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Cracks in foundation walls/floor

Posted by Valerie on March 19th, 2000 11:01 AM

My husband and I purcahsed a new colonial home in November of 1998. Shortly after moving in, a crack developed on the floor next to the sewer cleanout pipe. Since then, the crack has traveled all the way up the wall and across the basement floor. A second crack has developed directly across the room on the opposite wall, which also goes all the way up the wall of the foundation. Both cracks are slightly wider at the top (about 1/8 inch), and go all the way through the wall, so they are visible on the exterior. Both cracks in the foundation walls leak a little with heavy rain. We also have cracks in the wall on the first floor, above the doorway to the dining room. On the second floor, there are cracks where the ceiling meets the wall above the bathroom doorway. Both of these doorways are above the same general area as the cracks in the foundation. There is ledge in the backyard and the soil is of a clay consistency. My question is, how do you tell the difference between a structural problem and just "normal settling" of a foundation? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

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