moving or have a continuing stress load on them may need additional repair methods to stabilize the wall and prevent further damage. The epoxy is stronger than the concrete, but the continued stress load may cause the concrete to crack again.Epoxy ProsHigh strength weldStronger than concreteStructural repair of crackEpoxy ConsMore expensive than urethanesBond strength is lower when done in a wet crackConcrete can re-crack if the wall is still movingEpoxy Concrete Basement Crack Repair KitsEpoxy MaterialsStructural crack thathas deflected inwardIs the Foundation Crack a Structural Defect?Nearly 100% of concrete foundations crack. This is because as the concrete cures, it shrinks in volume. This shrinkage causes stress on the concrete and to relieve that stress, it cracks. This is okay and the foundation is designed to handle the crack.
The most common places on a foundation wall where this occurs at the corner of a window, where the wall steps down or in the middle of a long wall. These cracks are nearly vertical in nature and usually 1/2 or less. We recommend using a urethane foam for these cracks.For a crack that is horizontal, runs at 45 degrees or less, or the wall has deflected, it can be assumed that the crack is structural and an epoxy should be used. The epoxy will restore the strength of the concrete wall. Please remember that cracks greater than 3/4 wide, horizontal or have deflection indicate that there is a stress on the foundation that must be remedied.
Even though the epoxy will restore the concrete's strength, the stress may be more than any epoxy can withstand. Contact a foundation repair contractor who can install steel I-beams to completely restore the wall.Low Pressure or High Pressure Injection for Concrete CracksLow pressure injection using surface mounted ports, single or dual cartridge resin cartridges and a hand trigger injection gun is the most common method to repair a crack. Professional waterproofing contractors know that this system works for 90% of cracks that they encounter.Where to use low pressureWider than hairline (wider than a fingernail or 1/32)Surface of the wall is dry (it can be damp, but not wet)Low pressure injection polyurethane kits Low pressure injection epoxy kitsHigh pressure injection uses drill in place packers to get the resin into the crack. A grease gun filled with resin is attached to the packer. This process is used on actively leaking, hairline or cracks that have already been filled with hydraulic cement.
Higher pressures are needed to get into a hairline crack than a trigger injection gun can generate. Also, water on the wall surface from actively leaking cracks will not allow the surface paste used with low pressure systems to adhere to the concrete.Where to use high pressureNarrower than hairline (less than fingernail thick)Actively leaking waterPreviously repaired cracksHigh pressure injection kitActively Leaking Concrete Basement CracksA foundation crack that is actively leaking water can only be repaired by using a polyurethane foam. They set up much faster than an epoxy so the water will not push all of the resin out before it has cured and expanded.Our Acta-Leak Concrete Crack Repair Kit will stop the water from coming in a basement.Because the surface of the concrete wall is wet, a surface paste cannot be used to adhere ports or to keep the resin in the crack as it reacts. But it is still possible to perform the repair by using the high pressure method.Holes are drilled alongside of the crack and packers are inserted. The polyurethane resin is then placed into a grease gun. The grease gun is attached to the packers and the resin is pumped into the crack. On contact with water the polyurethane will begin to foam and expand, stopping the water.Hairline Concrete Wall Crack InjectionAt Applied Technologies we define a basement crack as hairline if you cannot get a fingernail into it.
Cracks as narrow as this can let in water. A low pressure injection using a manual dispensing gun may or may not be able to generate enough pressure to get the resins into the crack. A good tip on injecting them by low pressure is to warm the cartridges in water. This will make the resin thinner and more likely to enter the hairline crack.For cracks that are extremely narrow, the high pressure system can be used to repair these cracks. This is done by drilling packers into the wall and using a grease gun loaded with resin to inject the materials. The grease gun method can generate much higher pumping pressures to get the resins into the crack.The Acta-Leak Concrete Crack Repair Kit will repair hairline cracks.Previously Repaired Basement CracksIf your foundation crack was repaired previously by hydraulic cement, it is still possible to inject a urethane foam. The technician who first fixed the leak chiseled a vee-notch in the wall and then packed it with cement.
Applied Technologies does not recommend you chisel out this cement.Low pressure injection can be done if there are gaps in the hydraulic cement. If not, then the best and most efficent method is to do a high pressure injection. This is because you leave the cement in place and drill the packers so that they intersect the crack behind the repair. Please see the high-pressure crack repair section for more information.Basement Wall to Floor Seam LeakIt is common for the seam formed where the slab meets the wall to leak. This water usually is coming up from below the floor due to the water table rising after rains. Injecting a urethane foam into this seam will stop the water in the area it is injected into.
However, we DO NOT recommend injecting urethane foams of any type or manufacturer into this seam. This is because if the water is not able to enter the basement area, high water pressures can develop that causes a structural problem in the concrete slab or wall. A functioning drain tile and/or sump pump system is required for a proper long term solution for this problem.
Home inspector, and appraiser miss a cracked slab. Agents deny request to view cracks in slab. Home purchased using FHA loan, can anything be done? .
