I think the above is the key...the builder isn't happy with it and is
willing to solve the problem. If he consults an engineer for the solution,
then you should be in good shape. Of course, you're free to hire your own
engineer...but realize that the builder is acting in very good faith to
resolve the problem. I might ask for the opinion of the engineer, in
writing (and possibly sealed) to have in my files for the house, just in
A vertical crack in a masonry wall sounds more serious than a crack in
a concrete wall Is the wall bowed in at the top? It sounds like too
much pressure during the backfilling operation either from equipment or
from excess moisture in the soil.
The big issues IMHO are structural integrity and water/damp proof of the
wall. Epoxy injection won't do much for the CMU wall the way it would
with a concrete wall. What remedies does your builder suggest?
Keep the whole world singing. . .
(remove the 7)
The crack is in a corner of the concrete wall along the side and about
8 inches from the rear wall. He is suggesting drilling about 6 holes
from the rear wall through the corner and into the side all. The holes
are 16inches deep and 5/8inches in diameter. Then some type of anchors
are driven into the holes with a steel plate up against the rear wall.
Will something like this do anything to support the structure? That
was my reason for posting was to get suggestions about a possible fix.
The builder also thinks that the rebar used in the vertical wall that
is extending about 2feet above the wall will help tie the wall the
slab when it is bent over and the slab is poured. Any ideas?
I believe you said you have a block foundation as opposed to a cast in
place concrete wall. Jargon in the trade would call yours a block or
CMU (Concrete/cementitious Masonry Units) as opposed to CIP concrete
I am not in a position to tell you what will work, especially as I have
not seen it. I can offer some ideas to consider. I gather that the top
of the wall is still accessible. Did the footing break and go down
leaving a wider crack at the top than at the bottom? or did the wall get
pushed in causing a bigger crack at the top? If it was pushed in, has
it been pushed back out? If the footing has been broken, I would
suggest tearing the corner down, reinforce the footing, and relay the
corner. If the wall moved slightly from backfilling pressure, I would
excavate the corner to push the wall back into line. I must say it
sounds unusual to me for the wall to fail close to the corner, rather
than out at mid wall. I would take a hammer drill with a very small
bit (1/4") and test vertical cells to verify which ones are filled. You
will need to test at least high, medium, low in every vertical line of
cells near the failure. If there are any with voids in the filling of
the cells, I would make sure to have them at least grout injected,
preferably vibrated full of 3/8ths chip mix real concrete. I think the
dowels that are being proposed should maybe be longer to get from the
good corner well past the break into a portion of the side wall that did
not move or fail. I would expect the pins to be epoxied. I agree that
a poured floor holding the tops of the walls will strengthen the
The damp proofing will need to be reapplied. I would ask for some form
of guaranty based on continued failure, crack increasing, etc for a set
term, perhaps 2 years, with a healthy clause about excavation and
remedy. It sounds as if your builder wants to work with you. I think
both of you should split the cost of having a structural engineer assess
and recommend the repair method for each other's protection and
continued ability to work together.
Keep the whole world singing. . .
(remove the 7)
The crack is about 8 inches from a corner. It is on the side of the
structure and 8 inches from the rear wall corner - the thickness of
the rear wall. It is as if the rear wall pushed out and took with it
the corner. It is a clean break along the side wall. The builder
consulted various people who all told him they would leave it as is
with the confidence that the poured slab and rebar would hold it in
place. However, he said he would feel better doing something with it.
So he excavated the dirt away from the corner and part of the rear
wall and drilled 5 holes about 18" apart up and down and about 12"
from the corner all the way through the concrete filled CMU's - on
both sides of the wall. I was there helping and can testify that each
of the 10 holes was in a solid concrete area - they took about 5-10
minutes each to drill through with a masonry drill and bit and lots of
pressure. We then took a 1/4" thick piece of sheet steel that had bent
into a 90 degree angle and placed it against the corner on the
outside. It extended from top to bottom of the 8' walls and about 18
inches around the corner on each side. Matching holes had been drilled
in the steel and we bolted this steel and some matching steel to the
inside of the wall using 10" grade 8 bolts and nuts. The steel had
been primed and painted to reduce rusting. We then put some extra
primer on the outside and inside pieces of exposed steel. He plans on
filling the dirt back into the hole today and pouring the slab next
week. The inside area will be prone to rust over time especially being
in soil. The outside area will be covered in brick.
I realize I am not an engineer, but I think this should at least help
in holding it together. I personally felt like the crack developed
because someone who didn't know better was operating a 22,000lb track
hoe about 1' from the wall on top of the dirt trying to pack it down
as he backfilled. It didn't expand any further over 2 days just
sitting there. And no, the footer didn't crack on the inside or the
outside of the wall. I am hoping this is sufficient. A couple of
people recommended pushing the wall back in place (about 3/4" at the
top down to 0" about 2 feet from the base). My thoughts were that
doing so would put extra pressure on the bolts and steel after the
dirt was placed back against the inside of the wall.
I don't know the significance of that crack, but realize that concrete
pretty much WILL crack, that's why they use seams or expansion material.
Find me a foundation that doesn't have a crack in it, I'd be surprised if
you could. 1/8" is medium sized for a concrete crack, but unless there is
vertical displacement, I usually wouldn't pay attention to a crack that big.
If the concrete wasn't cured correctly, or if it was just cured poorly it
will crack early on. You should be asking the question, will this crack
enlarge and cause a structural problem. Only an engineer can tell you that.
If at any time it shows up as a problem and you're made aware of it, you
MUST disclose it when you sell. If you don't the significance of a crack in
the concrete, you may not have to disclose it, however if a court could
prove that you should have known it was a problem, then you could be held
responsible. Those kinds of lawsuits are VERY nasty. I would definitely
disclose anything I knew to even potientally be a problem to a buyer, it's
just too risky not to.
(Zhixin Tang) wrote:
This is a SERIOUS problem as you noted that it will get more serious as time
goes by. It sounds like the footing was NOT done properly or the concrete
was sub-grade, or there was insufficient reinforcement, and will require a
complete removal and replacement to prevent this from getting worse.
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