So we are starting investing with a single family house in a good area in Hamilton Nj (low price), we have the plan of buying and holding ,this house needs some reparations the basics(painting, change floor in some areas, etc) we got the inspection report back saying that this house has a crack on the concrete block of the foundation wall and it may deem it necessary to have this wall further evaluated by a structural engineer how bad this problem can be? Any structural engineer in this area??
Well, a crack isn't always a terrible thing, but it can be an indicator of trouble. Small, spider-web cracks that you can't fit your fingernail in are normal, and usually a result of minor stresses on the concrete as it was cured.
Large, transverse cracks are the larger worry, as they are more likely caused by differential settlement in your foundation (the soil underneath a portion of your foundation wall dropping, while the rest stays more or less where you want it - look for a "stair-step" pattern in your mortar joints), water trapping against (or worse, inside) the wall and expanding during the winter freeze cycles, or insufficient steel reinforcement - which is not uncommon with concrete masonry, particularly if the house is pre-1950s (ish). For concrete masonry, as opposed to solid concrete walls, you could also have areas where the mortar just wasn't applied properly, and can be remedied with epoxy grouts or "tuck-pointing" new mortar into the joint to clean and seal it up.
My recommendation would be to contact an Engineering Consulting Firm in your area (Google a few) and schedule a free consultation - bring lots of pictures, any historic data you have on the house, etc. An experienced, licensed Structural or Civil Engineer should be able to get a good idea of the cause visually, and give you an idea of options (excavation and replacement, adding deeper foundation systems to support your existing foundation, etc. - if water is your issue, sometimes just adding some drainage and re-grading your yard can make a huge difference).
If the cause isn't readily visible, there are testing methods that can be used, but get quickly expensive. The cheapest, and one you can do yourself, is just to take a marker, mark a straight line across the crack at a few points along it, and take daily (at first, then weekly) measurements of the crack at the marks (use the same ruler each time) and keep a log of the measurements - this will at least tell you whether or not the crack is getting larger or smaller. Make sure to record the date of the measurements, so the effects of outside temperature can be compared.
Best of luck!
thank you! Is good to know that we can probably get a free estimate to know better about this problem we will check on google to find someone thanks again!
I can't vouch for it and haven't yet used it, but a friend told me about Thumbtack.com. It's apparently a site you can find all kinds of repair professionals including engineers. https://www.thumbtack.com/nj/trenton/structural-engineers/
It's going to have a pop up asking you to fill in info for a quote, but just click on any other part of the website to clear it so you can look at the site.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
Thanks Adrienne for providing this link it is really helpful!
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