Home inspector, and appraiser miss a cracked slab. Agents deny request to view cracks in slab crack on foundation slab. Home purchased using FHA loan, can anything be done?Asked by Eric619, San Diego, CA •Thu Jun 2, 2011Home inspector and appraiser provided by the bank miss the cracked slab, A day later after the inspection the seller discloses a small crack in the slab. Agents were asked if we can inspect the crack they said no until we get the keys handed to us after closing. A week after closing the carpet comes out and it appears the cracks were attempted to be patched up. That didn't work because now the patches are cracked also. Isnt the home inspector or the appraiser suppose to catch these problems?. Should the agent of denied access to inspect the cracks in the slab after it was disclosed?.
They were disclosed as small cracks there are various cracks where a nickel fits in the crack ( not small). If the appraiser would have caught this the home would not be valued at its current price. Can anything be done?... any advice first time home buyer hereIn an effort to NOT duplicate the advice below, I'd like to make a comment for the general public, other buyers - first time and repeat buyers - reading this.The inspection period and contingency period is there for a reason. It is to give the buyer time to inspect, discover, correct, and accept the condition of the property. If there is something the buyer is concerned about it is strongly advisable to put it in writing and get the seller's response back in writing. Paper trails are what attorneys need in order to build a case.
When the Buyer request further investigation and it is turned down this is a red flag. By not pushing for further inspection your action may be interpret that it is not a big deal and you would accept the outcome. Once escrow closes and there is nothing in writing to prove contrary (fraud, etc.) the transaction may be viewed as completed as agreed.In the C.A.R.contract, Page 4, Section 10 A through 10 D cover the inspection contingency, making the property available, getting it in writing, Buyer further investigations, etc. It's all there in the contract.If the Seller disclosed the crack in the Sellers Transfer Disclosure Statement you would have by contract a certain amount of days to have responded to that new information. When a Buyer, Seller, Agent, or other's state you can or can not do something, go back and read the contract it will tell you if they are correct.Your recourse would be as per agreed in the contract, Mediation, Arbitration is Selected, and any issue against misrepresentation by the Broker/Agent.I'm sorry this was not a good first time experience for you.
Hopefully the Brokers of the Agents and your Agent will be able to assist you in your options. I trust it will work out for you.Eric619,You state that the bank provided the home inspection? Normally the buyer would hire his own home inspector to protect his interest. Was this a short sale or foreclosure purchase? It's hard to answer your questions because we don't know all the details. Were you represented by an attorney at your closing?
If so, contact that attorney and discuss this issue. If you did not hire an attorney I would contact one and lay out your issues to see if you have any recourse.All the best,Gary Geerhttp://www.GaryGeer.comYou need to go to an attorney, the fact that the seller disclosed the crack and that the professionals refused to let you inspect newly disclosed material is in fact against the law. Your Realtor or Agent should have insisted on re-inspection of a disclosed item, especially since it is something covered by carpet and was not visible to original inspection. Why did you allow the back to provide you with an inspector, that was your choice to hire, not theirs, The Appraiser is a different matter. Was this a bank owned property to start with.
If it were and then the bank also hired the inspector for you, that was a pure conflict of interest and a steering mechanism for you to buy a home that may not have been up to snuff! In any case it looks like you have recourse here and can go after the owner that sold and any and all agents and their brokers if they denied a re-inspection. You must get legal representation and legal advice from an attorney. Good Luck with this endeavor and hopefully it will be resolved in your favor!Eric,We sympathize with you on this. we closed escrow June 3rd and found out the next day that the seller withheld 6 disclosures and we have a cracked slab. this was a traditional sale and the seller knew of the condition of our home. our inspector and 2 appraisers didn't notice either. we found out through an agent that representated potential buyers before us, who did get the disclosures and backed out. we have an attorney and have to go through a big mess. we are also first time buyers. it ruins your feelings of homeownership and takes all the good out of you. I am so sorry for you.I don't understand why the seller disclosed a cracked slab after the inspection was done.
Who did the seller disclose this to and for what reason? It doesn't make sense, if the seller was up to some mischief, they would have never said anything. If you signed off on the inspection, it will be your word against the sellers word.An attorney might see things differently, and I would encourage you to call one.DAVID COOPER Foreclosure and Bank REO's Specialist-Las Vegas.35 years experience For freee listCall +1-7024997037 or check websiteMostly good advice so far. California standards of practice do not require a home inspector to perform much more than a visual inspection. Pulling up a carpet is invasive and sometimes destructive. You must get the seller's permission to do so. Most home inspectors will visit the site again if you ask nicely. Afterward, the inspector will look at the concrete cracks and may recommend further review by a geotechnical engineer.
That advice is stated in the Buyer Seller Advisory (part of your real estate purchase agreeement).Hello Eric,I hope this message finds you well and points you in the right direction. First you must review you real estate disclosures and see in which terms you purchased your home. They most likely were sold as is. However, per the information provided this issue reflects a serious case of counseling of information regarding property condition. Now is the time to see who did not inform you about the seriousness of the situation.Unfortunately appraisers and general home inspectors are not the experts in the field, only certify engineers can determine the extent of the problem and the instructions to follow.I advise to seek legal advice through a Real Estate Attorney you might be entitling to not just the cost of repair but also punitive damages due to negligence.I wish you the best luck and I hope you come out of this situation with a smile on your face.Best Regards,PMEric,As with the previous answers, I would recommend talking to a Real Estate attorney. I can recommend one if needed. It looks like you may have a case.ALWAYS hire your own inspector.
