Critical Measurements of a Wall

Wall Movement; as determined from as built position

  • Less than 1/2” of wall movement, we generally recommend monitoring the wall.
  • Over 1/2" of wall movement but less than 1”, we recommend reinforcement of the wall in most cases.
  • 1” or more of wall movement:
    • Recommend excavation and straightening of the wall
    • With Site Specific Engineering wall can be reinforced without excavation

Wall shearing at base (usually at 2nd course from bottom)

  • Shear is less than 1/2”, wall may be reinforced without excavation
  • Shear is 1/2" or more, wall should be excavated and straightened

Dropped, settled, or rotated footing

This repair requires Site Specific Engineering. Foundation settlement is indicated by wide horizontal or step wall cracking and cracks in floor slab, usually adjacent to the basement wall. The wall may be tipped in the direction of foundation settlement, with horizontal wall joint being out of level. Door jams and windows in the building may be affected by foundation settlement.

If it can be documented that the walls have not moved or cracked in the last 10 years, the wall would be considered stable.

* The 1/2" is an arbitrary number that is most often used. An exception to this would be current, rapid or recent movement. Other exceptions may apply. Any arbitrary number may apply. Some contactors and inspectors use any cracking as reason to recommend repairs or further evaluation.

An important point to remember is that most movement below 1” may be reinforced without excavation. Waiting for a wall to have movement over 1” may result in unnecessary cost for the home owner.