Is my garage collapsing??

emoreeJuly 5, 2014

We bought our house 3 years ago and it came with an old 1960's cinderblock garage. we knew there was a crack in the concrete floor but it's gotten much worse. the crack runs the whole way from back to front of garage, and there is also a large diagonal crack across the corner of the garage. We can see where the previous owners had "patched" the crack between those blocks at some point, but it appears that the blocks are now further apart than they have ever been. I posted pictures here:

http://www.pinterest.com/mothrasue/garage/

Is our garage going to collapse???? We are planning to sell our house in 2-3 years and have NO plans to replace this useless garage, especially since we have much more pressing issues to deal with inside the house (like the roof and a wet basement).

Should we just patch the cracks and cross our fingers, or are we out of luck?

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klem1

Depending on how bad the foundation crack has opened, raising the corner is worth consideration. Definatly have a foundation contractor take a look.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 12:20AM
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Trebruchet

Your garage is not going to collapse.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 2:32AM
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Sophie Wheeler

It's not collapsing----yet. But, cracking like that doesn't bode well for it's structural integrity and lifespan. You need to find out what the underlying causes are, such as insufficient foundation, or water moving trough the soil undermining the foundation. It's not a trivial superficial crack, that's the only sure bet. Structural engineer inspection time.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 3:19PM
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sdello

not going to collapse (at least not in the foreseeable future) but there is obviously some continuing settlement going on. As you noticed, you have a "moving" crack in the floor and this area was previously patched and is now open again. To stop the movement the foundation needs to be stabilized. Stabilization methods are dependent on the root case of the settlement. Contact a foundation contractor and/or engineer with geotechnical experience.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:23AM
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emoree

Thanks everyone for your advice! We're going to hold off on having an engineer come out since collapse doesn't seem to be imminent. Yet one more problem with our house to deal with in the future!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 3:25PM
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lazy_gardens

Check for tree roots heaving up the foundation (what is that plant next to the garage?)

Also check for water soaking the ground near the foundation.

It's possible the slab was poured over improperly compacted fill, or not reinforced or ... lots of things.

My sunporch did the same thing, but it's a 20+ year old stable shift, so we filled it and levelled it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 3:31PM
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emoree

that's a good point about trees-- there are two GIANT trees right near the garage, one in front and one to the side. i don't think that stump in the back is a problem, it's quite dead and has been since we moved in. it's likely they didn't do the foundation properly. water shouldn't be a problem, i wouldn't think.

i would LOVE to have it torn down and build a garage we can actually use, we just don't have the money especially since we're likely going to be selling in a few years. grrr...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 3:34PM
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