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Repair Foundation Cracks

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How to Evaluate and Diagnose Foundation Cracks: Foundation cracking, foundation bowing, foundatio…

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The Foundation Crack Bible: How to Diagnose & Evaluate Foundation Cracks
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How to Evaluate Foundation Cracks & Damage How to Evaluate Vertical Foundation Cracks How to Evaluate Horizontal Foundation Cracks How to Distinguish Foundation Shrinkage, Expansion, Settlement Cracks Questions & answers about the cause and repair of all types of building foundation and floor slab cracks. This article series describes how to recognize and diagnose various types of foundation failure or damage, such as foundation cracks, masonry foundation crack patterns, and moving, leaning, bulging, or bowing building foundation walls. If you don't see information you want, ask us for it using the comments box on this page.
InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers nor with topics or services discussed at this website.

Mobile View STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS & DEFECTS ADVANCED INSPECTION METHODS AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID BARK SIDE DOWN on DECKS, TRIM, STEPS BASEMENT WATERPROOFING BEST CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES GUIDE BRICK FOUNDATIONS & WALLS BRICK STRUCTURAL WALL Loose Bulged Brick Thermal Expansion Cracking BRICK VENEER WALL Loose, Bulged BRICK WALL DRAINAGE WEEP HOLES BUCKLED FOUNDATIONS due to INSULATION? BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE BUILDING SETTLEMENT CHIMNEY CHASE Construction & Defects CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS, PRE-CAST Cracks, Checking or Splitting Beams & Log Homes CRAWL SPACES DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION Deck Construction Best Practices DECK COLLAPSE Case Study DECK FINISHES COATINGS PRESERVATIVES DECK FLASHING LEAKS, ROT Case Study DECKS, ROOFTOP CONSTRUCTION DEBRIS STAINING on ROOFS DEFINITIONS of Mobile Home, Doublewide, Modular, Panelized DEFINITIONS of ENGINEERED WOOD OSB LVL etc DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT GUIDE DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR SAFEY EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS ENERGY SAVINGS in BUILDINGS ENGINEERED WOOD Flooring ENGINEERED WOOD Products

Reliable Handyman Service Find a Trusted, Local Handyman. Compare Multiple Quotes & Save 48%! Redbeacon.com/Handyman Foundation Repair Cost Free Estimates From Pre-Screened Foundation Contractors In Your Area homeblue.com/Foundation-Repair Find Projects Up For Bid 1000s of Commercial Construction Jobs in Pre-design thru Bid Stage ReedConstructionData.com Construction Standards Official Construction Industry Site Commercial Resources, Events & More www.csinet.org WLH Construction Company Earth Retention Systems Shoring, Soil Nails, Micropiles www.wlhconstruction.com Proctor Wall Jacks Braces Raise & Set Wood Wall Sections Fast Shipping and Wholesale Prices www.IndustrialLadder.com/Proctor

This foundation crack diagnosis and repair article serie3s discusses in detail the process of evaluating foundation cracks and signs of foundation damage by examining the crack size, shape, pattern, and location. Foundation cracks and movement are discussed by type and location of foundation cracks, vertical foundation cracks, horizontal cracks, and diagonal foundation cracks, and shrinkage cracking. To be used properly, this information must be combined with specific on-site observations at the particular building in order to form a reliable opinion about the condition of that building's foundation. Anyone having concern regarding the structural stability, safety, or damage of a building, foundation or other components, should consult a qualified expert. See this close companion article: FOUNDATION FAILURES by TYPE & MATERIAL which describes the types of foundation damage, cracks, leaks, or other defects associated with each type of foundation material (concrete, brick, stone, concrete block, etc.). © Copyright 2012 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Information Accuracy & Bias Pledge is at belowleft. Use page top links to major topics or use links at the left of each page to navigate within topics and documents at this website. Green links show where you are in a document series or at this website.

FOUNDATION CRACK EVALUATION - How to Inspect & Evaluate Building Foundation Cracks & Movement & Foundation Crack Patterns
This is a chapter of "The Foundation Crack Bible". Use links at page left to read other document sections.

Foundation cracks, which are signs of foundation damage, can mean very different things depending on the material from which a foundation is made, the location, size, and shape of the foundation crack, and other site observations. The size, shape, pattern, location of foundation cracks on a building, along with correlation with other site and construction conditions helps distinguish among probable causes. FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE www.inspectapedia.com/structure/FoundationCracks.htm 1/12

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FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE

How to Evaluate and Diagnose Foundation Cracks: Foundation cracking, foundation bowing, foundatio… with other site and construction conditions helps distinguish among probable causes.

FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP FLOODS IN BUILDINGS-mold FLOOR, ENGINEERED WOOD & LAMINATES FLOOR FRAMING & SUBFLOOR for TILE FLOOR TYPES & DEFECTS FLOOR TILE ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS FOOTINGS EXPOSED, Repair Methods FOUNDATION BULGE or LEAN MEASUREMENTS FOUNDATION CONSTRUCTION TYPES FOUNDATION CONTRACTORS, ENGINEERS FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS FOOTINGS EXPOSED, Repair Methods FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE BRICK FOUNDATIONS & WALLS BUCKLED FOUNDATIONS due to INSULATION? CRAWL SPACES EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS FOUNDATION CONSTRUCTION TYPES FOUNDATION INSPECTION METHODS FOUNDATION FAILURES by TYPE & MATERIAL FOUNDATION FAILURES by MOVEMENT TYPE FLOOD DAMAGE TO FOUNDATIONS FOUNDATION DEFECTS OF OMISSION FOUNDATION CRACK EVALUATION CRACK MONITORING Methods DIAGONAL FOUNDATION CRACKS HORIZONTAL FOUNDATION CRACKS SHRINKAGE vs EXPANSION vs SETTLEMENT Sinkholes & Building Damage Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick VERTICAL FOUNDATION CRACKS FOUNDATION BULGE or LEAN MEASUREMENTS FOUNDATION DAMAGE REPORTS FOUNDATION DAMAGE SEVERITY FOUNDATION INSPECTION STANDARDS FOUNDATION MOVEMENT ACTIVE vs. STATIC FOUNDATION REPAIR METHODS PIER or PILE FOUNDATIONS SITE FACTORS AFFECTING FOUNDATIONS SLAB CRACK EVALUATION SLAB CRACK REPAIR FOUNDATION DEFECTS OF OMISSION - MISSING FOUNDATION FAILURES by TYPE & MATERIAL BLOCK FOUNDATION & WALL DEFECTS BRICK FOUNDATION & WALL DEFECTS BRICK STRUCTURAL WALLS Loose, Bulged Brick Thermal Expansion Cracking BRICK VENEER WALL Loose, Bulged BRICK WALL DRAINAGE WEEP HOLES CONCRETE FOUNDATION, WALL, SLAB DEFECTS CONCRETE PRE-CAST FOUNDATION DEFECTS STONE FOUNDATION DEFECTS WOOD FOUNDATION DEFECTS FOUNDATION FAILURES by MOVEMENT TYPE BRICK FOUNDATIONS & WALLS BUCKLED FOUNDATIONS due to INSULATION? BULGED vs. LEANING FOUNDATIONS COMBINATIONS OF FOUNDATION MOVEMENT Bulge & step cracks Earthquake Damage to Foundations Flood Damage to Foundations Foundation Movement During Collapse Other Foundation Step cracks HORIZONTAL MOVEMENT IN FOUNDATIONS Bulging, Leaning & Sliding Wall Horizontal Foundation Creep Horizontal Movement & step cracks in brick Impact Damage to Foundations Thermal Expansion Cracking in Brick SETTLEMENT IN FOUNDATIONS SHRINKAGE CRACKS in CONCRETE VERTICAL MOVEMENT IN FOUNDATIONS Diagonal Cracks in Concrete Foundations Diagonal Step Cracking in Masonry Differential vs. Uniform Settlement Cracks Leaning or Tipping Buildings Uniform Width vs. Tapered Foundation Cracks Vertical Cracks FOUNDATION INSPECTION METHODS FOUNDATION INSULATION OPTIONS FOUNDATION MATERIALS, Age, Types

By knowing the probable cause and history of foundation cracking or movement one can distinguish between continuing movement (more likely to be a problem) and single events which may, depending on extent of damage, not require repair. This chapter elaborates types and patterns of foundation cracks to assist in that evaluation.

General Suggestions for the Evaluation of Foundation Cracks
Links at page left discuss the evaluation of individual types of building foundation cracks. Here are some general suggestions: Look at shape, pattern, frequency of occurrence, relationship to wall discontinuities and angles, placement of wall penetrations, correlation with cracks in floors, and location in the wall (corners, center), as well as length, width, continuity, age of wall, relation to site conditions (depth of backfill, blasting, rock). Shrinkage cracks are usually uniform in width or (less common) vee-shaped, wider at top and diminishing or stopping before reaching the bottom of the foundation wall (where attachment to footing may tend to hold foundation wall materials in place). A wall crack which continues into the floor is likely to involve the building footings and may be a settlement crack of more structural importance. Concrete shrinks as it cures. In poured concrete, shrinkage cracks may be non-uniform if wall components are held by footings/framing; very often there are minor shrinkage cracks which are hairline, random, intermittent, multiple, and meandering in the concrete, forming discontinuous cracks in the wall. Shrinkage cracks occur as concrete cures, appearing more frequently and larger if the mix was improper and where control joints were omitted. Omission or pattern of placement of steel reinforcement may also be a factor in crack formation and location. Poured concrete shrinkage cracks: usually shrinkage cracking is due to conditions at original construction: poor mix, rapid curing, possibly other conditions. Shrinkage cracks are less likely to require structural monitoring and repair in poured concrete as they would be expected to continue after initial curing. Concrete block foundation walls shrink as they cure. They rarely expand much on exposure to moisture and temperature variations. In concrete block walls shrinkage cracks are likely to be uniform in width and usually occur towards the center of a concrete masonry unit (CMU) wall. The wall is stronger at the building corners. Brick walls do not normally shrink, but rather, grow indefinitely. Bricks are not often used for below-grade foundations but were often used above-grade supporting the first floor of older buildings, and of course entire buildings may be constructed using structural brick walls (look for the bond courses). If you see a crack in a brick wall it's more likely due to movement in the structure, a support problem, or due to thermal expansion. Cracks in structural brick walls may be very serious if the bond courses are broken as there is then a risk of sudden catastrophic wall collapse. Cracks and especially bulged cracked brick walls need immediate expert investigation. Stone foundation walls do not normally crack through individual stones, but the interlaced stone layout of the wall may be bulged and cracked due to damage from frost, loading from driving vehicles near the wall, or by the removal of stones to pass piping or make doorways. As with other cases of foundation movement, a diagnosis of the cause, amount of movement, and effects on structure are needed to decide what repair may be needed.

VERTICAL FOUNDATION CRACKS - Vertical Foundation Crack Patterns

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FOUNDATION MATERIALS, Age, Types FOUNDATION REPAIR METHODS Bulged foundation Repairs Crack Repair Methods FOOTINGS EXPOSED, Repair Methods Horizontal Movement Repairs Seal Cracks by Polyurethane Foam Injection Seal Cracks in Concrete, How To Shrinkage Crack Repairs SLAB CRACK REPAIR Vertical Foundation Movement Repairs FOUNDATION SETTLEMENT FOUNDATION WATERPROOFING FRAMING DAMAGE, INSPECTION, REPAIR FRAMING DETAILS for BETTER INSULATION FRAMING DETAILS for DOUBLE WALL HOUSES FRAMING CONNECTORS & JOIST HANGERS FRAMING FASTENERS, NAILS, SCREWS, & HIDDEN FRAMING & SUBFLOOR for TILE FRAMING MATERIALS, Age, Types FRAMING METAL STUD PERFORMANCE FRAMING METHODS, Age, Types FRAMING SIZE & Spacing, Age, Types FRAMING TABLES, SPANS for DECKS FRENCH DRAINS FROST HEAVES, FOUNDATION, SLAB FRT PLYWOOD GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION GLUES ADHESIVES, EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION GRADING & SITE WORK, EXTERIOR GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS HOUSEWRAP INSTALLATION DETAILS ICE DAM PREVENTION I-JOISTS, Wood Roof Floor INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION LOG HOME GUIDE LVL Laminated Veneer Lumber, Beams MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS MODULAR HOME CONSTRUCTION MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE OSB - Oriented Strand Board PANELIZED CONSTRUCTION PLASTER BULGES & PILLOWS PLASTER, LOOSE FALL HAZARDS PLYWOOD Roof, Wall, Floor Decks & Sheathing PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING PRE-CUT & KIT HOMES Preservative-Treated Framing Lumber RAILINGS, DECK & PORCH RAILINGS, STAIRWAY RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE RETAINING WALL GUARD RAILINGS ROT, FUNGUS, TERMITES ROT, TIMBER FRAME SEARS KIT HOUSES SEPTIC & CESSPOOL SAFETY SHEATHING, FIBERBOARD SHEATHING, Gypsum board SHEATHING Homasote & Other Board SHEATHING, OSB SHEATHING, Plywood SHEATHING, FOIL FACED - VENTS SIDING, Sheathing Identification - Photo Guide SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS SINKING BUILDINGS SLAB CRACK EVALUATION Control Joint Cracks in Concrete Freezing & Water Damage Frost Heave/Expansive Soil Cracks in Slabs Settlement Cracks in Slabs Settlement Cracks vs. Frost Heaves Settlement Cracks vs. Shrinkage Cracks

