I have an 80 year old house, concrete block foundation. I moved in last Summer, and decided if the basement seemed to be dry, it would be good to finish it to add living space. The inspector indicated that one wall had a 5/8th inch inward bow to it. The other walls were all within 1/4 inch of plumb. I have no moisture issues in the basement as far as I can tell. So my question is whether it's worth it to put in measure to ensure the wall does not bow any more or just assume that with an 80 year old home the foundation has settled as much as it's going to. I would hate to finish up the inside only to have to tear it all out and fix the foundation, but there's also no reason to spend money and time on something that isn't really an issue. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
5/8" on an 80 year old house is nothing. For all you know, it was built that far out to begin with.
If you have no moisture coming through and there are no trees growing close to the opposite side of the 5/8 wall, then you are probably safe to finish out the basement.
Thanks for the reply. There is a large oak tree near the house on that side, however. I know that can sometimes cause water leakage. Do you think it will factor into this decision?
you never know until you dig.
when it thaws, just for peace of mind, why not trench a ditch down as far as the bowing goes, and see if you have anything larger than spaghetti-sized roots in there. you can clip a large root growing straight at the house, and it will branch off into little goat-hair roots all over the place. keeps the wall intact another 20 years or so, and keeps the tree growing as well.
if they are growing to the size of a pop bottle neck or larger, though, the tree will be crippled on the root side when you clip 'em.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
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