Major Crack in Exterior Wall
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Randall on the line who’s looking for a solution to leveling a slab foundation. Tell us what’s going on.
RANDALL: Well, the foundation – looked up at the eave of the house and it’s cracked out about a ½-inch. And it’s going – well, looks like I need to get a slab foundation leveled and I’ve always hated slabs but this was a nice house when we bought it.
Anyway, I want to know what’s the best solution for that in our type of soil in the – around the bottom. It’s the Red River area, north of Dallas.
TOM: So you’re interested in stabilizing the foundation or just leveling it for cosmetic reasons?
TOM: Hmm. OK.
RANDALL: Leveling it permanently where it’s everything’s like it should be.
TOM: Randall, are you seeing any cracks or you just noticed that it’s sort of up in this one corner?
RANDALL: It’s in at the peak of the house where the roof line – at the peak. I looked right up here up the side of the wall and there’s about an inch crack and it’s coming down. And I noticed it when I had to repair my air conditioner because the blower motor went out.
TOM: Alright. So this is not a floor. This is a wall when you say it’s going up to the peak?
RANDALL: The wall. But the floor in the kitchen has got some lumps in it. I thought it was carpet but it’s not.
TOM: OK. So, here’s what you need to do. First of all, in terms of the floor in the kitchen, you’re going to use a resurfacer product for that. It’s called a floor resurfacer. It’s a powdered mix that you add water to and basically trowel it on. And you can even out the floor and it frequently uses sort of an underlayment to either resilient flooring or vinyl flooring or ceramic tile.
And it comes in 50-pound bags. QUIKRETE makes it. It’s called, again, a QUIKRETE floor resurfacer, self-leveling product. And it’s basically a compound that you mix up, you spread it out. You can level your floor with that.
Now, in terms of the crack that’s on the exterior, would you consider this hairline or is it open quite a bit?
RANDALL: Oh, it’s open about almost an inch.
TOM: OK. You need to have this inspected. That’s a major crack; that’s not a minor crack. And we need to find out why that’s happening. So you’re going to have to contact either a professional home inspector or a structural engineer. Because if your wall opens up a full inch like that, then I’m concerned about some movement under the foundation on one of the opposite corners that would force that to happen – cause that to happen.
RANDALL: Right. I know there’s got to be movement there when I’ve seen that.
TOM: Yep. Yeah, because it’s – right, there’s no other way to explain it. So, you’re going to have to get this inspected and let me tell you why that’s very important that you do it once and do it right. It’s because someday you’re going to want to sell this house and when you have a major crack like that, somebody’s going to want to inspect the house. And if they see that crack and they don’t see a real professional repair, they’re going to ask you about it.
And what you want to tell them is that “yeah, I identified the crack; I had a structural engineer come out and inspect it.” “The engineer gave me a report, told us how to fix it. Then I had a contractor come out and fix it, then I had the engineer come back and reinspect it and here’s his letter saying everything is great.” And that becomes, in effect, a pedigree on that structural repair so that any future buyer will have no concerns whatsoever about anything else happening to that wall.
So that’s what I would do is I would have it inspected, get the advice, get it fixed and then you can move on.