In the photos shown here, substantive cracks appeared and continued to increase in size in this poured concrete foundation used to support a modular home which had recently been completed. The cracks and foundation movement were probably due to a combination of: poorly prepared foundation footings, blasting on an adjacent building lot to prepare that site for new construction, and possibly omission of steel reinforcement in the poured wall. The cracks in this building foundation wall were visible shortly after construction as vertical hairline openings (less than 1/16" wide) in the right hand foundation wall, above grade and inside in the basement. Within a year the owner reported several times that the cracks were becoming noticeably wider. A careful inspection of the building interior suggested that the front foundation wall and portions of the right foundation wall were settling. There were no corresponding cracks in the finished surfaces of the structure, probably because this was very stiffly-framed modular construction. Notwithstanding the absence of damage upstairs, this was a problem that deserved further evaluation and repairs. The builder may have repaired the foundation by supporting it from below using one of the methods described at FOUNDATION REPAIR METHODS

This settlement crack probably occurred during initial footing settlement. Notice that it is wider at the top than the bottom of the crack. This suggests that the footing to the left or right of the crack has moved downwards, with further downwards movement as we move further from the crack itself. If this is new construction and the crack does not change in width the site conditions may have stabilized.

Additional photographs of types of foundation cracks and other foundation damage: we have an extensive library of photographs which will be added to this document. Pending completion of that work, contact the author if assistance is required with images. In masonry between two structures - differential settlement or thermal movement Straight or wandering, in poured concrete, generally even width, intermittent, or more often straight - shrinkage / thermal - low risk Straight generally even width, in a masonry block wall, in mortar joints but possibly right through concrete block - shrinkage / thermal - low to modest risk Straight or stepped in brick, esp. near ends of wall - expansion / thermal, potentially dangerous if wall bond courses are broken, collapse risk. In wall, wider at bottom than top - settlement under building. These cracks may be less serious than horizontal when found in a masonry block wall. These cracks could be quite serious when found in a brick wall, especially if bond courses are broken and there is risk of collapse. Note: vertical foundation cracks often appear in multiples multiple cracks in one or more area.

While a vertical foundation crack could be serious depending on its cause and on the type of foundation in which it appears (stone, brick, masonry block, concrete), these are often the least threat to the building. If www.inspectapedia.com/structure/FoundationCracks.htm 3/12

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How to Evaluate and Diagnose Foundation Cracks: Foundation cracking, foundation bowing, foundatio… which it appears (stone, brick, masonry block, concrete), these are often the least threat to the building. If there is significant vertical dislocation or signs of ongoing movement, further investigation is more urgent. If the cause is shrinkage (concrete, masonry block) it is probably less of a concern than if due to SLAB CRACK REPAIR settlement. A vertical crack due to earth loading or frost would be unusual.
Settlement Cracks vs. Shrinkage Cracks Shrinkage Cracks in Slabs Shrinkage Cracks Along Foundation Walls Control Joint Cracks in Concrete Seal Cracks by Polyurethane Foam Injection Seal Cracks in Concrete, How To Standards for Repair of Cracks in Floors Vertical Foundation Movement Repairs

DIAGONAL FOUNDATION CRACKS - Diagonal & Step Crack Patterns in Building Foundations
This settlement crack probably occurred during initial footing settlement. Notice that it is wider at the top than the bottom of the crack. This suggests that the footing to the left or right of the crack has moved downwards, with further downwards movement as we move further from the crack itself. If this is new construction and the crack does not change in width the site conditions may have stabilized.

SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS Splits in Structural Wood Beams STAIN & BIODETERIORATION AGENT CATALOG STAINS on BUILDINGS - QUICK GUIDE STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS STONE CLEANING METHODS STONE FOUNDATIONS STONE VENEER WALLS STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS STUCCO WAll FAILURES DUE TO WEATHER STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION STUCCO OVER FOAM INSULATION STUCCO PAINT FAILURES SUMP PUMPS GUIDE SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS TERMITES, ROT THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS TRUSS UPLIFT, ROOF TRUSSES, Floor & Roof VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS VENTILATION in buildings VINYL Siding or PLASTIC Window ODORS in buildings VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING WIND WASHING INSULATION At EAVES WINDOWS & DOORS, Age, Types WINTERIZE A BUILDING WOOD FOUNDATIONS More Information