I would not rely on an inspection provided by the seller. In most cases, unless there was an outright coverup, the inspector owes no duty to you and has no liability to you. It probably says this in the inspectors report.An appraiser is not an inspector. Appraisers see the obvious visual issues and base the value accordingly. Also, the appraiser is chosen by your lender.You should have been granted as much access as needed to the home for any inspection you desire.Good luck,Dennis Smith, ABR, SRES, e-PRO, CDPE, Realtor?® Lic6662Hi Eric:I empathize with your discovery but take comfort in that the problem may not be as serious as many think. We live in San Diego and the earth moves. More people have cracks or cracked slabs and don't even know about it due to the flooring.
The big question is, is the crack level and what is the width. Small cracks will often be epoxied. It is easy for an inspector and or appraiser to miss a crack due to the flooring whether it be carpet, hardwood floors, and or tile. One of the inspectors I use found a small crack from the outside foundation and we investigated further and there was a cracked slab that needed to be corrected. It was taken care of before close of escrow and I was very thankful that it was discovered for my buyer. Regarding denial of access to cracks, that may have come from the seller but ultimately the decision to close would rest on the buyer if there was disclosure of problem and you were within your timelines of disclosure to cancel escrow.Again I agree with Mark and Kari as any recourse would need to be discussed with an attorney.Good luck to you!Eric,I would contact an attorney as others have recommended.An appraiser does not inspect the home for structural integrity. Unless there is something obvious they will not see it. FHA appraisers do check to make sure some of the mechanical aspects of the home like A/C and heater are working but not much beyond that.
If they notice structural issues the appraiser may require a further inspection by a licensed contractor or engineer as a condition of the appraisal.The home inspector usually will not pull up the carpets to look underneath them. If while walking in the house if they notice irregularities in the floor they may recommend further investigation by a structural/foundation specialist. If you had had the disclosure in a timely manner as specified in paragraphs 9B and 14 A of the contract you could have made a decision as to what other inspections you may have wanted done on the home.After the seller made the disclosure of the cracks, you and your agent should have insisted that you have the opportunity to inspect the home again before you closed.Once again this matter is best handled by a real estate attorney.Jerry Heard - BrokerCA Dre # 00648687
Ask the Builder .
I have yet to figure out whether they don't really know the answer, are unwilling to initiate a repair, or are just making excuses. I may never discover the reason, but have decided to try to help by telling all I have learned, so that you know exactly what to expect from the new concrete used at your home.Years ago, when I was still building, I discovered that concrete shrinks as it dries and cures. On average, a concrete slab shrinks 1/16th inch for every ten linear feet. This may not seem much to you, but what this shrinkage does is produce significant internal stress within the slab.This stress or force is considered a tension-type force as the concrete is trying to pull itself apart much as you pull on two ends of a piece of newspaper. Pull hard enough and the paper tears.Because I knew there was a chance for concrete to crack, I actually had a special section of my contract that told people I guaranteed their concrete would crack.I realize this sounds nuts, but it afforded me with enormous protection. I further stated in my contract that I would do everything in my power to minimize the cracks and encourage the concrete to crack at predetermined locations. But even with all of this, the concrete could develop a random crack all on its own.Want perfect concrete work?
Find a pro by using my Concrete Work (Sidewalks, Driveways, Patios Steps) Checklist. I offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee.Surely, you have had to tear a piece of paper in half before and not had a scissors handy. If so, you probably creased the paper with your fingernail several times and then tore the paper neatly along this crease. The creasing action creates a pre-weakened zone in the paper by bending and breaking some of the fibers in the sheet of paper.Concrete masons can do the same thing by creating a line in concrete slabs as they are finished or immediately after they are poured. A saw cut or tooled line that creates a groove in a slab actually reduces the thickness of the slab at that location and makes it easier for the slab to crack. In the trade these lines are called control joints as we are trying to control where the crack will occur.These control joints need to be a minimum depth to be effective. Note I say minimum there is nothing stopping you or your contractor from exceeding this minimum so you increase your chances of success.The Portland Cement Association (www.cement.org) and the American Concrete Institute (www.concrete.org) seem to agree that the minimum depth of a control joint should be 1/4th the thickness of a slab. This means the grooved lines you see in a typical sidewalk should be one inch deep, as many sidewalks are poured four inches thick.Measure your grooves and guess what?
