Originally Posted by Mr.Tim
I think somebody would actually have to visit the site to make a determination, but I would offer my opinion:
I don't see a crack in the photos. However, it is not uncommon for a crack to develop in any foundation. Does it happen all the time.. no. But I have seen hairline cracks that aren't a problem.
My gut instinct tells me that you have one of these problems (probably all):
1. Poor material used for backfill. In this area, pure sand is usually used for backfill. This drains the water down to the footing, so the water is not pushing against the wall.
2. No drain tile at the footing. eg a perforated pipe around the footing to carry water that drains down away from the foundation
3. Missing roof gutters or improperly routed leaders. If you have a leader coming down with an elbow (or missing an elbow) and dumping water against the foundation, you can expect this problem.
4. Improperly graded yard. If the soil is pitched towards your house, the water will surely follow.
5. Improper damp-proofing. Porraging the entire exterior of the footing with mortar or using a bituminous coating eg tar. However, this is /damp/ proofing. Not water proofing. Dampproofing is not designed to solve this problem, but it would help.. a little
Your profile doesn't say where you are located, which would be helpful. Also, knowing your soil type would help.
Warranty aside, if your municipality has adopted the URC, I would investigate whether the foundation and drainage meets the code.
Thanks for the replies so far. Some points, in no particular order.
1. I'm living in Eastern Iowa, small town just north of Iowa City.
2. Not sure of the backfill material, I think it is just fill dirt that was excavated when they dug the hole for the foundation. I don't remember them bringing in any dirt from another source to fill in.
3. I know they put drain tile around the foundation, at least that was part of the agreement and local codes. It all feeds to a sump pump that does work, at least last time I checked it. I'll check it again tonight.
4. Everytime we've had rain since we've lived there (6 months now), I've checked for moisture and this is the first time. I believe we've had 2 pretty heavy rains so far.
5. I've always suspected the grading of the yard wasn't up to snuff. I've noticed in the summer when I mowed what seemed like low spots right next to the house. The day they graded the lot and laid the sod was the afternoon before the long 4th of July weekend. I wasn't there to watch the whole process, but i think they were in a hurry to maybe start the holiday.
6. They did spray some black stuff on the exterior foundation below grade. I always assumed that that was damp/water proofing. We didn't pay for anything extra, so I'm sure it's just the damp proofing.
7. All gutters are on and functioning. They did route the gutters below ground and out away from the house where the end in "bubble top" caps. They terminate about 4 to 6 feet from the house.
8. Here are all the pics I took. All are on the interior, it was to dark to get pics outside.Basement pics
Thanks for all the input. My neighbor is a construction consultant, working mainly in concrete, so I think I'll go talk with him tonight.