Clues to help diagnose the probable cause of diagonal foundation cracks in buildings: From corner towards adjacent opening, wider at top than bottom - often due to foundation settlement, expansive clay soil, frost damage, or damage from a shrub/tree close to the foundation wall. Under a ground floor window, from sill to ground, sill bowed up - often due to foundation heave, clay soil, frost, shallow or absent footings In the foundation wall anywhere, wider at bottom than top - settlement under building At building corners in cold climates - frost heave, frost lensing, shallow footings, water problem, or insufficient backfill. In a typical raised ranch with a garage located in part of the basement, and with the garage entering at one end of a home, we often find step cracks in the front and rear foundation walls only on the garage-end of the home. These cracks may correspond to some related observations: (1) there may be less backfill against the front and rear foundation walls where a garage entry is located between them; (2) the reduction in backfill combined with an un-heated garage may expose these building corners to more frost damage; (3) if a building downspout or gutter defect spills roof drainage against the building wall, these forces will often combine to make more severe frost cracks appear on the garage-entry end of the home. Vertical or diagonal crack which over a short time - settlement over sink holes- serious, open suddenly after rain; or ravines, mulch, fill, organic debris (later rots and settles). Over window/door, straight or diagonal - loading/header defect - may appear as horizontal along top or bottom of header, vertical at ends of header (possibly due to differences in thermal expansion of different materials of header vs. wall) or vertical/diagonal at center of header (loading failure) or at corners (possible point-load failure) Cracks in a poured concrete foundation which are diagonal or vertical and which are generally uniform in width, or which taper to an irregular hairline form, usually in fact a discontinuous crack in the hairline area, are usually shrinkage cracks and should not be ongoing nor of structural significance, though they may invite water entry through the wall. Note that often at these foundation failures cracks are visible both outside and inside, but outside they may be covered by backfill. For detecting evidence of sink holes in an area by visual inspection see Sink Holes: Can X-Ray Vision [Advanced Building & Building Site Inspection Techniques] Warn of Sink Holes? in Florida or elsewhere

HORIZONTAL FOUNDATION CRACKS - Patterns
These notes presume that you are examining a wall which is entirely or nearly all below-grade level.

Horizontal Foundation Cracks Located High on a Foundation Wall
Horizontal foundation cracks located in the upper third of a concrete block wall (presuming most of the wall is below grade) are most likely to have been caused by vehicle loading or in freezing climates, by surface and subsurface water combined with frost. In northern climates if we see cracked mortar joints in the top third of a block wall, at about the same depth as the frost line in that area the damage is almost certainly due to frost. Often outside we'll find corroborating evidence such as drip lines below the building eaves confirming a history of roof spillage against the building, and back inside we may see that the foundation damage is occurring only at the building walls below roof eaves and not at the gable ends of the home. Cold climates- frost, possible displacement inwards Possible vehicle loading, displacement inwards
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How to Evaluate and Diagnose Foundation Cracks: Foundation cracking, foundation bowing, foundatio…

Horizontal Foundation Cracks Located at Mid-wall Height on a Foundation
Masonry block or stone walls which are cracked and/or bulging inwards at mid height on the wall are likely to have been damaged by vehicle traffic or earth loading. Possible vehicle loading (look for a driveway near the wall or site history involving movement of heavy equipment near the wall) Backfill damage - excessive height or premature backfill before the first floor framing was in place. Hillsides - earth loading or earth loading exacerbated by water or frost Areas of wet soils - likely to be earth-loading or earth loading exacerbated by water or frost

Horizontal Foundation Cracks Located Low on a Foundation Wall
The forces exerted by soils against a foundation wall increase geometrically as we move from surface level of the soil against the wall to the areas near the bottom of the wall. In other words, earth pressure is greatest at the bottom of the wall. This fact helps us distinguish between frost or water-related cracking and simple earth loading in some cases since a wall which has become dislocated laterally only at or near its bottom is likely to have been damaged by earth loading. Earth Loading, especially if in an area of dense or wet soils Horizontal dislocation of a masonry block or brick wall may appear first as a crack and then later as horizontal movement as a wall is pushed inwards by earth or wet soil pressure. Horizontal Cracks in an Attached Garage Foundation

Construction methods for attached garages (as opposed to a garage located under a home and adjoining its basement) may create some special opportunities for foundation cracks: Shallow garage footings: The garage foundation footings are less deep than the house footings, exposing the foundation to other risks of frost or settlement damage and movement. Garage additions: The garage may have been added after original construction, creating newlydisturbed soils around the foundation and footings that have settled more recently than that of the original home. Garage slab settlement and cracking: A garage foundation is often constructed as a concrete footing and a low masonry block wall, followed by dumping fill inside this structure to raise the level of the garage slab to the desired height. A common construction error is the omission of adequate soil compacting before the garage slab is poured. A related common construction shortcut for these "raised slabs" (on fill, higher than and not resting on the garage wall foundation footings), is the omission of pins connecting the slab to the garage foundation wall at its elevated position. The result of these details is that as the soils below the slab settle and compact the slab can move and settle significantly. Depending on the amount of garage floor slab reinforcement (wire or re-bar or none), the slab may crack as well as tip and settle. How does garage slab settlement crack the garage foundation walls? The weight of a garage floor slab, combined with the weight of vehicles in the garage, compresses the soil below the slab. Soil pressure includes an outwards force which can cause horizontal cracks in a masonry block garage foundation wall. Look for these cracks outside the garage and above grade-level. Detecting soil voids below a garage slab is quite possible using this "ghost busters" technique: drag a heavy chain across the floor and listen to the sound it produces. If the chain moves across an area of soil void you'll hear a change in pitch in its sound, typically dropping lower. This is not a technique for every building inspection but it is useful when evaluating garage floor slab movement, tipping, cracking, or foundation cracks. Where are Horizontal Foundation Cracks Visible? Horizontal foundation cracks are usually visible only from inside a basement or crawl area unless building is all masonry. Lateral or horizontal movement of a masonry foundation wall inwards from earth pressure will often be seen at the first mortar joint above a basement or crawl space slab. Remember that the slab itself may be holding the very first course of masonry blocks or brick in place. This is a useful detail to keep in mind if you are using a plumb line and measuring tape to document the total amount and location of wall movement. The bottom course of concrete blocks or bricks, held in place by the floor slab, can usually be taken as a baseline of zero movement, from which other measurements to the plumb line are compared over the height of the wall. Use links just below or at the left of each page to navigate this document or to view other topics at this website. Green links show where you are in our document or website.

SHRINKAGE vs EXPANSION vs SETTLEMENT - Distinguishing Among Shrinkage, Expansion, and Settlement Cracks
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General Comments about foundation expansion or shrinkage
Cracks will occur in masonry structures: Most solid materials may both expand and contract in response to temperature variations. Solid materials may be cracked by pressure from loading. In masonry foundations, bricks actually expand indefinitely, though probably at a decreasing rate. Poured concrete shrinks after pouring. Masonry blocks may shrink and expand. All of these materials respond to changes in moisture and temperature. A long brick wall exposed to sunlight and cold weather and built without expansion joints will crack and fail. Concrete block walls shrink but don't normally expand (below grade). Poured concrete shrinks during curing but may also expand or contract in response to moisture. Determining when action is needed: All cracks need to be separated into those which are expected to require no further repair except possibly cosmetic (which can help future monitoring), those which merit ongoing monitoring for change and possibly signs of worsening conditions, and those which are so significant as to require repair. Setting priority of action: Repair work needs to be identified with respect to urgency, ranging from immediate (risk of collapse or other unsafe conditions) and less urgent. To the extent that the inspector can see the extent of movement and the potential for damage to a building, and to the extent that the inspector can make a reasonably confident guess about the cause of foundation damage or movement, s/he can estimate the chances of its continuance and thus help set a priority for further evaluation or repair, as well as setting the specifics of outside repairs to reduce further damage such as keeping water or vehicles away from the building.

