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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    929
    Location
    Bloomington, IN
    Tractor
    Kubota, G5200, KAMA 454

    Default Foundation cracks

    Last year I had noticed a corner of my house had settled a bit, 1/2". It opened the classic stair step patern of the concrete blocks. I got around to it this year and tuck pointed the gap from both inside and out after chipping out the original morter. This was early in the Summer. Two weeks ago, I noticed it was back!

    A friend is also a contractor and he gave it a look. He blamed it on the very dry conditions we have had here in S. Indiana. "The clay has shrank in that corner", he said. I see that as a posability since there is an offset attached garage with in 5' of that corner. This would keep the foundation at a different moisture level compared to the corner. I have sence re-tucked pointed so a photo is not an option.

    My first thought is to: make sure the tuck point job is good from both sides, again. Knock a few holes in the block at the top so I can pour a few cores with concrete. I might even be able the slightly bend a pc of 1/2" or 3/8" rebar and pound it in. Seams this would tie the sections together by adding compressive and tensile strength.

    I'm not so concerned myself but we plan on selling the house some day and I would like to solve the problem.

    Any experince with this issue??

    Patrick T.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    2,385
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D Supersteer

    Default Re: Foundation cracks

    Tuck-pointing, filling cores, and rebar will not hold against a multi-multi-ton object trying to follow its foundation. Helical peirs installed on that corner's footings might win that battle against gravity - I don't think this is a do-it-yourself job if you want any repair that is more than cosmetic.
    Chris

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,706
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Foundation cracks

    It may be worth the cost to engage a geotechnical engineer for a preliminary report. It may also include a structural engineer.

    After this you can pick an option to follow.

    A fella I know had a very similar situation. He now has his house jacked up while the basement walls and floor are being redone.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    172
    Location
    Poconos, PA
    Tractor
    Power Trac 2425

    Default Re: Foundation cracks

    How old is the house?

    Jack

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    929
    Location
    Bloomington, IN
    Tractor
    Kubota, G5200, KAMA 454

    Default Re: Foundation cracks

    I have looked at the corner in a different light and a few more details. I had built a 30x40' home 20+ years ago. Five years ago I built an attached garage, 26x40'. So one side of the garage lines up with the existing home's wall but the other side is inset 4'. The poured walls of the new garage were pined to the block walls and set 5' deeper. I think what is happening is the new garage is so deep and stabil it has a different expansion rate compared to the old part of the house. The footer depth of the house (corner in question) is 2.5' and the footer depth for the garage is 8'. now these are tied together and are conected. like a major step footer for any one who has built on a steep hill. I think the garage is down in very stabil soil, 8' deep. and the older part of the house is in..let's say soil more influnced outside conditions. had the two building not been conected, I might just be looking at flashing movement. The issue has only appeared since the addition.

    Patrick T.

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    48,358
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Foundation cracks

    Depending on how bad it is.. you may have to bore under that end, and jack, and pump full of concrete to stabilize that corner of the foundation.

    good luck

    Soundguy

  7. #7
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    15,217
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Tractor
    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Foundation cracks

    I'm a contractor and do allot of repairs on homes. It's sorta how I make a living. I never get involved in foundation problems and don't know a single company or method that I'd recomend. I've heard of people spending $30,000 and not have it fixed by a big name, nationwide company. It can be done, but it's a money pit that has no gurantee of succeeding.

    Here's what happens. You call in a company and they tell you they can fix it. Every single company you call will tell you they can fix it. It's how they make there money. Each has a different aproach, or angle, but the basics are the same. They will try to get some sort of support for your foundation that goes down deeper then your foundation already does. Piers, cables or beams. There are all sorts of options.

    Sometimes it works, but most of the time, it just minimizes the problem. If you're lucky, it's not as bad as before and you hardly notice it anymore. But it's rare, if not impossible to stop a house from moving. Every house moves to some degree.

    The big selling point is the warrantee. They all gurantee their work, but half of the people I've talked to say the people who did the work are no longer in business. I can't prove this, but I think allot of them stay in business a few years, do as much work as possible, then close up and start up another new business all over again. The bigger companies may or may not show up when you call to complain when the house moves again. The warrantee's are not total and the fine print will usually let them get away with having to give your money back. Either way, it's a battle with them that you will never win.

    If you can live with it, save your money.

    Eddie

  8. #8
    Elite Member RobJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,471
    Location
    Spring, TX (Houston)
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500

    Default Re: Foundation cracks

    Down her we have that problem a lot. With a lot of rain the foundation companies go out of business or their price comes way down...$200 a pier. Dry for a few years and they are busy. A lot can be solved my keeping the moisture around the foundation stable. This means a watering system.

    Good Luck,
    Rob
    L2500

  9. #9
    Silver Member KrumpsBrother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    131
    Location
    CenTex
    Tractor
    Farmtrac 675DTC/Kubota B7800/BCS 2Wheel with ACME 6.5hp

    Default Re: Foundation cracks

    paddy,

    Run some soaker hoses around your foundation and soak the clay soil once a week during summer. The cracks in my house that show up in the dry summer disappear after a good soaking.

    KB
    '96 Ford Ranger
    '92 Old Town Canoe w/2.5hp Cuss & Carry
    1 Bad Case of Wiskey Tango

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    91
    Location
    Middle Tennessee

    Default Re: Foundation cracks

    KB, I lived in North Texas for 20 years where there's a lot of clay in the soil. The rule of thumb was always to keep your grass green around your foundation to prevent any foundation problems. That worked for me.

    And I've seen dry spells in Texas where unirrigated land would produce cracks large enough to swallow a Volkswagen. Well, ok, a bit of a Texas tall tale. But they certainly were big enough to break a leg.

    And this is the first time in 25 years that I've seen Texas sized cracks in Tennessee.
    --
    2001 Ford Excursion 4x4 7.3L PSD
    2003 VW Jetta TDI GLS 5sp
    2006 John Deere 3320
    2011 BMW 335d

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