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Is it safe to buy a home with Cinder Block basement walls instead of Poured Concrete ?
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desgnr wrote:

What's your definition of "safe"????
They're only several millions of them in the US...
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If done correctly I don't see why it would not be.
My parents built a house in 1977 and the whole basement was under ground. Never any water inside it. They passed away a few years ago so can't say for now, but ok in 2000.
I bought a house built about 1980 about 5 years ago. The basement is a walkout on one side and the other side is in the ground. No problems with so far and no water inside on the floor. Both houses have cinder block walls.
I have seen other houses that have had lots of water on the floor after a hard rain.
I would look for cracks in the wall and see if there is any water on the floor after several days of rain.
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desgnr wrote:

If you have a good footing, good mortar job and good fill around it that drains the water 'away' from the foundation then it should be fine.
A cinder block foundation would be more susceptible to cracking and separation with ground movement than poured foundations with rebar.
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On Fri, 09 Oct 2009 12:31:25 -0400, Van Chocstraw

Cinder blocks haven't been used in a LONG time. If the foundation has lasted this long in good shape, I think you can consider it pretty stable.
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On Oct 9, 12:34pm, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

What needs clarifying here is exactly what type of block the OP is talking about. Many people use the term "cinder block" to describe both true cinder blocks and cement blocks. Cinder blocks are made from cement and coal ash, are dark in color and much lighter than concrete blocks. Concrete blocks are made from cement and aggregate.
I agree with you that true cinder blocks haven't been used in construction for decades. At least not here in the NJ area. Concrete blocks on the other hand are currently widely used in construction, including basements.
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On Oct 9, 2:52pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

right, there is a difference between cinder block and CMU.
That said, I'm pretty sure my basement is cinder block (I say "pretty sure" because I'm only judging from texture; it's been painted) and I have had no issues with it nor do I see any cracks of any significance.
nate
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Why do you list your weenie computer and OS in your sig? Do you think anyone cares?
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desgnr wrote:

Mine is. After 35 years, there have been a few settlement cracks that I've patched but walls are fine. Look along the surface of the wall and if it bulges inward, there is a problem, otherwise they should be fine.
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".

Real cinder block has not been used in many years, but if the footings and everything else were done properly you shouldn't have any problems. Nowadays concrete block is used.
I have seen poured foundations that have cracked after a few years so don't think that they are perfect. It goes back to how the materials were installed and if the soil is stable and good footings are in place. If you see sloping floors there is a problem. If the basement is unfinished go look around at the foundation. Also look at the main support beams to see if they are level.
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"desgnr" wrote

Done right, yes.
A few questions.
1) how old is the house? If more than 15 years and it appears to be in good condition with no cracks, then it was done right.
2) How fresh is the paint? If they *just* painted it, this could be a sign of 'covering up' a dampness problem.
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I think my basement is made with concrete blocks. At least drilling into them is a female dog.
House is from 1929 ...
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wrote:

The safety will depend on many factors. I prefer poured form walls over cinder block. With buying any house, run the other way if you see any evidence of water leakage/damage. Repairs can be extensive and costly.
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