Evidence of Foundation Shrinkage
A variety of site conditions can lead to cracks in a concrete or other masonry foundation walls or floor slabs. Speaking generally, foundations may be damaged and cracks may appear from innocent causes unlikely to affect the structure such as concrete shrinkage cracks, initial settlement, or from potentially more serious causes such as ongoing settlement, unusual pressures or loading, or from improper construction.

Identification of Shrinkage Cracks in Poured Concrete Foundations or Slabs
Shrinkage cracks in poured concrete are easily recognizable and can be distinguished from other types of cracks that occur later in the life of a foundation wall or floor slab. Concrete shrinks as a natural process during its curing. You can see the shrinkage of even a perfect concrete floor slab with no visible cracks in its surface if it was poured inside of an existing foundation. Notice the gap between the edges of the slab and the foundation wall? Notice the stains or concrete debris on the wall at the slab level? These indicate that at the time the slab was poured it was touching the wall. A poured concrete wall shrinks as well. Concrete curing is a chemical reaction, not just "drying" or loss of water. But depending on the concrete mix, amount of water, portland, aggregate type, temperatures, humidity, groundwater, sun exposure, groundwater, and other conditions, the amount of shrinkage that will occur in concrete as it cures varies. In any case, this concrete shrinkage process causes the concrete to develop internal stresses. To relieve those stresses, unless control joints were included in the wall or floor slab design, the wall or floor is likely to crack in a classic "concrete shrinkage pattern" as the concrete cures. Cracks in a poured concrete foundation which are diagonal or vertical and which are generally uniform in width, or which taper to an irregular hairline form and stop entirely, which are usually discontinuous in the crack's finest or hairline area (the crack "stops and starts" in the same area), are usually shrinkage cracks and should not be ongoing nor of structural significance, though they may invite water entry through the wall. [See our article on Using Polyurethane Foam for Foundation Repairs] Shrinkage cracks in concrete range in length from a few inches to the entire height of the concrete wall, extending from wall top to bottom. Concrete shrinkage cracks virtually always extend through the full thickness of the foundation wall, which means they can provide a ready path for water entry into the building. Common areas for a shrinkage concrete crack to develop are under a basement window, above a doorway in the middle of a long wall or where the foundation "steps down." Shrinkage cracks also often occur near the middle of a large poured concrete wall [or floor] if no control joints were used. [Concrete control joints are very often omitted in residential construction. Shrinkage cracks and how to recognize and diagnose them are discussed further at SHRINKAGE vs EXPANSION vs SETTLEMENT.

Suggestions for Repairing Foundation Shrinkage Cracks
Before repairing a foundation crack by sealing it against water entry, it is important to diagnose the cause of the crack and its effects on the building structure.
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How to Evaluate and Diagnose Foundation Cracks: Foundation cracking, foundation bowing, foundatio… When it has been determined that there is an underlying ongoing problem such as one leading to foundation movement or damage to the structure, the underlying problem should be corrected as part of any foundation or slab repair.

Cracks in poured concrete walls that are larger than 1/4", cracks which are increasing in size, or cracks which are otherwise indicative of foundation movement should be evaluated by a professional. The diagnosis and evaluation of foundation cracks and structural foundation damage and repair methods are discussed at
FOUNDATION REPAIR METHODS

What to do about shrinkage cracks in foundations
Once any concrete cracks it is possible for water to leak into the building through the crack. There are several ways to repair a basement crack leak. An easy, quick, and effective measure to stop basement or crawl space water entry through a foundation crack is to perform an injection of polyurethane foam into the basement crack. [Also be sure to find and fix the sources of water outside.] Water entry leaks at foundation cracks: Polyurethane foam sealant is used for foundation crack repairs to stop water entry. (Also find and correct outside water sources). See our article on Using Polyurethane Foam for Foundation Repairs. Structural repairs as well as sealing against water entry may be attempted for cracked foundations using masonry epoxy products. These products may be used for repairing cracks in concrete foundations, possibly including structural repairs, following evaluation and advice from a foundation professional. An evaluation of the presence, absence, or condition of reinforcing steel in cracked concrete foundations should be a part of the inspection. See our discussion of foundation repair methods at FOUNDATION REPAIR METHODS

Distinguishing of Other Types of Concrete Wall or Slab Cracks from Shrinkage Cracks
Settlement Cracks in Masonry Foundations and Concrete Floors Non-shrinkage cracks in concrete: The photograph shows a settlement crack in a garage floor concrete slab. This particular crack, occurring near the garage entry, may have been caused by frost since this is a New York home. (It's colder at the garage doors than further inside the building and there may be more water under the slab close to the building perimeter.) But a very common cause of settlement cracks in slabs (and some walls) is poor site preparation, such as pouring the slab (or footings) on soft fill. As an example of a concrete crack that occurred later in the life of a structure (thus is not due to initial curing shrinkage) and to understand why such a non-shrinkage crack would look different from a shrinkage crack, imagine Superman breaking a piece of cured, hard, dry, solid concrete slab by bending it. The crack that would appear in cured concrete would not be intermittent along its length, it would be continuous even if it is not a straight line. Depending on the cause of such a later-in-life concrete crack, it might also be wider at the top than at the bottom (foundation footing settlement) or there might be horizontal dislocation (one side of the crack sticks into the building further than the other, or one side of the floor slab crack sticks up more than the other). Settlement around a Lally column pier may have produced the cracks visible in the slab around the Lally column in this photograph. A hypothesis is that the pier below the column was functioning properly but the slab was poured on loose fill around the rest of the basement floor. The slab settled away from the pier but where the pier supported a portion of the slab that was poured over it, the pier prevented settlement of that area. Observing that the high-side of these cracks was the side closer to the Lally column supports this view.

