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Question DetailsAsked on 2/19/2015

does a patio crack affects the house foundation?

We are buying a house. It was fully inspected and the house foundation itself is solid.
the house has a patio and a part of the patio has a sunroom.
I am not sure if all three were done at the same time but my guess is they built the house first, then the patio and the sunroom.
The patio cracked from left side and front side, maybe because of the weight or just settling

The attached patio slab has two crack;
1 big vertical crack (3/4 of an inch) and it moved laterally about an inch. the crack is on the left side of the patio slab and exactly between the house foundation and the crack foundation.
1 medium crack that run vertically and horizontally on the front side of the patio slab not near the house

As i mentioned there is no issues on the house foundation itself.
My questions:
- can this crack be fixed by filling and sealing?
- can this crack be stopped from further movement?
- would this crack affect the house foundation in any way?
- is it safe to convert sunroom to office?

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1 Answer


For a definitive answer you would have to have a Structural Engineer look at it for probally about $250.

If you want contributors on here to comment, can you take a couple of photos of the cracks from far enough away to show their full extent, and post them here using the leftmost yellow icon right above the Your Answer box that comes up when you click on the Answer This Question button right below your question.

As long as the patio/sunroom slab has an open or fiber-filled joint at the house foundation, it is highly unlikely to affect the house. If rigidly tied into the house might have an effect, but generally not dramatically unless it is actively sliding down a slope or such. Of course, if the sunroom is tied to the house then settlement of its slab can tend to tear the sunroom walls and roof away from the house, causing cracks in drywall, possibly disrupted roofing, and sometimes creases or cracks in the outer wall surface at the intersection.

Without more info can't say with any surety, but generally cracks like this can be patched fine with flowable grout or even concrete caulk for hairline cracks, but will generally crack again and again over time. Settlement is likely to continue over time - tapering off ove the years if due to poor compaction before concreting (VERY common) UNLESS due to unusual condition like sinkhole or sitting on a slope that is slipping.

It is quite possible, particularly if concrete slab is roughened (broom finish) rather than smooth, that this was a patio slab and they then built a sunroom on it, which it was not built to carry - so it cracking up the slab bit by bit.

Settlement can be corrected with "mud-jacking" by injecting grout under it, but that just lifts the slab back up rather than preventing further settlement. In sunrooms iffy because while windows will settle gradually quite a bit without breaking, but jacking them back into original position can sometimes crack some windows.

I would say if by office you just mean moving some furniture in and maybe running a lighting and outlet circuit or two according to code, without any fancy flooring, and realizing you may eventually get some sunroom leaks as it settles, why not. Easy to move back out in a day or two if necessary, provided you do not have high groundwater conditions that might come up through the cracks in the slab. However, since you say 3/4" crack (presumably you mean open 3/4") and offset by an inch, that is pretty dramatic movement. I would expect signs of disruption in the sunroom with that big a movement, or if none might be a sign the sunroom was built after the crack was already at least partway open.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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