Home Buying in Phoenix>Question Details

Taza Guru, Home Buyer in Sunnyvale, CA

Is interior foundation crack a big 'red flag'?

Asked by Taza Guru, Sunnyvale, CA Tue Dec 6, 2011

I offered on a home that had a decent floor plan and got accepted. When I previewed the property, few tiles in the middle of living room was cracked and one was popped. I removed the carpet in the next room to see the foundation and saw a visible crack of width say .5 inch. I walked around the oerimter and could not see any cracks. I am concerned about this. Could you share your thoughts on this? Appreciate this.

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Thanks guys for answering my Qs. I did consult with an inspector - I sent the photos I took and just by looking at photos, he concluded that it is not worth pursuing.
He told me that it is Ok for now but can become an issue in couple years. Termites could rise form the ground and appear on the walls. So, I backed away from the deal.

Thanks again for all the advices.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 7, 2011
interior foundation cracks are big trouble. it's exterior cracks that buyers overreact to
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 7, 2011
Getting an inspector or structural engineer is your best bet. The inspector I use says that if you can fit a quarter between the crack, then it may be of concern. Otherwise cracks in the foundation and slab are normal in our area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 7, 2011
Thank you for your answer. I just discovered an interior foundation crack. I followed your advice and called an inspector. He said that the structural integrity was fine, but he suggested that I get it waterproofed. Is this something that I should do right away, or can I save up a little money?
Flag Thu Jul 31, 2014
Hairline cracks may be ok, but a 1/2" (.5 inch) crack is not. Get a structural inspector (not a standard home inspector) if you still want to pursue this property to see what work they recommend to address the problem. This can be poor slab construction, inadequate foundation design, expansive or shifting soils, soil drainage problems (a sliding hill) or earthquake damage, etc. Seek engineering professional advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 7, 2011
It could be. I would highly advise a home inspection from a certified home inspector. Are you still in the buyers inspection period (standard is 10 days unless stated otherwise on the 9 page Arizona Purchase Contract)? What does the contract say? Your Realtor? Get an inspection and find out if it is a "big deal" or not.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 7, 2011
Dear Taza:

Something is not right with the crack. However, it may be a big or not so big issue.

Newer homes often have re-inforced concrete slabs that reduces cracks from settling. Hoever, if the crack due to water leaks, sink holes or other more severe issues this is a more expensive issue. Have a certifified inspector look at the home if you are considering purchasing. Most purchase contracts will give you time to make the inspection after you submit the contract with an option to exit if there are problems. Your Realtor will be able to help you with this.

Jeff Masich
Web Reference: http://ArizonaHomesLand.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 6, 2011
A home inspection, probably followed by a contractor taking a look based on inspector's recommendation. You are taking the right steps by investigating your concerns.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 6, 2011
Hi Taza,

I would recommend you have a licensed inspector or contractor look over the house to make this kind of determination. If the crack is visible from the outside then the whole foundation could be cracked. It could be a major issue so I would proceed with caution. This is caused by water getting underneath the foundation because of poor drainage, grading or lack of gutters. You also might have grading or drainage issue which could be costly. I would speak with your buyer's agent to make sure you are still within the time frame to cancel your contract after you have the property inspected and get your earnest money back if it is determine to be a major issue. I hope this helps!!

Sean Heideman
Position Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 6, 2011
Have you had a professional home inspection conducted on the property? That should be your first course of action..

Have you discussed the situation with your Buyer's Agent? That should be your second course of action.

After taking those two steps, your next course of action should become clear.

best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 6, 2011
Coming from the Bay Area, I would have supposed that you would be used to it:
I doubt that you could find a SLAB foundation that does not have some cracks in it. They are most evident in the garage because there is nothing covering it.
The problem is, that they can't make the slab thick enough to withstand eventual cracking.
If you are really concerned about it, you can ask a structural engineer to inspect it and give an opinion.

good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 6, 2011

It depends. All concrete foundations will have settling cracks over time. I strongly recommend you have the home inspected by a reputable inspection company to ensure you do not have a major problem with the foundation.

Trust this information is helpful.

Milly Casas

Milly Sells AZ

e-mail: Milly@millycasas.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 6, 2011
Sounds like the slab is cracked. Very common and usually not an issue. The slab is not usually part of the foundation.

A 1/2 inch sounds fairly substantial. Not sure if that would be considered normal where you are located. May want to hire a structural engineer to evaluate, but could be costly. Recommend talking to a licensed home inspector. They should be able to tell you if further investigation is recommended.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 6, 2011
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