cracked concrete slab new home

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I purchased a new home in spring 2005 in Leland,NC. Since then I was replacing the flooring and found 5 10 foot long cracks in my on ground poured concrete slab. I also have 6 vertical cracks on the outside of my slab between ground level and the start of the siding. The builder (Veranda Homes LLC ) tells me these are normal and only offered to fill in the cracks. One crack is 1/4 inch wide and the rest are larger than hairline. 2 of the cracks are continuing in a straight line and do not look like "normal shrinkage cracks" . My back patio vinyl framed sliding door is out of square also along with having drywall screws poping out through the drywall 2 1/2 years later. Do you think I should have a structural engineer look at the house? I wanted to sell this house but I think a home inspector/ appraiser will question all my external foundation cracks. you can see pics here: http://home.ec.rr.com/yankee /
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I think an engineer would be a good idea. Look for Forensic Engineer or Architect. Applied Building Science of Charleston SC is one group that does this kind of work. A review by a pro will be worth the reduced worry, if that is all that happens. T
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A 1/4" crack in a concrete slab is not normal. Those cracks together with the fact that a door is out of square would indicate that something is significantly wrong and you should get a structural engineer in. In many states, new homes have warranties that cover varying types of defects for different lengths of time, structural/ foundation type being covered the longest. With a 2 1/2 year old house, I'd get this addressed now.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I agree. trader4 has given you excellent advice.
The fact that the builder offered to fill the cracks suggests there is some kind of warranty in place. Check your contract, and the State requirements as suggested.
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On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 13:08:24 -0700, hands on wrote:

Whoa! That ain't normal dude. It's going to get worse.
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They look normal to me. Concrete cracks.
s

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Steve Barker wrote:

But if it has rebar it doesn't separate.
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My builder used fibre reinforced concrete-no rebar.My patio door is not square and he told me he can adjust the rollers.I tried that and one of his 'handymen" tried with no success.He pretty much is refusing to fix anything.
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Surely there is rebar in the footings.
I don't want to sound like I'm defending your builder, because I'm not. But I don't think the door being out of square is related to the concrete cracking. Looks more like it was set out of square---if something had moved that much, you'd see more sheetrock cracking than a few nail pops. It needs to be taken out and reinstalled plumb, level and square. The cracks are unsightly and I wouldn't be happy about them either, but whether they indicate major structural problems is not a foregone conclusion. Calling an engineer is a good idea. Good luck.
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In North Carolina I have seen what they do first hand. They set up concrete forms, put sand on the ground inside, level the sand and next thing you know a cement truck is pouring cement. I saw them do the house across the road from mine.
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I would not consider a 1/4 inch crack normal. 1/16 inch, yes. A quarter inch crack needs further investigation.
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There is no 1/4" crack in the pictures.
s
s s s
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The OP should have included a ruler across the crack in his picture for size reference just as the CSIs in the cop programs do. Otherwise you cannot tell how wide the cracks are, most look normal concrete shrinkage cracks.
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It's structural. Simply inform the builder, using a certified letter, that you expect action on this item and that if no response is recieved within 30 days that you will take the repair into your own hands and bill the builder.
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And he'll say. "ya, ok. go ahead, bill away".
s

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I agree it would be a big mistake to actually just hire someone to fix it after 30 days and then try to collect from the builder or any warranty that exists. To begin with, without a structural engineer, how would you know what needs to be fixed and what the proper way to do it is?
This could also be very expensive. If you just hire some local contractor, pay him $15K to fix God knows what, I think you'd have a hard time collecting from the builder or warranty company. They will just say it wasn't structural and it's their opinion versus some contractor.
On the other hand, if you send them a qualified engineer's report that says it's structural, due to faulty construction, etc, it's going to be hard for them to ignore that. And I'd invite them to come meet with the engineer to review it, inspect it again themselves, etc. If you get nowhere with that, then you could have it fixed and if necessary, sue and likely win.
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.

Some cracks are normal. I have a couple of hairline cracks in mine and they have not moved in 29 years. 1/4" may be a bit more than usual, but it is not going to fall apart either. The slab is just that, not part of the foundation and footings. Put you mind at ease and call a pro to see if it should be investigated further.
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OP-
It is difficult to scale the cracks in your photos (a tape measure would have been a good idea).
Concrete cracks.
The cracks look pretty normal for slab on grade construction.
I don't see any 1/4" cracks.
If it will make you feel better , hire a civil / structural engineer.
cheers Bob
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I have a foundation repair company coming to look at it. My home is also on clay soil I found out.The close up picture is the 1/4 inch crack. Is it normal to have 6 vertical cracks on the outside of the slab above ground? 5 are flush across the crack but one crack is higher on one side than the other side.
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OP-
What do foundation repair companies do? Repair foundations.
So I'm sure from their point of view it will "need repair", expensive repair.
Hire a (more or less) unbiased professional (civil engineer)......the engineer won't make any extra $'s if he suggests repair and it won't cost him anything if he suggests no repair (unless he's wrong)
do a Google search on
expansive clay
read the first four articles
If you're expansive soil , steps needed to be taken in design, construction & maintenance to address those conditions
without a measuring tape in "lone crack" photos, scaling is impossible
the tack strip & the table leg do give some scale
More importantly, what's the builder's track record? The home was built in 2005, near the middle of the housing construction frenzy. Workmanship can suffer in that environment. In a rising market, corners get cut, even crappy subs get work. Not enough good crews to go around. :(
cheers Bob
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