In New Jersey the most common type of basement foundation that we encounter is concrete block. Economical and durable but not without problems.
Home Inspectors occasionally find cracks in this type of foundation that are divided into three basic categories : vertical, horizontal and step cracks. These cracks run the gamut from hairline to more then a 1/4” wide. Concrete block foundations can also display bulging or leaning characteristics.
Your home inspector will take some measurement using very basic tools such as his tape measure and a weighted plumb line to determine if these cracks are structurally significant .
If he measures excessive lean in the foundation or if he finds differential settlement indicating a failing footing beneath the wall your inspector will call for FURTHER EVALUATION of his concerns by a qualified structural engineer familiar with foundation problems.
With his specialized training and tools your structural engineer will be able to determine if a relatively inexpensive repair will be all that is needed or if the costly replacement of a section of concrete blocks will be necessary to provide adequate support to the house above !
Eastern Home Inspections is available 7 days a week (800) 333-2783 www.inspectnj.com