Evidence of Foundation or Masonry Wall Expansion
Brick, in particular, whether used in a foundation or as a building wall, expands over time and as moisture, temperature, and other conditions vary. Dave Wickersheimer, P.E. and R.A., who is a masonry failures expert from the SHC, informs us that brick "grows" or expands indefinitely. However if we exclude heating effects of sun exposure (discussed below), most brick expansion from its internal chemistry probably occurs early in its life. Thermal expansion of brick: Brick walls exposed above-grade are subject to significant heating gains from sunlight and may expand and contract sufficient to cause major damage if proper control joints are not www.inspectapedia.com/structure/FoundationCracks.htm 7/12

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How to Evaluate and Diagnose Foundation Cracks: Foundation cracking, foundation bowing, foundatio… from sunlight and may expand and contract sufficient to cause major damage if proper control joints are not used during construction. If you observe long expanses of brick masonry walls above grade and without expansion joints, look for expansion cracking. When caused by thermal expansion, brick walls may show most movement at the two ends of the wall most-exposed to sunlight. The author, using a simple plumb line and measuring tape, has measured as much as 4" of expansion found at the top of a brick structure whose wall corners leaned out 4" over the wall bottom from this force. [Note: POK JCC file-DJF].

Brick walls below-grade are of course not exposed to heating and expansion from sunlight, but instead are exposed to earth pressure (look for horizontal cracking), and in freezing climates frost damage (look for horizontal cracks in walls at or near the frost line, and look for stair-stepped cracks at corners of the building. Brick cracking due to thermal expansion is discussed and illustrated in detail at Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick

Foundation Settlement: crack patterns, other evidence
A settlement crack is more likely to be wider at top than its bottom as the foundation "bends" over a single point, allowing differential settlement; it is possible for a settlement crack to appear fairly uniform however if a foundation breaks vertically and then pursues differential settlement. Settlement cracks need to be separated into initial settlement due to construction or site factors and ongoing settlement due to site factors. Usually wider at top, usually continuous, may be multiple! Imaginary line, right angle to diagonal crack, usually = direction of downwards movement; may indicate upwards wall-lift - see if settlement cracks at opposite end of wall (e.g. in FL) Multiple cracks of either type may occur in a given area. Usually visible both outside and inside if material is exposed.

Questions & Answers regarding this article
Questions & answers about the cause and repair of all types of building foundation and floor slab cracks.

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(Mar 4, 2012) rachel said: tthis is the floor / path that surrounding my house (Mar 4, 2012) Rachel said: can anyone advise please ? the concrete that's surrounding my house has got quite a few cracks in it each about a metre in length should i be worried ? please help as i don't have a clue about this sort of thing thanks rachel (Jan 26, 2012) Clint Ford said: We are in the middle of a remodel and tore up all the old flooring. Upon doing do we found several cracks that go through out the floor. They all seem like hair line cracks and are 1/16 or less in width. I also put a level over all the cracks and it seems like there is slight uneveness on some of the cracks. I've also found a small horizontal crack on the outside slab and I was wondering if there was any concern to this. (Dec 5, 2011) Al Widmer, Widmer Associates/Arc said: I inspected the block basement foundation walls of a 80-90 year old house with several vertical cracks. The most severe one needing a recommendation: Approximately 1/2" wide, generally same width top to bottom, thru joints and blocks at both faces of wall, minimal vertical separation, and located 6' from corner. A small vertical crack in the perpendicular wall about 6' from corner has a 1/8" horizontal offset. Recommendation?
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(Nov 7, 2011) Steve Moore said: During the process of removing and installing a concrete garage floor, several garage foundation blocks on one side of our garage have shifted out about an inch or less. The contractor said this is mostly cosmetic, the garage foundation structure is still secure. Should I be concerned, or seek an another opinion? Thank you. (Oct 13, 2011) DanJoeFriedman (mod) said: Cynthia, sorry to read about the concrete installation failure. And indeed often the mix is the trouble. At this point, if it is cost justified, you'd need to hire an engineer who has expertise in concrete testing if you need to document and prove the cause of failure. (Oct 10, 2011) cynthia morris said: Hi, my husband has been concreting for 20 years and has just poured perimeter paths around a new home. It was a windy day and the entire job has cracked all over. The concrete company will not take responsibility. We believe the mix was incorrect. All of the men that were on the job that day commented that you could not close over the stone as it did not have enough fat or slurry. they said they had added a chemical to delay drying because of the weather. ..what advice do you have and where do we go from here? Thank you.

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InspectAPedia.com® - Daniel Friedman - Publisher & Editor. InspectAPedia Bookstore lists recommended books, organized by topic & available for purchase. Most of our articles also include a list of recommended books for the specific article topic as well as other references, and information sources. Critique, contributions wanted: Contact Us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website, and if you wish, to receive online listing and credit as a contributor. Particular thanks are due to the many experts and also consumers who read and critique technical articles at InspectAPedia.com. Additional technical contributors & reference sources for this article are listed below. Use links just below or at the left of each page to navigate this document or to view other topics at this website. Green links show where you are in our document or website.
FOUNDATION BULGE or LEAN MEASUREMENTS FOUNDATION CONSTRUCTION TYPES FOUNDATION CONTRACTORS, ENGINEERS FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS FOOTINGS EXPOSED, Repair Methods FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE BRICK FOUNDATIONS & WALLS BUCKLED FOUNDATIONS due to INSULATION? CRAWL SPACES EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS FOUNDATION CONSTRUCTION TYPES FOUNDATION INSPECTION METHODS FOUNDATION FAILURES by TYPE & MATERIAL FOUNDATION FAILURES by MOVEMENT TYPE FLOOD DAMAGE TO FOUNDATIONS FOUNDATION DEFECTS OF OMISSION FOUNDATION CRACK EVALUATION CRACK MONITORING Methods DIAGONAL FOUNDATION CRACKS HORIZONTAL FOUNDATION CRACKS SHRINKAGE vs EXPANSION vs SETTLEMENT Sinkholes & Building Damage Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick VERTICAL FOUNDATION CRACKS FOUNDATION BULGE or LEAN MEASUREMENTS FOUNDATION DAMAGE REPORTS FOUNDATION DAMAGE SEVERITY FOUNDATION INSPECTION STANDARDS FOUNDATION MOVEMENT ACTIVE vs. STATIC FOUNDATION REPAIR METHODS PIER or PILE FOUNDATIONS

