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Ceiling cracks in parallel spots in middle of living room and lower level room  XML
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Joined: 11/18/2018 10:16 PM EST
Messages: 1

Hello, just had an inspection of a 1978 split level house. Overall, the inspector said the foundation seemed fine, but highlighted drainage issues around the house due to a sloping backyard towards the house that could affect foundation etc. Also, there are fairly long though thin parallel ceiling cracks in the living room (also the start of a nail pop) and in the lower level in the middle of the house, he said presumably along the I-beam. In person and in the report, the inspector said he didn't see any other signs of foundation problems like sloping or bowing, or cracks in the visible parts of the foundation walls, etc. In the report, he described the cracks as merely cosmetic, but they're really nagging me. Attached some pics here, sorry not terribly high def.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice folks might have. Contingency period expires soon. Do think we need to get a structural engineer? Thanks in advance!
[Thumb - Crack lower level.PNG]
 Filename Crack lower level.PNG [Disk] Download
 Description Crack lower level
 Filesize 780 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  161 time(s)

[Thumb - Cracks living room.PNG]
 Filename Cracks living room.PNG [Disk] Download
 Description Cracks living room
 Filesize 745 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  145 time(s)

Mike Casey

Joined: 06/28/2014 07:21 PM EDT
Messages: 1245
Location: San Diego CA

I would not discourage anyone from contacting an engineer for a more in-depth evaluation, so to put your mind at rest you should do what you feel is right. However, those cracks are in locations where I would expect a crack to occur. Mid-span where one side is supported and then not, and in the middle of a room. I would also recommend that you have the drainage corrected as recommended by the inspector. Keep in mind it is always hard to evaluate cracks, in particular when we only have photos and have not seen the entire house and any other possibly related conditions. Thank you.

Mike Casey
Director of Education
Home Inspection University
[Email] [WWW]

Joined: 01/04/2015 04:59 PM EST
Messages: 6
Location: Maryland

I concur with what Mike said. It almost looks like it is the drywall tape peeling away but difficult to tell in the picture.


Scott A. Cottrell
"A Maryland Tradition in Home Education"
Office: 410-679-1401 ext.101
[Email] [WWW]

Joined: 03/09/2019 06:14 AM EST
Messages: 1

Completely agreeing with Mike, but apart from going for an engineer, you can also go for property preservation companies for a certified inspection specialist to evaluate your home.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 03/16/2019 04:49 AM EDT


Joined: 06/23/2018 06:40 AM EDT
Messages: 2
Location: South Carolina

I agree. The cracks appear to be tape joint cracks. Is the exterior brick veneer? Is the home on a crawl space foundation? If so, any evidence of water puddling around the base of the piers?

Serving Myrtle Beach since 2002.
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