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leedawg77 02-06-2012 07:55 AM

Wedge Crack at corner of exposed foundation
4 Attachment(s)
Hi guys, I am new to the forum.

We have a pretty big wedge crack at the corner of our house foundation. I believe it may have been due to my own stupidity since I did not drain water far enough from the house in that corner. Anyhow I've read that in house's with slabs, this is mostly a cosmetic issue. Bu unfortunately ours looks a little more serious and we have a basement.

I've posted some pictures, how serious is our issue? Really hoping it's not too serious. Have a baby on the way next month and a wife that is about to be laid off. So hoping for a cheap repair.

inspectorD 02-06-2012 05:47 PM

That there is cosmetic, Not an issue. You can fix it, or leave it till it falls off.
Sounds like you have more pressing issues comming soon.
Good luck.:D

leedawg77 02-06-2012 06:13 PM

I really appreciate it. I will fix it when I have some free time, but big relief to know it's cosmetic.

nealtw 02-06-2012 08:36 PM

I agree, this is nothing.

leedawg77 02-07-2012 07:46 AM

Sorry about double post
Didn't think my first post went through. I don't really repeat everything I say twice.

inspectorD 02-07-2012 01:56 PM


Originally Posted by leedawg77 (Post 67667)
I don't really repeat everything I say twice.

Well...better get used to it...your gonna be a parent soon.:D

BridgeMan 02-09-2012 08:21 PM

Contrary to what others have told you, here are a few things to think about:

While everyone thinks the cracking may not be significant at present, the one photo shows the broken corner being pushed outward, away from the main body of concrete. That simple fact tells me that there's something going on, as normal brick veneers bearing on concrete foundation walls don't usually exert enough force to crack and spall the wall concrete. And they don't typically exert lateral forces, but rather act vertically, downward. It could be something as simple as an accumulation of moisture and freeze-thaw forces acting in the crack opening over a period of time, or as complicated as differential foundation settlement (caused by any number of unknown factors), or even lack of adequate brick ties. Are there any visible weep holes in the brick veneer, at or near the bottom courses? If not, that could be a factor in causing what you're seeing.

The sooner you address the problem, the easier (and less expensive) it will be to make things right. Especially before you find yourself in full-blown diaper changing mode. A good start would be to seal the visible cracks with a low modulus adhesive (epoxy gel, or even liquid nails), with some Portland cement worked into the surface to make the repair unobtrusive. Grand total of a few hours of your time, and a few bucks for materials.

leedawg77 02-09-2012 08:32 PM

BridgeMan thank you for your reply, though not exactly what I wanted to hear..I appreciate the thoroughness of you answer. I did not notice weep holes in the brick, but I didn't really look for them either. I will look again in the morning. We have had lots of freezing of late. However the house has shown some signs of settlement in recent months (built 15 years ago) or more likely I've just noticed the signs in recent months, because I was looking for them. Maybe I should get a contractor to look at it?

leedawg77 02-09-2012 09:02 PM

Bridgeman, just asking a question. But isn't that what wedge cracks do (brick veneer expanding and pushing outward on the foundation)? It seems like most wedge cracks I see online that is exactly what is happening. In fact usually the wedge will fall off from the outward pressure. It is my understand that it isn't downward pressure on the foundation but outward pressure from expansion??

Please don't take this as disrespect of your opinion. By your screen name it seems you know what you are talking about when it comes to concrete. Just wanted to clear that up.

BridgeMan 02-09-2012 09:22 PM

Don't be scared off by anything I said. A satisfactory repair would probably be a nickle-and-dime job for most contractors. Don't be surprised if they tell you the only fix is to remove the entire corner of your foundation wall, installing steel lintels to hold up the brick, and forming and pouring the wall, to the tune of umpteen thousand $$$ (to make it worth their while). Not likely to need all of that, but just trying to give you a heads up. If it were mine, I'd request repair quotes from at least 3 experienced foundation repair people, making sure I was there to pick their brains while they were snooping around. And then taking the best of their ideas, and doing the repairs myself.

Should you decide to get quotes, come back to this forum and tell us what the contractors tell you. Also, before they show up, make sure to check all other corners of the foundation walls, tapping on them with a steel-handled hammer, listening for differences in sound to see if any others are showing delaminations (and eventual spalling, like the corner pix you posted). Sound concrete will have a higher pitched "ring" to it, while cracked or delaminated concrete will have a duller "thud" sound.

And to answer your question, so-called "wedge cracks" should not be happening if a properly-reinforced and adequately constructed concrete wall is supporting a properly-tied (and drained) brick veneer above it. A common fault I've seen (on literally hundreds of concrete walls, piers and abutments I've inspected during their construction, in the last 45 years) is inadequate consolidation at the corners. The spud-man stands on the forms at the corner to brace himself in opposing directions, thereby neglecting to vibrate the corner concrete directly under him. And the corners are the first place for the concrete to freeze, before properly hydrating, if it's a cold weather placement that isn't properly insulated.

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