When you are out looking at homes you may come across something in the basement that looks like the wall in the photo below.
Generally speaking, this isn’t a good thing. Furthermore, it should not be confused with a vertical crack, which is a whole different matter (one I will talk about in a future post).
When you see a horizontal crack in the basement many times it is proof that the wall is weakening and it is weakening because the force of the matter (soil/clay/rock) on the other side of this wall has been causing pressure over time — pressure that would possibly eventually lead to the wall caving in. But, FEAR NOT! It is NOT the end of the world and not always a deal breaker when picking your dream home!
Check out Paul Hall’s story about encountering this very problem with the home he wanted to purchase. Here is how it played out:
When my wife and I went house hunting before we got married we found a house that we loved. We went through the house looking at it — even going into the crawl space to check it out. When we got under there we found that one of the foundation walls was cracked horizontally and bowing in just a little bit. When we put an offer in on the house our Realtor (Amy) recommended that we get an engineer to look at the foundation to insure that it was safe and sound. The engineer came back and said that it needed to be fixed, so we told the owner that they needed to fix it before we would buy. They fixed it by putting I beams in place that the house sits on. We’ve been in the house over two years, and not had problems with our foundation.
There are several ways to remedy this situation, including Anchoring or using Carbon fiber strips. If you’re looking for an engineer to evaluate cracks in your foundation, I’d recommend Corum Engineering.
If you know someone searching for a home, please share this blog with them!
For help with your home buying and selling needs Amy can be reached by (865) 257-0100 or e-mail.