I'll wager they are only 5/8 inch deep or perhaps 3/4 inch if you are lucky. A concrete saw can be placed in these grooves to increase the depth of the groove.Placing reinforcing steel, wire mesh and even synthetic fibers in with the concrete will do wonders to help hold the concrete together in the event it does crack. I am a huge fan of one-half inch steel bars placed at two-foot-on-center intervals in slabs poured on grade.This steel works well if it is in the center of the slab or just slightly below the center point. The steel has a far greater tensile strength than the concrete and holds the artificial rock together much the same way as the strings you find in common brown packaging tape.For years I've place small pieces of solid brick under rebar to hold them up so they are suspended in the air and concrete can flow under and around the steel bars. If you're pouring a 4-inch-thick slab, you want about 1.5 inches of concrete under the bars.
If the brick is thicker than 1.5 inches, then you need to dig a small recess for the brick to rest in so it puts the steel at the correct height.Be sure you discuss what measures your builder intends to take to ensure your concrete cracks where it is supposed to crack. Keep in mind that your builder can't give you an absolute guarantee that the concrete will do what he or she says. If this person makes this lofty promise, then you might want to consider talking with another builder.I had a new home built last year with a concrete porch 30' wide and 7' length about 4 thick. It crack all the way through from to back 3 weeks after being poured. Still awaiting for the builder to repair it. The crack has separated more about 1/8 of inch.
He say the concrete hasn't failed. I say it wasn't done correctly due to they only hand tamp the fill. Normal concrete no rebar and one solid pour. The builder said stress crack at first and now he says shrinkage. He wants to fix it with an epoxy and overlay I want to porch ripped out and redone correctly. The porch also drains towards the house and other crack have have developed.New constructionConcrete pouredStarted out as a thin crack but nowIt goes all the way through to the dirt underneath the concreteThis is the foundation of our houseIt's started out small and now is getting bigger I say at least a 16th of an inchWe are in Texas new home new stateThey are trying to blow it offBut my question is if it's foundation and the studs are up and the concrete is cracking almost straight across the middle of the house am I in troubleTheir current contractor was fired our plumbing for the refrigerator is in the wrong place also am I in trouble ?DesperateWhere did the good builders go to I'm so frustratedK Maxwell
COMMUNITY FORUM .
After removing our carpet, we have decided we never want carpet again because of all the dirt and junk we found underneath it and the padding. We also became aware of multiple cracks in our foundation. We would like to install stone or tile, but I'm scared that after installing new stone and/or tile that a few months later we would begin to find cracks in the stone, tile, or grout. I really don't want to do the whole foundation repair thing right now due to lack of money. I'm tempted to just fill the cracks with some kind of mortar or concrete repair material and then just go right over that with tile or stone. Does anyone have any suggestions that do not necessarily include $5K-$10K foundation repair?
Is there any such thing as flexible grout? Is there any sub-flooring that could be installed under the stone or tile that might improve its ability to stand up to possible future cracks shifting in our foundation?Thanks for your feedback. Most of our cracks fall in the category of either small spider cracks or horizontal. Although, we do have at least two of the vertical type where one side is ~1/16 taller than the other side just so you can feel it when you run your bare feet over it. If I fill the cracks with some kind of concrete repair material, will that be a problem in the future if we decide to get the foundation repaired since it might prevent everything from falling back into its normal place so to speak? Also, if I stay with something that is not very uniform in color, nor texture (i.e. slate), would it be rediculous to think I could just chisel out future damaged tiles and replace them rather than take the plunge on the foundation repair?Filling in the cracks wont harm the slab down the road but it may be an exercise in futility if the cracks are active.
It would be like putting spackle over a crack in the corner of wallboard. If movement is still occurring it will be too much for the repair to handle and the crack will reappear. In the case of tile if the crack movement is severe enough it will show through the tile as a new crack. An anti-fracture membrane will go a long way toward remedying that issue so long as the cracks are not vertical. As I said before, that kind of movement cannot be controlled by a membrane or any thinset covering. If the vertical cracks were not active it would be a roll of the dice as to whether or not the tile ever would crack.
For certain they would should a dormant crack go active again. Instances where that could occur would be for example, a heavy rain or flooding situation that saturates the ground under the slab, then dries out over time. The drying would cause shrinkage or compaction of the dirt, possibly enough to create a void under the slab followed by the slab cracking and settling over the area of the void. If tile were set on the slab when it settled the tile would be sheared along the crack.Sort of like having a mini San Andreas fault under your floor.A new backsplash is a great example of a stand-alone cosmetic project that can dramatically transform a space. Fireclay Ti... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled entryway will get you in the outdoor mood.
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This site is for individuals to offer/ask for advice on home improvement projects. Also feel free to post the story and pictures of projects that you're working on or you've completed. If you are asking a question, be as detailed as possible and include your location and multi-angled pictures if you can. We want to keep the conversations here in the sub, not just drive it away.Be respectful - no abusive or hateful language of this community will be tolerated. No question is too stupid, too simple, or too basic. We're all here to learn and help each other out - enjoy!This is not a place to solicit products and or services. Any posts linked to a website of any product, service, or blog will be removed. Offenders will be banned.Product recommendations are allowed with links to Amazon/HomeDepot/Lowes.reddiquette!Posts asking users to participate in a survey are no longer allowed and will be treated as SPAM posts.Air Conditioning TipsHardwood AMATile and Stone AMAPSA Guide to TilingDoors AMAWindows AMALooking to hire a contractor?FAQ: My First Home ToolboxBest of 2015 WinnersBest Home Improvement Project (the Al Borland Award)/u/Zoned, Monster Victorian remodelExpert of the Year (Best AMA)/u/Orwellian1 AMA/u/m1stertim AMAAdvisor of the Year/u/RugerRedhawkUnfortunate Situation of the Year/u/True_Racer One miscalculationOther subreddits you may like/r/DesignMyRoom/r/DIY/r/Gardening/r/HowNotTo/r/HowTo/r/InteriorDesign/r/Yard/r/ToolPorn/r/ToolsHello, all.
