1 Stair-Step Crack in Corner of Basement: Amherst, NY
All foundation cracks are a concern, but how many, how wide, and sometimes how long they have been there determines whether they are a heightened concern or not. Mr. and Mrs. Chilid lived in Amherst and were concerned with one stair step crack at the back corner of their foundation. The crack was leaking water and that was what prompted them to call us. Upon visiting the home, Mr. Chilid explained that he had inherited the home from his father 5 years before and that the crack “has always leaked” despite him and his father filling it with hydraulic cement and caulk. He explained that our competitors had come in and told him he only needed a crack injection and that his foundation was fine. He had read our reviews and wanted the “same total assessment” that our competitors had given him. When it comes to foundation movement, there is almost always an “opposite” crack. A crack is formed by foundation movement. When a basement wall or corner settles, the other crack shows the other end of the movement.
Our Analyst, Pat, walked around the basement and noticed a large shelf filled with old boxes next to a workbench with an old corkboard hanging from the ceiling. He asked if he could look behind the corkboard, and Mr. Chilid obliged. Behind the corkboard was a vertical crack, wide enough to put a pencil in. Upon removing the corkboard and pulling out the workbench, they noticed that the crack was dry and had no water coming in. That is why no one had noticed it. The failing crack injections the homeowner was doing are a tell-tale sign of wall movement. Coupled with the size of the other crack, this verified the movement of the side wall. We proposed Grip-Tite Helical Piers. Mr. Chilid hired a third party geotechnical engineer, who confirmed wall movement. Grip-Tite Helical Piers were installed in July 2009. The foundation wall was hydraulically lifted by the piers and the cracks significantly closed. His foundation was warrantied against any movement and we received warranty transfer notice in 2015 from Mr. Chilid with a Thank You note explaining how after so many years, he was still very impressed with our knowledge, the professionalism at the estimate, and the Helical Piers themselves. The new homeowners have the same warranty.