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Crawlspace floor cracked


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Diana's Forum Posts: 1
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By Diana in Joliet, IL on 6/20/2007


Hi, I'm hoping someone here can help....The concrete floor of our crawlspace has several cracks in it. It happened the day after it was poured. The concrete guy said this is completely normal as the floor of a crawlspace is not as thick as one of a basement. My husband and I have done some reading on the internet and have found information to back that up. It still doesn't seem right though, that something that was just done is already cracked in several places. Framing is scheduled to start next week but we're concerned that maybe the floor should be fixed before we start the framing. Has anyone else had experience with their crawlspace floor cracking?? Is this really normal??

Thanks!


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By Rich in Suffolk, VA on 6/20/2007


I'm not an expert and I only have experience with houses in the South.  That said all of the houses I have been under have had dirt floors in the crawlspace.  I have heard of concrete floors as that is supposed to cut down on moisture and energy losses but I can't think of any structural reason for a concrete crawlspace floor.  The house is supported by the footings so as long as they are solid you should be okay.  Even the footings in the middle of the slab (that support any beams) should be unaffected by cracks in the floor itself.

Could you call your inspector to get his opinion?  The inspectors around here seem to be pretty helpful in answering questions.


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By Tom in Stroudsburg, PA on 6/28/2007


Diana, this normal and acceptable for a crawl space. Even a good basement floor is susceptible to cracking. There are too many factors out of the control of the contractor. Temperature, humidity, cement content, water content whether it was delivered in a timely manner. Some things within his control: mesh or rebar, soil compaction, over vibration, adding water to make handling easier, failure to seal or keep wet (drying too fast), lack of control joints.


Almost every road and bridge in this country has cracks and these are poured with 5000 psi concrete, rebar and are usually 10 -12" thick. I think it is more the exception to find a concrete pour that doesn't. And before you all start ganging up on me I'm not counting the floor pours in a controlled environment where the temperature and the elements are controlled. Such as a basement where it is poured and covered by a structure almost immediately. That said, if there are no control joints (man-made cracks) it will crack regardless.

Just a foot note for everyone. Some areas require a concrete "seal" to mitigate radon. Diana, if this is the case for you they may have placed tubing under the floor as well to extract radon and you most likely can ignore the cracks. If they didn't and a radon test still reveals a radon presence then you can caulk the cracks.


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