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[SEAOC] Concrete cracks

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In a message dated 96-09-22 19:48:42 EDT, you write:

<< What I would like to know is, are ANY cracks in concrete serious? I
 a through crack at a 45 degree angle in a wall, from top to bottom. The
 engineer said it was ok. I remember a through crack in a waffle slab, from
 the drop panel corner to the column. Engineer said no problem. If these are
 not problems, what are, excluding the obvious seismic crushing of freeway
 columns? In other words, are cracks in concrete stress relief?>>

Your statement is a bit general.  Usually, the engineer has been asked to the
site in response to an owner's concern as to whether his building is safe for
occupancy.  Therefore, when reviewing the cracks in concrete, the engineer
looking at the damage usually is answering a very specific question, which
is:  "Does the crack indicate a hazardous condition?"  The answer to that
question is usually "No problem".  It does not mean that the crack is
acceptable from an architectural viewpoint, or that the crack does not need
to be repaired or the building upgraded.  It's just the engineer answering a
very specific concern.   
Carl S.