Moved into a 34 year old house a month ago and finally got around to pulling up the old carpet for replacement with tile. When I pulled up the first corner, I was presented with this.http://imgur.com/a/sxhXMThe crack is ~1/8 at it's widest part and begins at a corner of the door frame and stops just before the tack strip next to an exterior wall. At both ends of the crack, the crack is level, but at the center, there's a very slight height differentiation. Enough that I can stop my foot against it when sliding from left to right, facing the door.It was recommended to me to clean, fill the crack with concrete crack sealant, then use a leveling compound to fix the slight height difference.Part of me suspects that this crack was caused by improper water drainage (water was draining towards the house towards the direction of the crack), but I've implemented a fix for the drainage issue.Is this something I can fix myself, or am I asking for more trouble?10 commentsshareYou mentioned that you are going to tile. The smart thing to do would be to use a crack isolation membrane of some kind to protect your tile against future movement. If you want to go cheap, you could use some schleuter kerdi over the crack and then tile right on to the concrete.
I tend to be one to play it safe and would be more inclined to put down schleuter ditra on the whole area being tiled. Great crack isolation and it is a little insurance on the money and work you are going to put into tile.permalinksavegive gold
Slab on Grade Foundations .
Slab on grade foundations areconcrete floor slabs which are poured at grade or groundlevel to make a foundation for a home or business.Before it is built contractors will excavate the soilsurrounding the area the foundation is to be built andmake sure that the ground is stable enough to supportthe structure. Typically the perimeter of the slab isthicker than the rest of the surface. This section islike a footer, helping to distribute the weight of theexterior walls evenly across the soil beneath thestructure. Slab on grade foundations are typical in theSouth and in areas such as California, where the soil isnot suitable for crawlspaces or basements.Common Slab on Grade Foundation ProblemsSlab Cracks: This is the most common problem in slab ongrade foundations. When the ground beneath theslab on grade foundationisn't prepared correctly, if it is poorly compacted, or if there is notenough moisture in the soil and it shrinks, this can cause settlement of theslab and slab cracks will begin to form. They can also occur in the garage,and you might notice cracks in the garage column as well. It would be wiseif you notice cracks in your slab, check the rest of house out.
You mightnotice cracks in your walls, ceilings, floors, tiles, joints, and drywall.These might be signs that there are larger problems with the foundation anda foundation expert may need to be consulted.Sloping Floors:Sloping floors are a problem that occurwhen the slab on grade foundation settles unevenly. The settlement causesthe floors to slope or become uneven.Leaning Chimneys: The footings of the chimney can become uneven as well andthis can cause problems to occur with the chimney. If the chimney leans thisis a danger to your home and to your neighbors. Aleaning chimney is aserious foundation problem and should be looked at immediately. Solutions for Slab on Grade Foundation ProblemsOur network of foundation specialist depend onfoundation piering and underpinning products fromEarth ContactProducts. One of the underpinning products they offer is ECP helicalslab brackets. They are designed and engineer specifically for concreteslab support.
Our foundation repair contractors prefer to use these slabbrackets because of their ease of use and high load capacities. Theseslab brackets provide years and years of support. They can work inconjunction with helical piers as well. Helical slab brackets installdeep in supporting, load bearing soils to provide support for concreteslabs and slab on grade that have cracked because the soil beneath themcannot handle the load of the structure.Slab brackets can be installed above a helical anchor for structuralsupport and strength. Helical anchor slab brackets can be lifted tolevel foundations using either a mechanical method or hydraulic method.Slab brackets are the top choice forfoundation repair contractors inour specialized network.
Use our network to find a solution for yourslab on grade foundation in your area.
Soils and Settlement May Cause Slab Cracks .
Soils and Settlement May Cause Slab CracksFoundation Crack, Slab crackin Home FactsSoil is a naturally-occurring mixture of mineral and organic ingredients with a definite form, structure, and composition. It’s composed primarily of minerals which are produced from parent material which is broken into small pieces by weathering. Larger pieces are stones, gravel, and other rock debris. Smaller particles are sand, silt, or clay. Since the original materials vary from place to place, the exact composition of soil varies according to location.
