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Subject: HOA/Owner Responsible for Maintaining Concrete Floor?
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Author Messages
BenjaminM1
(Utah)

Posts:4


06/13/2018 9:21 AM  
Hi! I've seen some topics related to basements, but I don't think this specific question has been answered.

Our townhome is a two-level with no basement. On the main level we have a concrete slab with flooring right on top of it. In our eating area, there is a crack in the concrete slab that is causing cracks in the tile right above it. (Note: I understand the tile is our responsibility, and the previous owner actually left leftover tile from the project, which is quite handy!) The only language in the HOA documents I could find relating to the concrete slab is that the HOA is responsible for "all foundations, columns, girders, beams, supports, and main walls." How likely is it that this also refers to the concrete slab? Just want to know what I'm dealing with before I submit a repair request. The townhome is located in Utah.
JamesG
(Connecticut)

Posts:79


06/13/2018 9:53 AM  
I'm assuming that you live in a condominium community. You need to review your documents to find where the boundaries of a unit are defined. Anything outside these boundaries would be common elements for which the association would be responsible to maintain or repair.

Jim
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:196


06/13/2018 12:08 PM  
Benjamin,

This sounds like a common concrete crack - all concrete cracks - sadly. It could be something more serious, but probably not.

This is obviously inside your unit -so, first determine if neighbors have anything like this going on - and, if it is historical in nature - and, whether the crack(s) are just separations or have tilted up on edge.

If lucky, this will be a matter of chiseling up tile, chiseling out the cracks and patching with hydraulic patch mix, then replacing those tiles. The crack may go further than just under where the tile are cracked - consult a concrete expert in order to stop the crack from spreading.
BenjaminM1
(Utah)

Posts:4


06/13/2018 1:09 PM  
Posted By JamesG on 06/13/2018 9:53 AM
I'm assuming that you live in a condominium community. You need to review your documents to find where the boundaries of a unit are defined. Anything outside these boundaries would be common elements for which the association would be responsible to maintain or repair.

Thanks for that...I couldn't find any language about boundaries; it simply lists what the HOA is responsible for, and what I quoted above is all I could find that would be related. So my question is if the bottom slab of a foundation is considered part of the foundation, at least as far as HOA-land is concerned.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7388


06/13/2018 4:18 PM  
Oh boy this is a tricky one... I don't think the HOA would be responsible for paying for your tile repairs. It may be responsible for the concrete crack in the slab. However, that may be a bit tricky because concrete does settle and crack overtime. Doesn't necessarily indicate a "problem". The fact that someone put on top of it another material that is hard and subject to cracking doesn't help the situation. If this was say carpeting, linoleum, or other flexible flooring then the cracking would not be occurring. It only will show up in Tile or other hard surface materials.

I know of people who have ripped their flooring off and just stained the concrete. Which does look pretty good if done right. Can make various designs and easier to take care of. Plus if something was to go wrong it's easier to fix/cover.

So I would consult a couple of foundation experts to evaluate the cracks. Would not go with 1 opinion. A HOA representative may want to be involved. The concrete slab cracks could be settling or as bad as a broken pipe. Best to have an expert. Just realize there may be a dividing line between your tile and them fixing the slab.

Former HOA President
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2628


06/13/2018 7:08 PM  
Easiest way to resolve the issue, contact your insurance, who will contact the HOA insurance who wrote the policy on what the HOA was required to cover under the CCRs.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3981


06/13/2018 9:58 PM  
Posted By BenjaminM1 on 06/13/2018 9:21 AM
Hi! I've seen some topics related to basements, but I don't think this specific question has been answered.

Our townhome is a two-level with no basement. On the main level we have a concrete slab with flooring right on top of it. In our eating area, there is a crack in the concrete slab that is causing cracks in the tile right above it. (Note: I understand the tile is our responsibility, and the previous owner actually left leftover tile from the project, which is quite handy!) The only language in the HOA documents I could find relating to the concrete slab is that the HOA is responsible for "all foundations, columns, girders, beams, supports, and main walls." How likely is it that this also refers to the concrete slab? Just want to know what I'm dealing with before I submit a repair request. The townhome is located in Utah.


From what you have stated if it is the exact wording from your documents the HOA would be responsible for any and all “foundations”. Potentially the HOA needs to repair the foundation issue and then you are potentially responsible for the inside tile repair.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:93


06/13/2018 10:22 PM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 06/13/2018 7:08 PM
Easiest way to resolve the issue, contact your insurance, who will contact the HOA insurance who wrote the policy on what the HOA was required to cover under the CCRs.




