Crack in the foundation wall

Asked by Ms, USA, Mobile, AL Fri Jun 1, 2012

I liked a home which is 1995 built and have a basement. InThe basement 2 foundation walls (Concrete Slab) which is holding the iron beam have vertical crack. One wall has a crack (narrow crack 1/8 th inch), which is almost same as the length of the slab and the other one has a small hair line crack. Any Idea what's the reason for these cracks? Would it be okay for me to make an offer, despite of the crack in the foundation wall?

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Lyle Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Sat Jun 2, 2012
If you really like the house, make your offer which would be contingent on the home inspection. Thin vertical cracks are usually from normal settlement and typically do not pose a structural problem, but an experienced home inspector can advise you after seeng it. If there is any question, further evaluation can be made by a structural engineer and you can decide from there.
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Wayne Odenbr…, Agent, Mountain Lakes, NJ
Sat Jun 2, 2012
I am not an engineer, but it is likely settling.
You should have it evaluated.

Don't rush into this.

Remember, those cracks will still be there when it is time for you to sell. Potential buyers will be thinking the same things you are when they look at the home when you are selling it.
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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Sat Jun 2, 2012
A structural engineer is the best resource to assess the situation. In my experience, most everything has a solution, but the price to fix varies widely depending on severity. You should build an inspection contingency into any offer you make. An inspector will inspect the home overall, if these issues are beyond his scope of expertise, he will recommend you follow up with a structural inspector. This will add another layer of inspection expense, but it will be money well spent.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
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Maria Gilda…, Agent, Manchester, CT
Sat Jun 2, 2012
Foundation issues can be assessed more properly and accurately by a structural engineer as suggested by Vicky Chrisner.

Good Luck.
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Vicky Chrisn…, Agent, Purcellvile, VA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
If one of my clients had this question, I would suggest you call in a home inspector who is also a structural engineer. That person should be able to give you some credible insights. I recently sold a listing like this, it was hydrostatic pressure that caused a bowing in the walls. We looked at several options to correct the issue. Their cracks were deemed not to be interfering with the structural integrity of the foundation, therefore, the corrected action taken was to regrade and control the flow of water, seal and paint the cracks and move on. Had there been structural issues there are a number of ways to correct the issue. In the case of my listing, it probably cost $6K to make the repairs. Structural issues would have been $15K-25K. Hope this answer helps you.
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