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:
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
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.
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
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gary Player. |
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.
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
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.
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.
It is difficult to scale the cracks in your photos (a tape measure
would have been a good idea).
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.
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.
What do foundation repair companies do? Repair foundations.
So I'm sure from their point of view it will "need repair", expensive
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
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. :(
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