U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida > Tampa Bay
 [Register]
Tampa Bay Tampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-31-2013, 05:13 PM
 
15 posts, read 49,325 times
Reputation: 13

Advertisements

I have recently noticed that the home we are renting (and thinking about buying) has several thin stair-step cracks on the exterior stucco. There are also several vertical cracks and some that branch out like a tree.

Could this be normal or is it a strong indicator that there is sinkhole activity? There are some more concerning signs:

Inside, there is a crack in the drywall along the point where the wall meets the ceiling. There are a couple of floor tiles that have cracks and one or two other drywall cracks. All are very thin. Additionally, there are a couple of areas around the pool where the bricks in the patio have sunk a few inches, enough to make me almost trip over it a couple of times.

I don't want to overreact, but I also don't want to go through the process and expense of signing a purchase contract and getting an inspection if it is very likely that there is a sinkhole.

I realize that it is almost impossible to know for sure without expensive sinkhole testing, but I am hoping someone out there knows whether this could be normal foundation settlement or not.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-31-2013, 05:22 PM
 
16,108 posts, read 10,915,619 times
Reputation: 5333
Just about every block house will have cracks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-31-2013, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill, Florida
3,108 posts, read 5,295,150 times
Reputation: 3421
How long have you lived there? Did these things just appear recently? Or have they been there s long time but have changed recently - gotten bigger, etc?

How old is the house? Where is it located?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-31-2013, 06:53 PM
 
15 posts, read 49,325 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by HWTechGuy View Post
How long have you lived there? Did these things just appear recently? Or have they been there s long time but have changed recently - gotten bigger, etc?

How old is the house? Where is it located?
We live in Pasco county, the house is about 7 years old. We moved in about a year ago, the cracks could have been there, I didn't really look until we considered buying it. The only thing that I know that has changed since we gotten here are the couple of bricks that have sunk a bit. I guess they really have only sunk about an inch or so. I remember cleaning the when we first moved in and not noticing it. This year there are two spots in close proximity that I have tripped over.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-31-2013, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill, Florida
3,108 posts, read 5,295,150 times
Reputation: 3421
I've heard it said that a sure way to have a sinkhole is to have an inspection done by a sinkhole repair company...

My understanding is that if cracks are large (like 1/4" wide) that is cause for concern, but hairline cracks are part of normal settling.

As far as the bricks (pavers?) on your patio - what's under them? If they are just set in the dirt, I'd expect them to sink given the amount of rainfall, etc.

Perhaps the best thing to do is just monitor things... Granted, that isn't a great answer since you are considering buying the place. Possibly a home inspector would be of help. Generally if you get your own as opposed to relying on one referred by a realtor, you can trust them. There are exceptions. I've dealt with home inspectors of varying quality over the years, but the most straightforward one was recommended by my realtor when I bought my current house.

On second thought, maybe a structural engineer is who to consult - as they won't be trying to sell you anything (like sinkhole repair services).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 12:42 AM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
2,983 posts, read 3,970,944 times
Reputation: 3510
Quote:
Originally Posted by HWTechGuy View Post
I've heard it said that a sure way to have a sinkhole is to have an inspection done by a sinkhole repair company...

My understanding is that if cracks are large (like 1/4" wide) that is cause for concern, but hairline cracks are part of normal settling.

As far as the bricks (pavers?) on your patio - what's under them? If they are just set in the dirt, I'd expect them to sink given the amount of rainfall, etc.

Perhaps the best thing to do is just monitor things... Granted, that isn't a great answer since you are considering buying the place. Possibly a home inspector would be of help. Generally if you get your own as opposed to relying on one referred by a realtor, you can trust them. There are exceptions. I've dealt with home inspectors of varying quality over the years, but the most straightforward one was recommended by my realtor when I bought my current house.

On second thought, maybe a structural engineer is who to consult - as they won't be trying to sell you anything (like sinkhole repair services).
This.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 06:30 AM
 
3,313 posts, read 4,546,530 times
Reputation: 1838
Structural Engineer will not be able to talk about sinkholes... it's not his job. He will advise to do sinkhole testing.

I wouldn't consider buying the house in the condition as described above... It's not normal condition for 7 year old house. Who knows where it's heading. And the overall quality of the house built in 2006 is under big question.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Pinellas Park Florida
210 posts, read 523,191 times
Reputation: 157
What HWTchguy says. as a home inspector I would tell you what you probably already know. 7 year old home still could be under some kind of builders warranty. Check with current home owner. Meanwhile check out this link...

Sinkhole signs...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 05:11 PM
 
15 posts, read 49,325 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by thession View Post
What HWTchguy says. as a home inspector I would tell you what you probably already know. 7 year old home still could be under some kind of builders warranty. Check with current home owner. Meanwhile check out this link...

Sinkhole signs...

Let me pose the question differently to you as an inspector. Approximately what percentage of homes that you inspect do you observe the following:

Approximately 8-10 cracks in exterior stucco (several feet long, not quite wide enough to fit a credit card in but slightly larger than hairline)?

Approximately 3-4 cracks in the drywall (one was large enough that little tiny ants were coming through it)?

If most homes out there don't have cracks to this extent, then I'd rather look at the homes that don't have this - why risk it? But if a majority of homes exhibit this, then I am not so worried and would like to proceed with the offer.

I should note that today I checked the windows and observed cracking in the corner of the windows. On the one side of the house where the stucco cracking is more prevalent, the ground is very wet, completely dry on the other side of the house.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 06:01 PM
 
3,313 posts, read 4,546,530 times
Reputation: 1838
Run from that house and fast. It's not normal.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida > Tampa Bay
View detailed profiles of:
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top