A common example of soil composition by volume might be:45% Minerals (clay, silt, sand, gravel, stones).25% Water (the amount varies depending upon precipitation and the water-holding capacity of the soil).25% Air (an essential ingredient for living organisms).5% Organic matter or humus (both living and dead organisms).Mineral particles give soil texture. Sand particles range in diameter from 2 mm to 0.05 mm, feel gritty and can be easily seen with the unaided eye. Silt particles are between 0.05 mm and 0.002 mm and feel like flour. Clay particles are smaller than 0.002 mm and cannot be seen with the unaided eye. Because of the small particle size, clay soils can sometimes experience large amounts of expansion and contraction in volume with changes in moisture content.Water and air occupy the pore spaces—the area between soil particles. The final ingredient of a soil is organic matter. Organic matter consists of dead plant and animal material and the billions of living organisms that inhabit soil.The concern with soil in respect to building is the ability of soil to bear the load of the structure while remaining stable.
Ensuring long-term stability requires proper compaction and consolidation of soil before a permanent load is placed upon it. Examples of a permanent load would be foundation footings and walls or a concrete floor or driveway slab.The excavation process disturbs soil, loosening it and causing spaces between soil particles to become much larger. For this reason, engineering specifications often require that foundations be placed on undisturbed soil.In areas at which a home is built partially or completely on fill, such as homes built on hillsides, that fill must be made as solid as possible before a permanent load is placed on it. This is done by mechanical compaction of the soil. Soil is placed in layers (called “lifts”).
Each layer is mechanically compacted by impact and sometimes by vibration.When larger areas such as a hillside lot are compacted, heavy equipment is used. For smaller areas like backfill around basement foundation walls, a jumping jack tamper is used which is operated by one person.Compaction is the process of forcing air from the spaces between soil particles. Compaction with a jumping jack tamper is somewhat inexact. In determining the point at which soil is adequately compacted, the operator listens to the tone of the tamper impacting the soil. When soil is adequately compacted, the tone will have a ringing quality which will not change. A change in tone indicates that compaction is still taking place.Compaction increases the density of the soil and improves its ability to bear a load.
Compaction is affected by a number of factors:Soil type (clay, sand, silt, level of organic matter, etc.)Soil characteristics (uniformity, gradient, plasticity, etc.)Soil thicknessMethod of compactionMoisture content at the time of compaction.Consolidation is the process of forcing water from the spaces between soil particles. Soil is more permeable to air than to water. This means that the compaction process may remove from the soil a large percentage of air, but a significant percentage of water may remain.Soil undergoes both primary and secondary consolidation.Primary consolidation is short-term and takes place during the mechanical compacting process. Secondary consolidation is long-term and takes place after the compaction process is complete and the permanent loads are in place.During secondary consolidation, the weight placed on soil slowly forces water out of the spaces between soil particles. As this happens, soil particles will move close together and settling will occur.
The source of the weight would be both the structure and the overlying soil.The amount of secondary consolidation which can be expected increases with the depth of the affected area. An excavation with backfill 15 feet deep would experience more secondary consolidation than an excavation with backfill 8 feet deep.A common scenario is when a structure is built partially on undisturbed soil and partially on compacted fill. Soil in these two areas will consolidate at different rates as the weight of the newly-built structure forces water from between soil particles. This is called “differential settlement”.Settling will be reflected in any part of structure bearing upon the settled soil. In adequately-compacted soil, settling will be so minor that evidence won’t be visible.
Extreme differential settlement will create stresses which are relieved by cracking.Which materials crack depends on the properties of the material and the rate of settling. More brittle materials will crack first. The effects of soil movement are most often seen as cracks in interior and exterior wall coverings like drywall and plaster and in masonry foundation walls.Even concrete, which most people think of as brittle, can bend if pressure is applied slowly over a long time period. If pressure is applied over a shorter time period, concrete will crack.Compaction and consolidation are affected by the composition of the soil. Fine-grained soils have more interior surface area and can hold more air and water than course-grained soils.Here’s an example. Drywall is made of much courser particles than cement. An ounce of drywall dust contains about 5,000 square feet of interior surface area.
An ounce of cement dust contains about 50,000 square feet of interior surface area.This means that fine-grained soils like clays have more interior surface area which can contain water. In order to force water out of the spaces between particles, surface tension must be overcome. “Surface tension” is the tendency of water to cling to a surface. When you fill a glass with water, it’s surface tension that makes the water level slightly higher around the edges where water comes into contact with the glass surface. Water is clinging to the glass.The greater interior surface area of fine-grained soils results in greater surface tension. Fine-grained are also typically low-permeability soils, meaning that water moves through them slowly. These conditions increase the amount of time and pressure required for soil to consolidate.
Soils will continue to consolidate until the resistance to pressure of the materials of which the soil is composed reach equilibrium with pressure from the weight of soil and structure above.The rate of consolidation is affected by the soil composition, levels of moisture saturation, the amount and nature of the load on the soil and state of consolidation of the soil.Another moisture-related problem is the addition of excessive moisture to the soil. This can create a condition in which water is absorbed into spaces between soil particles. Soil becomes less dense, which reduces its ability to support a load.To receive more articles like this, please subscribe to our blog at sdinspect.com/blogBy Kenton Shepard, InterNACHI’s Director of Green BuildingServing San Diego, Temecula and surrounding areasIncluding: Alpine, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, Eastlake, El Cajon, Escondido, Encinitas, 4S-Ranch, Fallbrook, Julian, La Jolla, La Mesa, Lake Elsinore, Lakeside, Mira Mesa, Mission Valley, Murietta, Menifee, Oceanside, Pacific Beach, Poway, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, Santee, San Carlos, Solana Beach, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, San Elijo Hills, San Marcos, Scripps Ranch, San Clemente, Temecula, Valley Center, Vista, Wildomar, Winchester and all areas of Metro San Diego.
