Structural cracks cause prospective buyers to pull up short when
looking at a prospective property. This article gives some basic
guidelines that will allay most of these fears and help them make
a more educated decision while understanding the cause of these
Basement Cracks - If you have cracks in you basement or crawl
space walls, take note of their direction. If the cracks are
small and almost vertical, then they are probable not a cause
for concern. Most homes have "settlement cracks" or
"shrinkage cracks". However, if they run more horizontally,
we recommend consulting a structural engineer.
Wood Cracks - Cracks often appear in wood and are not significant
if they run parallel to the grain of the wood. These cracks
( called "checks") often are the result of the wood
drying and shrinking. However, the closer the crack comes to
going across the grain, the more serious it could be.
Drywall Cracks - Hairline cracks in wallboard, plaster or concrete
basement walls are usually not a problem unless they are wide
and look tapered ("V" shaped). These cracks often
radiate out from the corners of window and door openings.
Voids in Walls - Voids in concrete foundation walls usually
are not serious unless they go deeper than an inch or so. Most
of them are a result of inadequate compaction (vibration) of
the concrete during placement. If a a "rock pocket"
allows water to come in form the outside, then we recommend
having it filled with injected epoxy or foam, depending on size
and whether wet at time of repair.
Cold Joint - Cold joints are formed when concrete is poured
after a substantial delay and separate layers are formed. These
are distinguished by a fairly straight line in concrete and
are usually not a problem unless water is leaking from joint.
Size of Cracks - Any crack over a 1/16th of an inch in width
should be watched carefully and if you are purchasing a home,
we recommend you have your home inspector evaluate whether to
have a structural engineer called in to assess. If you are an
existing home owner with cracks it is recommended that you measure
cracks and ensure that there is no further movement. Cracks
that leak water can be sealed using epoxy or foam and there
are do-it -yourself kits available which are designed for foundation
Buying Home - Always beware of basement areas that are covered
or blocked from view when buying a new home. Look for anything
suspicious, such as, fans for removing moisture, missing vapour
barrier or insulation, and boxes or furniture hiding areas of
walls. Ask to see all of exposed walls, even if you have to
come back another time. Freshly painted walls and floors can
also be a sign of hiding water stains, be aware of effervescent
stains on walls and floors, this is white mineral deposit left
by water evaporating and is usually a good indicator that water
Sump Pump - Check the exterior of home where sump pump discharges
and see if there are signs of heavy discharge. Grass maybe worn
away or water stains on concrete pad might indicate large quantities
of water are being pumped out. Check inside of sump hole and
activate pump and watch to see how much water runs back in after
sump is emptied.
About the author:
The "Barrie Home Inspector" provides a professional
home inspection for $199.00 which includes one free WETT inspection.
We are fully insured and offer a 100% money back guarantee if
not completely satisfied. Visit our web site for complete listing
of "Do It Yourself" articles for home owners and a
forum "Ask the Experts" which provides professional
advice from tradespeople.
Napoleon Home Inspections provides
many articles for the use of homeowners
Publisher - Article Source:
Article Directory at http://www.ArticleSphere.com