Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, just found this site looking for an answer to my question. In short, the weather here has been swinging between warm and cold the last few weeks (from 50/60s on some days down to 10/20s on others). My builder has nearly completed the basement walls, but I've noticed some cracked blocks and joints (in this area of upstate NY all the basements are block walls).

I'll be meeting with the production manager later this week to walk through before they start the framing. Are these kinds of cracks a potential problem that need to be resolved before they move forward?

Thanks very much in advance.



CrackedBlock.JPG - Blocks under window, cracked in half.
CrackedJoints.JPG - Cracks along some mortor joints between blocks.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
I would be a lot more concerned about the cracked block in the lower courses than the mortar separation in the top courses. Both tell me that something is settling and neither is accepted practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply. That's what I was afraid of. The blocks that were cracked are only on 1 side (exterior), but I'm guessing they would travel to the interior side given time. Any idea on what I should expect as an acceptable fix for this?

I reuploaded the pics with a wider shot of the cracks, btw.

TIA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
The contractor will probably want to patch them. I would want to know what caused them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,265 Posts
Teetorbilt said:
I would be a lot more concerned about the cracked block in the lower courses than the mortar separation in the top courses.
Ditto. If the footing is being exposed to freezing temperatures then freeze/thaw action may be the origin of the movement that is breaking the wall. Otherwise, I'd be concerned that there is movement even prior to the load of the house being placed on the footings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
Glass, Maybe your Pole bought too many.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again for the replies. If I needed a third party to inspect and recommend a solution, would I need to get a soil engineer, someone from city building codes, or some other kind of professional?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
A PE would be my first choice. I know of one who is also a GC kind of a 2 for 1 deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
The first pix --to the left side where it looks like the wall goes back, returns and continues to the left---it looks to me there must have a heck of an impact to that left corner to break the blocks like that. I'm thinking maybe a machine backed into it, a beam hit it, or the excavation caved in pushing the wall inward.
In any event, it's unacceptable. I'd make them tear it down and start all over. If you don't, you will set a precedent and that will be impossible to let other "issues" be resolved (Well hey--he let other stuff pass so what's wrong with this?) Since the structural integrity has been compromised I would expect this wall to cave in with the slightest of provocation from rain water infiltration (settling) or the mere act of backfilling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ack. Since the crack is only on one side of the block (and not on the other, interior side), does that make this less of a problem in your opinion?

Also, this corner of the house will remain exposed (the basement at the rear of the house is a walkout), and the foundation has already been backfilled here. The construction is filled block down to virgin earth (I believe code was 8 or 12 blocks below frostline). To restart on this section, should I expect them to go all the way back down, or just tear off the exposed block (what you see in the pic) and replace that?

Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
The crack indicates that the bond has been broken between the blocks. The fact that it is not visible on one side is ususal as that is where all of the pressure has been transfered to. Having all of the load transfered to a very small section of the wall is not good construction.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top