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I am buying a new home. The foundation was poured in Sept 2019. The home is nearing completion but the floors have not yet been installed. I see cracks in the foundation. Most concerning are two separate cracks that run the width of the home. In most, of not all, places I believe they are 1/2 cm (1/4” I think) or less. Do I have a potential structural problem? Do these need inspection by a structural engineer? Home inspector? Or can they just be filled? I’m including a sample photo.

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    How much will you spend on this home? why not invest a small amount in a structural engineer, architect or inspector who has a better chance of working out what is wrong compared to us looking at a single photo... – Solar Mike Jul 23 at 8:49
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    This looks like a slab, not a foundation. Or is it a thickened-edge (integrated) footing situation? If it's just a slab, it's probably not a concern. All concrete slabs crack, and it's just a matter of whether the mason bothered to install control joints to keep them straight. Please revise to make it more clear what we're discussing. – isherwood Jul 23 at 13:27
  • See also this and this and this. – isherwood Jul 23 at 13:31
  • I would not waste $ on a structural engineer , slabs crack as Isherwood has linked several questions. My Dad said all concrete will crack if not already it will in the future. It is part of the curing process as it continues to get harder for years. – Ed Beal Jul 23 at 13:46
  • Sorry for imprecision I’m my terminology. It is a concrete slab foundation. The pictures are I suppose of the slab. I am a novice when it comes to slabs—first home. Some of the posts linked say slab should not crack that badly when its new. If I want a structural engineer to evaluate it, how do I find a good one? – Dawn Jul 23 at 16:02
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It's hard to say if it's a structural problem without more information. The crack in the photo is not necessarily a structural problem. Most likely it's related to less than ideal subgrade, concrete mix, control joint spacing, or concrete curing conditions. Concrete is always going to crack. That crack is excessive, but most likely not a structural concern. If you notice something translating up the structure -- cracks in the walls, or sloping floors -- then it would be a greater concern.

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I do work in the midwest where temp ranges between -10 and 110F. All concrete cracks is just a dumb myth.

There are hairline cracks that are more typical. Mainly with suboptimal mix or not properly adding joints.

However I have many pours over the past 10 years that have zero cracks because I basically use the best mix in the area and pay a good 30% more for it.

Just eyeballing your photo - and it isn't a very good one... I would say your mix looks a bit "white" and "powdery". I also think that the crack was caused by heaving/sinking. I would get an local engineer who specializes in concrete foundations to take a look and basically warranty it for you. I might be able to help out more but I would need a lot of pictures taken. (writing this answer from a room in house on a slab that I just redid the floors and there wasn't a blemish on the concrete)

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  • You did not read my complete statement if it’s not cracked now it will in the future, concrete never stops curing so it gets brittle and starts flaking and chipping , cracking it is not a myth it is a fact (notice no time line). – Ed Beal Sep 9 at 18:46

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