Photograph of - cracked  masonry block foundation wall, probably from earth pressur at original construction - notice the wavy mortar. Drop a plumb line to measure total inwards bulging of this block foundation wall.Foundation Crack Monitoring Methods & Devices

  • CRACK MONITORING METHODS - CONTENTS: Methods for Monitoring Foundations for Evidence of Ongoing or Episodic Movement. How to report the condition of a building foundation. How to describe foundation damage and recommend action. Methods for monitoring & reporting on foundation cracks & movement - foundation crack monitors
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to determine if foundation cracking or movement are active & if so, what is the rate of movement

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Foundation crack movement monitoring devices & methods:

This document describes how foundation or slab cracks can be monitored for evidence of movement and what general advice makes sense for building owners or buyers where foundation damage is found and/or where further foundation inspection, testing, diagnosis, or repair appear warranted based on a general field inspection.

We include discussion of methods used to perform ongoing monitoring of building foundations for cracking and movement.

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Methods for Monitoring Foundations for Evidence of Ongoing or Episodic Movement

Foundation bulge sketch (C) Daniel FriedmanBuilding foundations may be moving, either continuously or episodically. Most movement is episodic, that is, the movement is not a simple and continuous creep but rather foundation movement or cracking occurs in fits and starts.

Our sketch (left) shows a bulged masonry block foundation wall that has bowed in two inches at its innermost point.)

Usually foundation movement and further cracking occurs in response to occurrences of what has caused the cracking in the first place.


then FOUNDATION MOVEMENT ACTIVE vs. STATIC for distinguishing severe and also ongoing foundation movements.

Examples of Causes of Ongoing Foundation Damage/Movement

On occasion a foundation cracked or damaged by an event (drove a heavy vehicle too close to the masonry block foundation wall) may later move, crack or bend, buckle, lean, bulge, etc. in response to other site conditions that it was previously able to resist before it was weakened by the original damage (frost, water, other vehicles).

Examples of Episodic or Discontinuous Causes of Foundation Damage/Movement

List of Simple Methods to Monitor a Masonry Foundation for Evidence of New or Ongoing Movement

Avongard crack monitor (C) Avongard Co. Crack monitor (C) Carson Dunlop Associates

Measuring a foundation crack (C) Daniel Friedman Alan Carson


Continue reading at DIAGONAL CRACKS in BLOCK FOUNDATIONS, WALLS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


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