Asked on Sep 22, 2013

Crack in Foundation

Joan LeVasseurBeth GilchristTrixie63


While water sealing the brick, my husband noticed a small crack where the brick meets the basement foundation. He dug it up and found that the crack goes all the way down. Inside, in the basement, there is no visible crack yet, but a level shows that the corner pillar tilts inward slightly. The house is very old and the basement is at least 70 years old, nothing has ever been level and we are not sure how serious this is or may become. We need advice on how to proceed. Thank-you in advance for any help.
Crack is a few inches to the right of the gutter drain.
There are no cracks in the brick above. Hole is dug approx. 3 feet down.
The left side of the crack protrudes outward. Crack is widest in the middle and narrows at both the top and bottom.
10 answers
  • I highly advise you to call a professional foundation company and have them take a look. Many places offer free estimates. This happened a lot when the earthquake hit a couple years ago. When it goes down that far I would want a professional since this is leaning towards a foundation issue and one that could worsen over time. Good luck.

  • Cynthia Freeney
    Cynthia Freeney
    on Sep 23, 2013

    It does look like a structural crack. I do some consulting work for a foundation company and I often read their case studies, so I've seen problems like yours before. Definitely something that needs to be inspected by a professional. I strongly suggest you to contact a foundation repair company as soon as possible. Many reputable companies will inspect and give you an estimate for FREE, and my advice is: call at least three of them in your area and see what they have to offer. I say that because there is a myriad of solutions and technologies to fix this type of problem out there. Some are more affordable than others, some are more disruptive than others, so look at all your options before you pick a solution.Please keep us updated if you have a chance.

  • Dee W
    Dee W
    on Sep 24, 2013

    @The Garden Frog with C Renee and @Cynthia Freeney thank-you for your quick responses. For now, we have dug to the bottom of the crack and cleaned it free of mud. 2 companies have been called and will be coming out within the next few weeks. We also found out our neighbor is a mason and he will take a look when he gets a chance and has volunteered to speak with the companies that come out and ask any relevant questions. I hope to have answers and a workable solution by the first of week of next month.

  • Elizabeth Bowen-droneburg
    Elizabeth Bowen-droneburg
    on Sep 26, 2013

    Good luck! Sounds like you're doing all the right things.

  • Dee W
    Dee W
    on Sep 29, 2013

    @Elizabeth Bowen-droneburg I hope so, thank-you!

  • Dee W
    Dee W
    on Oct 15, 2013

    Update: The experts have come in, looked things over and fortunately it was decided that the crack poses no threat to the foundation. Since it was already cleaned, the crack was mortared, sealed with tar and then a sheet of heavy plastic was laid on top of that. To finish it off, the hole was filled back in. Thank-you everyone for your advice and if anyone notices an issue with their foundation, don't take any chances---get it looked at!!

    on Jun 22, 2015

    Good! Our house settled less than a 1/4" and had to be jacked up on one corner. Cost a lot of money, but now we have a lifetime guarantee against it happening again.

    • Dee W
      Dee W
      on Jun 26, 2015

      @DORLIS yes, we are very thankful, too. I'm sorry about your foundation but now you'll not need to worry again, that is peace of mind worth paying for

  • Trixie63
    on Aug 3, 2015

    We ended up with 12 helical piers to holdup our house. Crazy amount of money but those giant screws are suppose to hold it for the lifetime of the house. Hope we can pay it off during our lifetime!

  • Beth Gilchrist
    Beth Gilchrist
    on Sep 7, 2016

    Based on narrative and pics, I would move the downspout discharge out from the wall. Perhaps tie it into the other line, or run it separately away from the house. I would dig out more dirt and scrub the wall around the crack. I would take closeup photos and measure the width of the crack in multiple places and measure the length as well. This is done so you have a record on the status of the crack to compare to the future status. I would then coat the crack and outwards about 12" on all sides with tar. Keep the tar below the visible brick. I would add a layer of heavy visqueen on top of the tar and a second coating of tar on the visqueen. I would backfill the hole, compacting in 12" lifts. I'd check the crack in a couple of years. Good Luck

  • Joan LeVasseur
    Joan LeVasseur
    on Oct 22, 2016

    You were lucky. I had my garage floor taken up to replace and then found that the foundation on the outside wall of the garage had crumbled to nearly nothing. It's been a week and I now have a new foundation poured. I will have to get the interlock bricks on the sidewalk they dug up relaid and the siding redone on the outside wall. I had no idea I was in for this and it is going to cost $$$ but it had to be done or the garage wall and the roof could have collapsed so I guess I was fortunate to find the problem before that happened.

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