Two storey home, 14yrs old. Concrete foundation. Ground is mostly clay. Steel I beam crossing the middle of the basement ceiling to distribute load. The I beam is inset into the top of the concrete foundation. The outside foundation wall appears to be failing where it meets the steel beam, but just on one end of the house. However, the inside appears non-stressed. How much trouble am I in (if any)? Is this just cosmetic?


Outside view

Outside view


Inside view (no visible cracks)

Inside view (no visible cracks)

(I have more pics, but it wouldn't let me post more than 2)

3 months later...

Just for closure... I followed the given answer and seem to have had success.

@Jason Hutchinson that would've been a good idea, but I ended up using a 5 pound sledge and busted out all the loose concrete which was pribald for the best. It looked sandy inside the like the concrete may have had a nugget of unmixed sand or something clumped at that spot. After the loose concrete was removed it exposed some rebar I was able to wrap wire around and bind in some huge metal spikes and long bolts I had on hand to give my planned patchwork more to hold to. I bought a 80lb bag of fiber-laced anti-crack concrete mix, and a piece of melamine shelving from lowes to act as the outside form and give the smoothest finish. Drilled some holes in the melamine. Rigged up some of the wire around the rebar work and poked it though the holes... and used the wire though the holes to draw the melamine tight to the wall (twisting the wire around more bolts on the outside of the melamine till it tightened up). It finished well. Dark at first, but it has now lightened to (mostly) match the surrounding concrete. I think an inspector will pass it by.


1 Answer 1


Seems that steel beam is sitting on a wall which is sitting on a footing so at best I would think you want to mix up some mortar and cover that crack so the inspector does not see it because it seems to be cosmetic to me. It looks like the house settled and you need to keep water out now

  • So, I am guessing the beam has shifted over some small amount, just enough to "pop" out the thin concrete covering that end. Would it be better to fill the crack? Or would it "look" better if I cleared out the cracked area that is loose and go for a smooth-to-the-wall solution? (What is currently there is almost 1" proud of the surface and may be noticed if just the cracks are filled.) Good catch on the inspector thing. We are looking to sell soon. :)
    – Jim Foster
    Nov 13, 2015 at 15:42
  • You can use an angle grinder with a diamond cup wheel to smooth out the area before you fill it in to make it appear to be smoother. Nov 13, 2015 at 16:19

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