foundation crack question


I am interested in buying a house but found a big crack in the exterior of a foundation wall between the basement and the garage. It is verticle and has uneven surface between both sides of the crack. Do you think it is a serious problem? Here is the picture of the crack. http://www.flickr.com/photos/68577614@N00/2808355477 / Thanks.
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Jessie wrote:

Yes
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Thanks. Is it structural problem?
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Jessie wrote:

Does house sit on foundation? Of course it's a structural problem.
Is it serious structurally and how serious it --can't tell from the isolated picture. That's what you need an onsite qualified inspector or engineer to assess and if necessary work out the remediation plan and estimate costs thereof. Then you can make a decision on going ahead or not.
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Jessie wrote:

You might help yourself by telling us the approximate location
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wrote:

This is the rare case where I would call in the foundation company and get a repair estimate.
But since you mention garage and basement, I consider it a minor annoyance and not a major structural problem. If you don't fix it, and it keeps growing, you will have some cracks that can be easily patched every few years. If it doesn't grow, then it's not a problem.
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Thank you very much for all your replies. This is very helpful and I would go for other houses due to the big risk here.

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Jessie wrote:

Maybe, maybe not.
All concrete cracks, but only a foundation expert or structural engineer can judge your crack.
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Agree. In many cases, these cracks aren't a big problem. Some usually occur and it could be the foundation settled just a bit, but is stable, has been like that for 20 years and isn't getting worse. Or it could be that there is a real problem, because part of the foundation is moving and continuing to do so.
If you like the house otherwise, then part of the purchase should include a home inspection contigency. The inspector will flag it and likely say something like 1/8" crack noted in foundation wall, appears stable, but suggest a structural engineer evaluate it.
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Is this crack on the garage side of the basement wall or on the basement side? Probably on the garage side. In many cases the foundation for the garage is not as deep as the basement foundation, which means there has to be a jog in the footings.To allow the perimeter drainage pipes, if there are some, as well as the basement waterproofing, often the garage foundation has a gap against the basement wall and is only connected above ground level.
This all can result in a crack between the two foundations as they can move independently. What looks worrying about your photo is it looks like there is some sideways movement of one foundation in relation to the other, this means it could be bulging out. Probably the garage foundation pushing out slightly past the basement foundation. This could be trouble if it is still moving. If you are in an area subject to frost, it could be the unheated garage foundation being pushed out by frozen moisture under the garage floor. You may want to have an engineer check it out or pass on the house.

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