My Home Inspector Blog: Crack Attack!- San Diego Home Inspection

Crack Attack!- San Diego Home Inspection

Crack Attack!- San Diego Home Inspection  Did you ever stop and think of all the cracks we Inspectors see on a daily basis? It's enough to crack you up! I even count cracks in my sleep at night!

Cracks are complex creatures and are often misunderstood. Every crack, whether large or small, needs to be evaluated by a set of trained eyes. Over the next several weeks, I'll be posting a series of "crack" articles. Let's begin!


Drywall Cracks

Many of my home inspection clients ask me drywall crackabout thin cracks at the corners of doors or windows, or along drywall joints. Every home moves (however slightly) whenever the wind blows, the soil expands and contracts, the earth shakes, or simply from the home's weight load. Homes have certain stress points, and when this movement occurs, these settlement cracks may appear in the walls or ceilings at these locations. These cracks can be repaired, but are likely to reappear after a short while. They are usually insignificant and do not necessarily mean the home has a structural deficiency. Plaster is much less forgiving than sheetrock, and will usually have cracks that are more defined.

If cracks are seen in a repetitive directional pattern, or are heavy, well-defined cracks, they may indicate structural movement and should be closely examined.


Stucco Cracks

Stucco crack

Stucco is a cementious product. Concrete shrinks and cracks when it dries. Thin check-cracking is very often seen in stucco siding at the corners of doors and windows. These cracks generally should not intimidate you. Many people are not aware that stucco itself is not waterproof. The waterproof barrier and drainage plane of a stucco system is actually the building paper behind the stucco, so the presence of these cracks does not mean water intrusion will occur. Applying caulk to these  cracks will not accomplish much, other than to draw people's attention to the them!



Stucco is required to be at least 7/8" thick. If adequate thickness is not maintained when applied, excessive cracking may occur. Stucco cracks that are seen in a repetitive directional pattern, cracks that are clean and uniform in appearance, cracks that are wide enough to slip a quarter into, or excessive cracking may indicate more serious issues and will require further evaluation.


CREIA verify logoCrack Attack!- San Diego Home Inspection  Steve Stenros is a CREIA MCI (Master CREIA Inspector) and ICC certified home inspector, and is the owner of First Choice Inspections, a San Diego home ICC logoinspection company serving southern California. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection. Steve can be reached at 888-335-3040.

 


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Comment balloon 24 commentsSteve Stenros • October 01 2011 01:23AM

Comments

What are you testing Steve?  To see if anyone is out there listening?   I am....

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 7 years ago

Oh no! I'm glad you said something, Yvette! It's not ready yet. Somehow it went public!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 7 years ago

HI Steve, excellent post on cracks in your stucco, learned several things watching your video, thanks for sharing.  suggested, liked, etc...will book mark for future reference re reblog.  Also, I wanted to thank you for stopping by regularly on my blog post, i really appreciate it.  I come by often to reciprocate, but was waiting for a new post from you to comment on, worth the wait. 

Posted by Hrisco & Associates, -"Est. 2000 ~ Experience Matters" (Hrisco & Associates | eXp Realty, LLC.) almost 7 years ago

Thanks John! Sometimes work gets in the way. I'm glad you liked the "crack attack"!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) almost 7 years ago

Good Morning Steve, this is a subject that comes up frequently for discussion by both home owners and home buyers.  Great input in your post for them to consider.

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Realtor and Broker/Owner (Dan Edward Phillips) almost 7 years ago

Steve

Excellent read. Cracks are pretty common and they often raise questions from buyers. I saw a crack in a foundation of an REO last year that made me think Grand Canyon. Not something I would want to have to deal with. And costly.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 7 years ago

No doubt about it, Jeff. Serious foundation cracks can be costly. One of my upcoming "crack attack" blogs will be about foundation cracks!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) almost 7 years ago

Thanks Dan! Appreciate your consistent post comments!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) almost 7 years ago

Oh yes, the dreaded crack questions we get from buyers thinking the house is about to fall down.  I am waiting for your foundation crack edition.  This one was great.

Posted by Jane Peters, Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market (Home Jane Realty) almost 7 years ago

Steve, it seems like cracks really scare some people. Can't wait to see your other posts on this.

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) almost 7 years ago

Great information Steve, that explains a lot about those annoying cracks.

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) almost 7 years ago

Jane: Most times, when people have a crack explained to them their anxiety level goes down.

 

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) almost 7 years ago

Connie: Some cracks can be scary. The cracks I discuss in the video are quite harmless.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) almost 7 years ago

Jane: Annoying indeed! But it's an imperfect world!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) almost 7 years ago

Printing this one off for our clients Steve. Well said. So many first time home buyers get freaked for no reason about small cracks. Great explanation!

Posted by Steve and Jan Bachman, Realtors - Northern Virginia (RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax ) almost 7 years ago

Steve & Jan: These small cracks are the least of your concerns right now. Did your area get hit by the storm?

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) almost 7 years ago

Steve! Your posts about inspections are anything but dry ( although that would be good for a crawl space right?).  Counting cracks at night might help with my insomnia.

Seriously, this is a good explanation and I'm with Steve, this is good information to give our clients. Thanks, as always.

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 7 years ago

This is a great post and explanation. Cracks are concerning and it is important to be able to determine whether they are to be expected or if they represent something more significant.

Posted by Heather Tawes Nelson, Associate Broker, ABR, CLHMS, CRS - Scottsdale, AZ (Realty ONE Group) almost 7 years ago

Debb: Thanks! I hope that insomnia improves!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) almost 7 years ago

Glad you liked it, Heather! I have more crack articles coming. Stay tuned!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) almost 7 years ago

Great information here, Steve. Thanks for posting and have a great day. Looking forward to further info.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 26 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) almost 7 years ago

Thanks Toni! Enjoy your weekend!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) almost 7 years ago

I had a client that wanted the carpeting pulled up to see if the slab had any cracks. Yes, they were very insistent. It is a challenge when physical inspections -- go sideways.

Posted by Lorraine or Loretta Kratz, Certified Negotiation Consultants (Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions.) almost 7 years ago

L & L: Agreed. That can be a challenge, especially when they see the hairline cracks (which EVERY slab foundation has) and freak out.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) almost 7 years ago

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