Foundation cracks

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Zach, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Zach

    Zach New Member

    Messages:
    36
    I've noticed some recent settling on one side of my 1929 home. There are a couple of new cracks in the concrete block foundation, and some cracks in the brick mortar on both the front and back of the house. No recent changes have been made to the house, yard, etc.

    What is the best way to proceed? I've talked to several people around here, but no one has any recommendations for people to talk to.

    Should I start with an engineer? (structural, or otherwise?) or should I talk to a foundation contractor first?

    Zach
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I'd talk to my insurance company first. If you lived in Florida, and mumbled something about sinkholes, they'd be out there pronto and diagnose the problem. Even if not an insurable event, they might have some good advice on how to proceed. Being an engineer myself, I'd call either an architect or a structural engineer.
  3. Zach

    Zach New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Actually, I'm in Jacksonville.

    I am hesitant to piss off the insurance company. My house has the original asbestos-cement roof, and out of about 40 insurance companies, mine was the only one that would cover it. I'm looking at roofing options now, but until then.....

    I see you're in Central FL.. Do you have any recommendations for a structural engineer in Jax? I'm not sure who to call for a reference. Although, as you said, my insurance co will be a good place to start.
  4. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The house is 77 years old and it hasn't fallen down yet. I would vote for watchful waiting. Take some measurements of the crack and take some pictures. Don't look at it again for at least 3 months. See if it is growing.

    I suspect that there are few 77 year old houses that don't have cracks in the foundation.

    My most memorable experience in Jax was the wonderful fish restaurant on the southwest side of town over toward the river. Gravel parking lot, dirt road, tin roof, and stuffed animals from North America and Africa all around. We were there on a weeknight. I can hardly imagine the crowds on Friday and Saturday nights.
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I think you're comfortably outside of sinkhole country, but the fact that the cracks are recent is bothersome. I'd wait watchfully as Bob suggested, but I'd probably watch a little more often than quarterly. Sorry I can't suggest anybody up that way, but a local insurance agent might have some ideas. I don't think you'd be pissing them off -- if they're on the hook for your house and early intervention can avoid the cost of a crane to haul your house out a hole, they should be happy to help :D -- mine was.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,510
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    sinkhole?

    IF the house is heading for a hole, I doubt that there is any early intervention that is going to help, other than dumping several truckloads of fill into the hole if you can get to it.
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