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STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS & DEFECTS
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
BRICK FOUNDATIONS & WALLS
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COLD POUR JOINTS, CONCRETE
COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS
DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOOD DAMAGE TO FOUNDATIONS
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOOTINGS EXPOSED, Repair Methods
FOUNDATION BULGE or LEAN MEASUREMENTS
FOUNDATION CONSTRUCTION TYPES
FOUNDATION CONTRACTORS, ENGINEERS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
FRAMING DAMAGE, INSPECTION, REPAIR
GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK
GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS
MODULAR HOME CONSTRUCTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
RETAINING WALL GUARD RAILINGS
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE PROBING
STRUCTURAL WOOD ASSESSMENT
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
TIMBER FRAMING, ROT
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article explains Foundation defects of occurrence: foundation failures due to an outside force, organized by foundation type and material of construction such as concrete, masonry block, brick, stone, wood foundation failures and how each foundation material will show damage due to impact, settlement, frost or water damage, and other causes. Types of foundation cracks, crack patterns, differences in the meaning of cracks in different foundation materials, site conditions, building history, and other evidence of building movement and damage are described to assist in recognizing foundation defects and to help the inspector separate cosmetic or low-risk conditions from those likely to be important and potentially costly to repair. Our page top photo shows significant settlement cracking in a two year old poured concrete foundation. Cracks occurred following blasting at an adjoining construction site. Steel reinforcement may also have been omitted from this wall.
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Foundation movement, resulting in foundation bulge, foundation cracks, leaning, tipping, shifting or other damage are examples of potentially important occurrences that merit a careful diagnosis.
Strategy for Building Foundation or Floor or Slab Crack, Damage, or Movement Assessment
To understand the cause, effect, and remedy for all types of building foundation or masonry wall damage or movement we have categorized foundation damage into these broad categories:
List of foundation failures of occurrence - things happening to the foundation
Foundation inspectors and engineers need to agree on what terms are used to describe various foundation conditions. Articles throughout this website use and illustrate the foundation damage or failure terms listed below.
Note: use of plumb lines, levels, laser levels, & simple measurements of amount by which a wall is out of level or plumb, or of crack widths and patterns are beyond ASHI Scope but are common simple tools and procedures used by masons, carpenters, builders, as well as foundation experts and engineers.
Articles that provide detail for each type of foundation and foundation material demonstrate that each foundation material and type has its own, sometimes unique, signs of damage and failure. For example, a horizontal crack in one type of foundation material may be much more serious than in another. Just below are some articles that offer additional foundation damage analysis methods.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about how to evaluate cracks in building foundations & in structural masonry wall
Questions & answers or comments about the diagnosis & causes of foundation, wall, or floor slab cracks in buildings..
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.