How to Build a Solid Foundation: The Key to a Well-BuiltHome .
Search the nation's largest new home search: Search new homesPlease enter a valid location or select an item from the list.Enter location or community name:Your search will find new homes communities, floorplans, photos, videos and deals available in your area. Refine results by price, beds, baths, schools more!Not sure where to start?Get in the know with New Home 101or, search by home type:Custom Homes Build On Your LotGreen HomesHot Deals on new homesVisit our other sites forspecialty new home searches:Custom New HomesGreen Home SourceNew Retirement CommunitiesCondos and TownhomesCasas Nuevas Aqu? (en Espa?ol)For real estate agents:NewHomeSource ProfessionalSince every element of your new home will ultimately rest upon it, ensuring your new home has a solid foundation is key.What you need to know (and ask your builder) to ensure your home has a solid foundation.Footings and foundations are to homes what feet and legs are to the human body: footings anchor the home to the ground and support the foundation, which in turn carries the weight of the home.Although foundations have been made from a number of materials — stone, block and even treated wood — reinforced concrete is used in the vast majority of new homes. The contractor erects wooden forms, installs steel reinforcing bars (“rebar”) between the form faces, then fills the forms with poured concrete. After the concrete sets, the forms are removed.There are three main foundation types: full basement, crawlspace, and slab-on grade. Different types are popular in different parts of the country, with reasons that include ground conditions and local market expectations.Full BasementsAlthough full basements can be found in many areas, homeowners in the Northeast tend to expect them. A full basement typically consists of footings placed deep below the region’s frost depth and eight-foot-high walls that enclose a four-inch-thick poured concrete slab. This creates an underground room that can be used as a storage and mechanical space, and/or finished to create a living area.Basement finishing is a growing trend: Homeowners are turning these spaces into recreational rooms, gyms and entertainment centers.
If the lot slopes or allows for a walkout configuration, the basement will have natural light, good ventilation and a more spacious feel. If you think you might want to put a toilet in the basement, consider including a well for a grinder pump.If you plan on finishing the basement, you may want to consider installing rigid foam insulation beneath the slab. While it may not noticeably lower energy use, it could make the space more comfortable. Even when not finishing the basement, insulating the slab and walls can reduce problems with mold and mildew, since the insulation reduces the chance of condensation by keeping the concrete at a higher temperature.Basements with insulation under the slab “don’t smell like basements and feel clean and dry,” says Portland, Maine architect Jesse Kaplan. “It’s a tremendous improvement over what people are used to. Honestly, I would never build a house without insulation and a vapor barrier between wet soil and concrete for the quality and comfort issues alone.”He says that under-slab insulation isn’t just for the far North. “Soil temperatures down South are warmer than in the Northeast, but they’re probably below the dew point even more of the year, so the dampness is even more of an issue.”CrawlspacesCrawlspaces are most common in the Southeast and parts of the Midwest basement crawl space. The footings are placed below the frost line, but there’s only enough headroom between the ground and the floor frame for someone to crawl around.Most crawl spaces include foundation vent openings. They’re supposed to prevent the buildup of excess moisture, but in practice they often backfire by bringing moisture into the space. “Open crawlspaces can become breeding grounds for mold and moisture,” says Brian Coble, who directs the High Performance Homes program at Advanced Energy, a North Carolina building science research firm. “This moisture can soak the home’s framing, leading to rot and structural failure, and can carry mold spores and other pollutants into the home’s living space.”Building scientists like Coble now recommend sealing and insulating the crawlspace and covering the ground with a polyethylene vapor barrier, or even a concrete slab. These details add cost, but a multiple home field study (27 homes in different parts of the country) by Advanced Energy confirmed that they can also lower space conditioning bills and reduce mold and mildew.
As a bonus, you end up with a tempered, dry storage space. If there’s enough headroom, the heating unit can also be placed there, freeing up space in the house.Slab-on-GradeThe slab-on-grade foundation is just what it sounds like: a concrete slab poured at grade level that serves as the subfloor for the home’s main living area. A shallow footing around the edges of the slab transfers the weight of the home’s walls to the ground. Before the pour, a bed of gravel is spread across the slab area to allow drainage, wire mesh is rolled out to reduce the chance of cracking and any in-slab plumbing pipes or electrical conduit is installed.Slab foundations are most common in warm regions and where there are high water tables, such as Florida. When used in northern climates, special frost proofing details are required, which, in most cases, consists of a short foundation wall (called a “stemwall”) poured on footings placed below the frost line.
