Foundation Cracked at Corners


I'm looking for a house, and a few that I have looked at have cracks in the corner of the concrete foundation. I've only seen it on houses that have a basement.
Here's some links to photos of two of the houses:
worst one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49868737@N00/360644983 /
same crack, different angle: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49868737@N00/360644974/in/photostream /
two smaller ones:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/49868737@N00/360644990 /
http://www.flickr.com/photos/49868737@N00/360644994 /
How bad is this? Can it be safely ignored? Is it worse if more than one corner is cracked?
Or does it need repair? If so, what is involved? Just some drilling, insert some rebar, and some concrete?
--
Tony Sivori


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Looks like shoddy construction to me, if there was any wire or rebar in that it might have cracked, but it would still have held together.
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I see that some of the bricks are chipped on the corner. It looks to me like the corner has been hit by something that damaged both the concrete and the bricks. I can think of nothing in normal day to day life nor settling of the foundation that would cause both to be damaged the same way. Probably some construction or heavy duty landscaping equipment bumped or scraped the corner when it was working in the area.

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How about chips in the brick from when someone tried to break the cement back for patching purposes? I don't like the looks of it. It looks to me like it has been patched at least twice previously. Good Luck, RW
EXT wrote:

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As a foundation contractor I would agree. The patch job appears to be very bad. It looks like they just used bagged cement. The correct fix may have to come from an engineer depending on how much of the foundation was damaged. We fix items like this all the time. It would involve chipping away until you get to the original concrete, doweling into and epoxying in rebar, then repouring the corner with high strength concrete. This would not take two people more than one day to fix from what I can see.
EXT wrote:

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Looks like spalling concrete caused by movement of the brick. Brick swells and shrinks with moisture changes, and moves at a different rate than concrete. As it moved, the concrete adhered to the bricks move until it cracked.
Besides patching the concrete, you need to look at eliminating excessive moisture conditions in the brick wall. Check for water dripping/splashing on the brick from the eaves, blocked weepholes in the bottom course of bricks, possible leaking pipe/drains in the wall, or water puddling at the foundations. All bad, but fixable.
Tony Sivori wrote:

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How would this explain the lack of rebar at the corners?
cmiles3 wrote:

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Tony Sivori wrote:

We contracted to have our house built ten years ago, and last year the same corner cracks developed in the concrete.
I called the contractor since I had an engineered foundation, and this should not have happened. A guy came out to check on it. He said it was a result of failing to completely wrap the foundation fill with plastic.
He sent a concrete man out, who told me the same thing. He chipped off the surface of the concrete and the cracks only went about 1/8 inch deep. He filled the area with concrete and came back a couple days later and put on new underpinning.
Apparently it has solved the problem, although since it has only been one year, I guess it's too early to proclaim a total fix.
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