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How to Evaluate and Diagnose Foundation Cracks: Foundation cracking, foundation bowing, foundatio…
PIER or PILE FOUNDATIONS SITE FACTORS AFFECTING FOUNDATIONS SLAB CRACK EVALUATION SLAB CRACK REPAIR

FOUNDATION DEFECTS OF OMISSION - MISSING FOUNDATION FAILURES by TYPE & MATERIAL BLOCK FOUNDATION & WALL DEFECTS BRICK FOUNDATION & WALL DEFECTS BRICK STRUCTURAL WALLS Loose, Bulged Brick Thermal Expansion Cracking BRICK VENEER WALL Loose, Bulged BRICK WALL DRAINAGE WEEP HOLES CONCRETE FOUNDATION, WALL, SLAB DEFECTS CONCRETE PRE-CAST FOUNDATION DEFECTS STONE FOUNDATION DEFECTS WOOD FOUNDATION DEFECTS FOUNDATION FAILURES by MOVEMENT TYPE BRICK FOUNDATIONS & WALLS BUCKLED FOUNDATIONS due to INSULATION? BULGED vs. LEANING FOUNDATIONS COMBINATIONS OF FOUNDATION MOVEMENT Bulge & step cracks Earthquake Damage to Foundations Flood Damage to Foundations Foundation Movement During Collapse Other Foundation Step cracks HORIZONTAL MOVEMENT IN FOUNDATIONS Bulging, Leaning & Sliding Wall Horizontal Foundation Creep Horizontal Movement & step cracks in brick Impact Damage to Foundations Thermal Expansion Cracking in Brick SETTLEMENT IN FOUNDATIONS SHRINKAGE CRACKS in CONCRETE VERTICAL MOVEMENT IN FOUNDATIONS Diagonal Cracks in Concrete Foundations Diagonal Step Cracking in Masonry Differential vs. Uniform Settlement Cracks Leaning or Tipping Buildings Uniform Width vs. Tapered Foundation Cracks Vertical Cracks FOUNDATION INSPECTION METHODS FOUNDATION INSULATION OPTIONS FOUNDATION MATERIALS, Age, Types FOUNDATION REPAIR METHODS Bulged foundation Repairs Crack Repair Methods FOOTINGS EXPOSED, Repair Methods Horizontal Movement Repairs Seal Cracks by Polyurethane Foam Injection Seal Cracks in Concrete, How To Shrinkage Crack Repairs SLAB CRACK REPAIR Vertical Foundation Movement Repairs FOUNDATION WATERPROOFING SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS SINKING BUILDINGS SLAB CRACK EVALUATION Control Joint Cracks in Concrete Freezing & Water Damage Frost Heave/Expansive Soil Cracks in Slabs Settlement Cracks in Slabs Settlement Cracks vs. Frost Heaves Settlement Cracks vs. Shrinkage Cracks Shrinkage Cracks in Slabs Shrinkage Cracks Along Foundation Walls SLAB CRACK REPAIR Control Joint Cracks in Concrete Seal Cracks by Polyurethane Foam Injection Seal Cracks in Concrete, How To Standards for Repair of Cracks in Floors

Sal Alfano - Editor, Journal of Light Construction* Thanks to Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto, for technical critique and some of the foundation inspection photographs cited in these articles Terry Carson - ASHI Mark Cramer - ASHI JD Grewell, ASHI Duncan Hannay - ASHI, P.E. * Bob Klewitz, M.S.C.E., P.E. - ASHI Ken Kruger, P.E., AIA - ASHI Bob Peterson, Magnum Piering - 800-771-7437 - FL*
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How to Evaluate and Diagnose Foundation Cracks: Foundation cracking, foundation bowing, foundatio…

Arlene Puentes, ASHI, October Home Inspections - (845) 216-7833 - Kingston NY Greg Robi, Magnum Piering - 800-822-7437 - National* Dave Rathbun, P.E. - Geotech Engineering - 904-622-2424 FL* Ed Seaquist, P.E., SIE Assoc. - 301-269-1450 - National Dave Wickersheimer, P.E. R.A. - IL, professor, school of structures division, UIUC - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Architecture. Professor Wickersheimer specializes in structural failure investigation and repair for wood and masonry construction. * Mr. Wickersheimer's engineering consulting service can be contacted at HDC Wickersheimer Engineering Services. (3/2010)
*These reviewers have not returned comment 6/95

Technical Edits, Changes, Amendments to This Document
9/23/2006 editing to clarify text and add content; Technical review (partial) by Arlene Puentes. 4/17/2006 editing to clarify text in several sections. 2/6/99 editing updates, soliciting additional reviews 2/3/99 Converted working text file to MSWord97 .doc and .htm files for easier review on Internet 6/26/95 text updates per comments from Al Carson, Terry Carson, Mark Cramer 6/16/95 text updates for Calgary July 1995 cc's sent to reviewers 3/28/95 uploaded to ASHI's Internet site - asfoun01.txt 11/19/93 Ed Seaquist - telecon 11/19/93, likes, will write up one of our sections for my/our target of series of journal articles or a book. © Dan Friedman 1999, original 1992 All Rights Reserved -- foundation.htm

Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the InspectAPedia Bookstore. Also see our Book Reviews - InspectAPedia. The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 2010, $69.00 U.S., is available from Carson Dunlop and from the InspectAPedia bookstore. The 2010 edition of the Home Reference Book is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. InspectAPedia.com ® author/editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume. Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss. John Wiley & Sons, 2006. ISBN-10: 0471648361, ISBN-13: 978-0471648369, Hardcover: 320 pages, available from Amazon.com and also Wiley.com. See our book review of this publication. Decks and Porches, the JLC Guide to, Best Practices for Outdoor Spaces, Steve Bliss (Editor), The Journal of Light Construction, Williston VT, 2010 ISBN 10: 1-928580-42-4, ISBN 13: 978-1-928580-423, available from Amazon.com The Journal of Light Construction has generously given reprint permission to InspectAPedia.com for certain articles found at this website. All rights and contents to those materials are ©Journal of Light Construction and may not be reproduced in any form. Appliances and Home Electronics, - energy savings, U.S. Department of Energy Avongard foundation crack progress chart for structural crack monitoring Basement Moisture Control, U.S. Department of Energy Building Pathology, Deterioration, Diagnostics, and Intervention, Samuel Y. Harris, P.E., AIA, Esq., ISBN 0-471-33172-4, John Wiley & Sons, 2001 [General building science-DF] ISBN-10: 0471331724 ISBN-13: 978-0471331728 Building Pathology: Principles and Practice, David Watt, Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (March 7, 2008) ISBN-10: 1405161035 ISBN-13: 978-1405161039 The Circular Staircase, Mary Roberts Rinehart Construction Drawings and Details, Rosemary Kilmer Crawl Space Moisture Control, U.S. Department of Energy Diagnosing & Repairing House Structure Problems, Edgar O. Seaquist, McGraw Hill, 1980 ISBN 0-07056013-7 (obsolete, incomplete, missing most diagnosis steps, but very good reading; out of print but used copies are available at Amazon.com, and reprints are available from some inspection tool suppliers). Ed Seaquist was among the first speakers invited to a series of educational conferences organized by D Friedman for ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors, where the topic of inspecting the in-service condition of building structures was first addressed. Design of Wood Structures - ASD, Donald E. Breyer, Kenneth Fridley, Kelly Cobeen, David Pollock, McGraw Hill, 2003, ISBN-10: 0071379320, ISBN-13: 978-0071379328 This book is an update of a long-established text dating from at least 1988 (DJF); Quoting: This book is gives a good grasp of seismic design for wood structures. Many of the examples especially near the end are good practice for the California PE Special Seismic Exam design questions. It gives a good grasp of how seismic forces move through a building and how to calculate those forces at various locations. THE CLASSIC TEXT ON WOOD DESIGN UPDATED TO INCLUDE THE LATEST CODES AND DATA. Reflects the most recent provisions of the 2003 11/12

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How to Evaluate and Diagnose Foundation Cracks: Foundation cracking, foundation bowing, foundatio… INCLUDE THE LATEST CODES AND DATA. Reflects the most recent provisions of the 2003 International Building Code and 2001 National Design Specification for Wood Construction. Continuing the sterling standard set by earlier editions, this indispensable reference clearly explains the best wood design techniques for the safe handling of gravity and lateral loads. Carefully revised and updated to include the new 2003 International Building Code, ASCE 7-02 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, the 2001 National Design Specification for Wood Construction, and the most recent Allowable Stress Design. Building Failures, Diagnosis & Avoidance, 2d Ed., W.H. Ransom, E.& F. Spon, New York, 1987 ISBN 0-419-14270-3 Domestic Building Surveys, Andrew R. Williams, Kindle book, Amazon.com Defects and Deterioration in Buildings: A Practical Guide to the Science and Technology of Material Failure, Barry Richardson, Spon Press; 2d Ed (2001), ISBN-10: 041925210X, ISBN-13: 9780419252108. Quoting: A professional reference designed to assist surveyors, engineers, architects and contractors in diagnosing existing problems and avoiding them in new buildings. Fully revised and updated, this edition, in new clearer format, covers developments in building defects, and problems such as sick building syndrome. Well liked for its mixture of theory and practice the new edition will complement Hinks and Cook's student textbook on defects at the practitioner level. Guide to Domestic Building Surveys, Jack Bower, Butterworth Architecture, London, 1988, ISBN 0-

408-50000 X "Avoiding Foundation Failures," Robert Marshall, Journal of Light Construction, July, 1996 (Highly recommend this article-DF) "A Foundation for Unstable Soils," Harris Hyman, P.E., Journal of Light Construction, May 1995 "Backfilling Basics," Buck Bartley, Journal of Light Construction, October 1994 "Inspecting Block Foundations," Donald V. Cohen, P.E., ASHI Reporter, December 1998. This article in turn cites the Fine Homebuilding article noted below. "When Block Foundations go Bad," Fine Homebuilding, June/July 1998 Energy Recover Ventilation Systems for Buildings, U.S. Department of Energy Energy Savings Methods: Whole House Systems Approach, U.S. Department of Energy Historic Preservation Technology: A Primer, Robert A. Young, Wiley (March 21, 2008) ISBN-10: 0471788368 ISBN-13: 978-0471788362 Log Homes: Minimizing Air Leakage in Log Homes, U.S. Department of Energy Log Homes: Controlling Moisture in Log Homes, U.S. Department of Energy Log Homes: Log Home Design, U.S. Department of Energy Moisture Control in Buildings, U.S. Department of Energy Moisture Control in Walls, U.S. Department of Energy Quality Standards for the Professional Remodeling Industry, National Association of Home Builders Remodelers Council, NAHB Research Foundation, 1987. Quality Standards for the Professional Remodeler, N.U. Ahmed, # Home Builder Pr (February 1991), ISBN-10: 0867183594, ISBN-13: 978-0867183597 Natural Ventilation for Buildings, U.S. Department of Energy R-Value of Wood, U.S. Department of Energy Spot Ventilation for houses, U.S. Department of Energy Slab on Grade Foundation Moisture and Air Leakage, U.S. Department of Energy Straw Bale Home Design, U.S. Department of Energy provides information on strawbale home construction - original source at http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/designing_remodeling/index.cfm/mytopic=10350 More Straw Bale Building: A Complete Guide to Designing and Building with Straw (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series), Chris Magwood, Peter Mack, New Society Publishers (February 1, 2005), ISBN-10: 0865715181 ISBN-13: 978-0865715189 - Quoting: Straw bale houses are easy to build, affordable, super energy efficient, environmentally friendly, attractive, and can be designed to match the builder’s personal space needs, esthetics and budget. Despite mushrooming interest in the technique, however, most straw bale books focus on “selling” the dream of straw bale building, but don’t adequately address the most critical issues faced by bale house builders. Moreover, since many developments in this field are recent, few books are completely up to date with the latest techniques. More Straw Bale Building is designed to fill this gap. A completely rewritten edition of the 20,000copy best--selling original, it leads the potential builder through the entire process of building a bale structure, tackling all the practical issues: finding and choosing bales; developing sound building plans; roofing; electrical, plumbing, and heating systems; building code compliance; and special concerns for builders in northern climates. "Vapor Barriers or Vapor Diffusion Retarders", U.S. DOE: how vapor barriers work, types of vapor diffusion barriers, installing vapor barrier Ventilation for energy efficient buildings, Purpose, Strategies, etc.,

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