How Firm a Foundation

The tile in our entryway has been cracked since not long after we moved in. This was actually the primary catalyst for wanting to install new flooring, but we didn't get around to the entryway when we did the kitchen back in November. We did pull up some of the pieces of broken tile and found that the crack was also in the cement below.

We called our Community Association to have "Maintenance Mike" (as Kristen has dubbed him) come take a look at the crack since the structure of our house is supposedly covered through our HOA fees. His "expert" analysis was that since the crack was inside our house, it was an inside issue, thus not covered by them.

Hoping to finish our floor installation this past weekend, we pulled up the rest of the tile and discovered that the crack was quite a bit bigger than we thought. We also pulled up the corner of the carpet to confirm that this giant crack does, in fact, stretch all the way across the front of our house. Not wanting to simply cover up the problem (after all, we don't work for Holmes Homes), we decided we had better have it looked at again to make sure that the front wall of our house wasn't about to fall off. So, instead of finishing the floor, we spent the weekend joking about our house being condemned.

Today, Kristen once again called in the experts (aka "Maintenance Mike") to take another look at our problem. He came and spent a good 30-45 minutes explaining all sorts of things about foundations and footers (and retrieving a roll of toilet paper that Eddie kept chucking at him). Apparently the crack is just a gap between our footers (which are holding up our walls) and the concrete slab.

His theory is that when our house was built during the winter four years ago, the builder poured the footers, then poured the slab, which contracted in the cold weather and left a gap between the two pieces of concrete. A responsible builder would have filled in the gap before slapping a house on top of it (but this is Holmes Homes we're talking about).

There is no evidence that the crack has shifted or spread since it formed, which means that it was there before the flooring was laid down in the first place. We just need to fill in the crack and level the floor. But just in case you happen to stop by and find our house has been swallowed up by the earth, at least you will know why.


Dave said...

I blame Facebook for stealing this post's thunder.

Hali said...

Sorry to hear that guys, hope you can get it all worked out. Maybe you should just leave the house and come and live next to us, that seems like a reasonable solution.

Becky said...

I work at a real estate office and we have problems come up like this at work often. We have a foundation repairman who will go look at cracks for free and tell you if you should worry or not.

Not sure if anyone in your town will do that for you or if it just a Mississippi thing. Just a suggestion. :)