Is a building contractor responsible for repairing a sidewalk crack a month after closing?

We purchased a new house in Pima County, near Tucson AZ, and at the time of the walk-through just prior to the closing, there was no crack in the sidewalk. The crack subsequently appeared and extended from a 3 inch crack becomming about a 2 foot crack in just a few days. The crack is less than 1/16 of an inch thick. The contractor says cracking in concrete is almost universal, and given the fact that there are no significant structural or safety issues, he will do no more than re-evaluate the situation in 6 months. The sidewalk was ugly and discolored, and the crack developed the day after the masonry subcontractor applied some kind of acid to the sidewalk.

Would appreciate any advice from real estate attorneys or contractors who have knowledge about these matters.

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The acid was muriatic acid used to clean the dirt stains from the concrete, If it was just poured on and the crack apeared in just a short amount of time after that I would suspect that the dirt underneath has caved in and the slab has lost some of the support in that area, or that the water used to rinse it got into a small crack and expanded during the heat of the day. I'm not there, I can't see it, just trying to think of some of the variables. But if your contractor said he will look at it again at your 6 month walk, I don't think he is being unreasonable, concrete settles, and if it doesn't pose a hazard, let it do what it will, and then fix it after the 6 month walk. That way it doesn't keep reoccuring. But just to protect yourself, document everything, and take pictures. If it is a settlement issue, fixing it right away will solve nothing, it will just keep settling and you and the contractor will be at each others throats. And don't try fixing it yourself, it may just create more of a problem. 1/16" is not horrible, and if that is the worst you've got, you have a very good builder.

    Source(s): I built AR's house
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If the concrete was mixed and poured correctly and depending on what might be in or under the set, there should be no cracks in it.

    You should have a one year warranty on everything evne down to your plants.. Read your papers.

    They are going to do their best to get out of the repairs. Like the others said pictures and written documentation will be the best representation.

    The bad thing is that if you have the repairs made, your concrete will not match the repair spot. In other words If they remove a section of the concrete and replace it, it is not going to match the rest of you walk way. You might want to just add a sealer into the crack to stop water penetration. Just food for thought

    I have been in the apartment industry for almost 20 years. From new construction walks to 30 year old properties.I have seen things done both ways. Never looks good either way.

    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I am NOT an attorney, or a masonry contractor. BUT I can tell you that YES the contractor was correct. Concrete WILL crack over time. What causes the concrete to crack is the fact that there is NO play in the concrete. Meaning if the dirt (earth) beneath the concrete expands in any way the concrete does NOT as it is solid. As such the concrete cracks. Home owner with a concrete driveway. By the way, they do sell a crack sealer for concrete.

  • 1 decade ago

    Check with your local building inspector and report the problem to him. You may find, as with many areas, the sidewalk is city property but you may be held liable for repairs to it. You said it was a new house but did not say if it is a new development. If a new house is built on a lot on an existing street and the sidewalk is already there, you may be out of luck. Inform the city about the problem, they can deal with the contractor or subcontractor themselves. If you purchased a home in a new development, you need to contact the selling agency and inform them of the problem. Shoddy work outside may indicate problems inside and this is something you may wish to deal with now instead of later. Let them know you find the problem unacceptable.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I am a homeowner and know your plight.

    First, take pictures and document the problem.

    Second, find out from contractors, not cement layers,

    what the standard requirements and terms are for

    laying down a sidewalk/walkway.

    Here in MA, they are responsible for even pouring in

    certain tempatures as that effects the curing process and

    depth has to be at least 6". Hope that helps some.

  • 1 decade ago

    yeah new construction.. bobcats driving over it etc. etc. list goes on... most do replace them without a ***** cuz they have more to do in the subdivision.. sometimes the city wont let them off the hook until its done.. the developer/builder has put a deposit down (bond)with the city and wont get it returned with outstanding issues. builder i worked for was 12 months.. but they also specified in their paper work what "replacement" was.. a 1/16 would not have fell into replacement. just tell him straight up you wont be filling out any forms or evaluation papers in a positive and wont recommend any friends without telling them the problems. bad thing is he could replace the slab at the next pour on a house and the guys probably wouldn't even charge him

  • 1 decade ago

    There is normally a year warranty on a new home. I had the same thing happen on my porch of my new home. The contractor put a 1" cap over it. This made it through the year & then cracked again. He was no longer insistant that they repair your house...they'll get out of it if they can.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's called "pick-up" and if you don't have this in your contract forget it. You might have something like it in your contract for the house but, not the grounds. Check with an attorney, bring your papers with you, all of them. If you feel that he should pay for this then by all means go after it but, be ready to pay but, he will have to pay something on it.

  • Dave F
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago


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