Putting a layer of rigid foam under the slab in a slab-on-grade home is also a good idea in the North, and absolutely necessary if the slab will have embedded hydronic heat.Note that using a foundation type that’s not common in your area may affect the schedule and budget. With a slab, for instance, the mechanical systems have to be completely figured out before the slab is poured, so that the proper elements are put in place. If that’s not standard practice where you live, subcontractors may raise prices to cover unexpected time and cost overruns.Soil ConsiderationsRegardless of foundation type, the foundation walls and footing are designed to work as a unit, supporting the weight of the home and transferring that weight to the surrounding ground. How well they do this depends in part on what type of ground the footing rests on.Foundations for commercial buildings are custom engineered for each site, but in residential construction that’s usually only true in special cases. “Almost all residential foundations are designed according to generic expectations of the area’s soil conditions,” says Atlanta-area structural engineer Chris DeBlois. “If the foundation crew starts digging and finds unusual conditions, then they will make adjustments.”For instance, dense, dry soil will be stable, forgiving of less-than-perfect construction and less likely to settle after the house has been built. But if the site has soft, wet clay, the foundation will be much more likely to settle, leading to cracked tile, drywall and even masonry. In that case, it’s a good idea to get an engineer involved to design a foundation that will remain stable.Keeping it DryConcrete is not waterproof, so water that sits on the outside of the foundation wall will eventually make its way inside as water vapor. “Surface water that seeps into the ground near the house will quickly become an interior moisture problem,” says Steve Easley, a San Francisco-area trainer who advises builders around the country on good building practices. The result: a damp home environment that encourages mold and mildew growth. This is true regardless of foundation type.To prevent this, a waterproofing coating is usually brushed on the outside of the foundation.
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Will fixed cracked slab distract buyers? .
*i*m*g*Dear Real Estate Adviser,I'm in a lawsuit with a builder because of a cracked slab that occurred six months after I moved in. I'm wondering what caused this and am just sick over this whole situation. Now I plan to sell the house, and I realize the slab fix must be in the disclosure. Is it more difficult to sell a house even if the foundation is properly repaired and warranted for life? Is this a big turnoff to potential buyers?-- Liz C.Dear Liz,If you get repairs done by an experienced, reliable firm and can offer the buyer a transferable lifetime warranty on the work, the fallout from the slab problem should be minimal. Most buyers will be satisfied the problem has been permanently rectified.More On Buying Iffy Property:Shop for a mortgage on Bankrate.comFHA offers home renovation help with 203(k) loansGet the most from your home repair dollars Create a news alert forreal estateI say most because certain prospective owners simply won't even want to take a risk on future slab problems with so much other inventory available, unless the house is priced aggressively. Also, some first-time buyers, who make up a sizable segment of the market, might be deterred by their lenders if an inspector or engineer believes there are more foundation problems ahead.
This may be especially true because banks are apprehensive about lending on homes with structural issues. An engineer's report, which can cost from $300 to $500, can help clear the way for a smooth resale as long as you follow the report's repair recommendations.I must say here that prospective buyers should hire their own inspector to examine a home before signing any papers on both new and pre-owned units. In the case of a newly built home, some buyers have their inspectors check every major step of the home's construction. Of course, not everyone can afford that, nor are all inspectors well-versed in the nuances of foundations. (Find one who is, prospective buyers.)In your case, at least you were able to take the builder to court. A lot of builder contracts have binding-arbitration agreements that supersede the owner's right to a trial.What causes such cracks?
Sometimes it is poorly compacted dirt, and other times it's the natural settling of a new home caused by the shifting of unstable soil such as clay. Sometimes it is just shoddy work done by iffy contractors. Good workmanship can prevent most cracking. By the way, sometimes it takes a year or more worth of season changes to put a new home to the test (impact of hot and cold expansion/contraction on foundations, window and door envelopes, landscaping, roof, tile flooring, etc.) However, many items are warranted for only a year by the builder, and problems often do not surface in time. Be glad yours did.Sometimes, builders (and other sellers) try to obscure cracked foundations. Several states impose strict penalties on sellers for intentionally concealing such structural problems from buyers. Sometimes there are red flags if you know where to look. For instance, did the builder prefer you not see the place until after new carpet was laid?
Or were you asked to sign a contract restricting you from publicly mentioning the name of the builder in the event of defective work?If you do get relief after the case is settled and are free to get repairs made as you see fit, you should interview several foundation-repair firms by phone. Make sure the company has been in business for a while (ideally 20 years or so), owns its own repair equipment and uses its own workers instead of less-accountable independent contractors. As part of your research, go beyond the company's hand-picked references and do an Internet search for problems and complaints. Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if there are many unresolved consumer issues with the firms.Good luck! Ask the adviser To ask a question of the Real Estate Adviser, go to the Ask the Experts page and select Buying, selling a home as the topic.
Foundation Repair Estimate - Dallas | Forth Worth | Houston
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Whether found in drywall, plaster or concrete, a crack in a wall is an eyesore. Generally caused by the natural settling of a house over time, you can repair a cracked wall in a weekend. S...