What happens when a newly constructed house overloads the main beam on a concrete wall?

- Friday, December 30, 2022

In a newly constructed house, especially with today’s strict construction standards, the last thing a homeowner should worry about is the foundation the home is sitting on. In this episode, Adam discusses a situation a homeowner faced when this very issue came to a head.

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Daddy himself, Adam Tracy. Adam and The Crack Man Rich have over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry. Rich as over 25 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcast provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: What happens when a newly constructed house overloads the main beam on a concrete wall?

Narrator: So, Adam, in a newly constructed house, especially with today's strict construction standards, the last thing a homeowner should worry about is what the home is sitting on, right?

Adam: Usually these are issues that don't happen in new construction, but we had an interesting case study that came in and it was a new home, probably about 3-4 years old. They were looking at selling the house, and they had a crack that came off of the beam pocket of the foundation wall.

Most times, that's a pretty common area to see foundation cracks. The reason why we talked about another podcast for is anytime you have a right angle and a foundation like step down or window, in this case of beam pocket, and you'll have a shrinkage crack that typically develops around there as the concrete starts to cure and dry out. But what happens is that when the main beam is overloaded onto the wall due to either an improper design or maybe there's something upstairs that was not accounted for during the initial design stages of the house, those little shrinkage cracks can turn into an actual structural issue.

In this particular house, there was outside corner where the beam landed right at the edge of the corner, and what was probably started off as a small shrinkage crack turned into a major structural issue in this house. The banks wouldn't underwrite loans, buyers were afraid to buy it because there was shifting occurring on this main beam here. And again, you're looking at a basically brand-new house for the area, and so it was challenging for what should be an easy sale for most realtors, became quite a big challenge to actually sell because of this issue.

We worked directly with an engineer and bounced ideas off of one another to try to get the best solution at a reasonable price to save the house deal. And what we decided on was that we would be able to wrap the corner with a carbon fiber to give it strength across that corner. There wouldn't be any additional shifting. We also put in a permanent Lally column at the end of the beam there, right against the wall, to be able to take the weight of the house on that side, so it's not totally loaded right onto the concrete wall.

All this was done in a quick fashion and painlessly to the home buyers and to the home sellers. They were able to keep the house moving forward to a sale. But it's one of those cautionary tales where sometimes these small little settling or shrinkage cracks, if kind of unmonitored and left alone, you know, in certain conditions they can become structural issues like it was in this case. Luckily, we're able to save it and not have any sort of major construction costs associated with redoing any sections of concrete.

Narrator: Well, thanks Adam for sharing this interesting case study, it looks like A1 Foundation Crack Repair was there to save the day again.                                 

Narrator: If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.        

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Call Us Today at 866-929-3171

A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, Inc. is a fully registered home improvement contractor. Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable, master waterproofing professional.