Mine won't. They say they aren't lawyers.

Or by-laws say that the sub-floor is the responsibility of the association, unless the owner or tenant does something to cause the damage.

I am pretty sure this means I can have mine 'floated'. There are a ton of cracks. I presume from foundation shift.

We also had foundation repair, and in the case of anything that happens inside a unit due to things like that, the association is responsible.



GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:196


06/15/2018 6:10 AM  
I’m thinking that many may believe that a concrete crack which is very common, represents a foundation “issue.”

This could be true, but it would depend upon severity.

I’ve peeled back a lot of tile and carpet and wood flooring to find lots of cracks ...this doesn’t mean there are foundation issues ... it means concrete cracks.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:93


06/15/2018 2:56 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 06/15/2018 6:10 AM
I’m thinking that many may believe that a concrete crack which is very common, represents a foundation “issue.”

This could be true, but it would depend upon severity.

I’ve peeled back a lot of tile and carpet and wood flooring to find lots of cracks ...this doesn’t mean there are foundation issues ... it means concrete cracks.




In my case we did have foundation problems and repair. They jacked us up and dropped us down (very weird feeling, btw!) but in our case it doesn't specify anything about foundations needing to play a role in sub-floor maintenance and repair. It just says that is their responsibility. I don't have to nail that down precisely until I am ready to buy new floors.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7552


06/15/2018 4:09 PM  
There is an old axion in the concrete business: There are two types of concrete. That that has already cracked and that that will crack. I can see a battle between a structural engineer that will say the cracks are normal and the owner having to replace/repair flooring due to cracking arguing the association should pay.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:484


06/15/2018 5:21 PM  
If there is no basement and the concrete slab is on the ground, it is the foundation unless you have something else holding up the building.
BenjaminM1
(Utah)

Posts:4


06/15/2018 5:29 PM  
Thanks, all, for the responses! Time to ask the HOA to have someone come out and look at it.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:93


06/15/2018 5:31 PM  
Posted By BenA2 on 06/15/2018 5:21 PM
If there is no basement and the concrete slab is on the ground, it is the foundation unless you have something else holding up the building.




I believe he is referring to the sub-flooring. The layer in between the foundation and the flooring.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:196


06/15/2018 6:25 PM  
Ben,

Not sure you comment makes sense to me ...what are you saying?

Again, all concrete cracks ...not uncommon at all for tile floors to crack with the concrete since they are bonded by mortar. If carpeted, folks would pretty amazed to see all the cracks. It is a matter of severity.
GuyM1
(Ohio)

Posts:253


06/15/2018 6:38 PM  
Hi Ben

I have the same problem and had Foundation people come out and look at it. I'm a contractor and I knew that the slab was moving up and down from the footers going up and down and this is all common area and is Association's duty to have a qualified company come out and check it. If they say there is any movement then this needs to be repaired. Let me ask does the crack go wall to wall? Is the crack continue as a line through many tiles? If it's a tile that cracked it could be that the tile had a void under it and caused the crack, which then just replace that ile. Try putting a long level or board that is straight and see if it is sloping and see if you have any cracks in the walls near the cracked tile.

Guy
BenjaminM1
(Utah)

Posts:4


06/15/2018 6:45 PM  
Guy:

The cracks go from the front of the home about 15 feet back. Only two tiles are cracked, the rest of the cracks are along the grout. I do not notice any sloping at this point.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:196


06/15/2018 7:20 PM  
We’re all just guessing until the flooring is ripped up.

It sounds like normal, but painful to think about, concrete cracking.
GuyM1
(Ohio)

Posts:253


06/15/2018 7:32 PM  
My crack goes from the front entry door wall about 15 feet through the entryway under my staircase to the side wall. This caused my entry door to lift and hard to open during the winter which tells you that the footers are moving. but also used a 6-foot level and it was about 1 and 1/4 inches down. Also, had wall cracks were the floor crack hit the sidewall. I also used a laser level and reaffirmed that measurement. Even if you removed all the tile along the crack and repaired the crack to retile doesn't help if the slab is moving because it will happen again. That's why people with slabs are putting in floating floors.

Guy
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:196


06/16/2018 7:46 AM  
Guy - yours may be more severe than Benjamin's. Concrete can also heave up at the crack, which is a bigger deal - one of the reasons rebar is in it.

Benjamin - hopefully yours is simply a matter of a spread crack that can be edged and cleaned and patched ... it may require more than simply replacing a few tile.
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