Chicago Home Inspectors Seeing Big Problems With Split Block Walls Leaking

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Some home inspectors say a building material in many brand new homes all over Chicago may be putting homeowners at serious risk this winter.

It’s called split face block, a type of concrete used for exterior walls.
More than a dozen homeowners dealing with split face block problems contacted by ABC 7 for this report refused to talk on camera because they say talking about this hot button issue might hurt their home values.
“It’s embarrassing, you know, you spent all this money on a home and look at it, look what’s happening,” said one homeowner.
It’s the topic so taboo for Chicago homeowners that many won’t talk about it. One West Side resident wanted to remain anonymous.
“We weren’t sure exactly where the water was coming from,” he said. “You start seeing the drywall starting to peel, you know, it’s disappointing .. You’d actually see the nails and the two by fours, you wouldn’t need a stud finder, you’d see them right through the drywall.
Home inspectors say the problem is split face block, a concrete building material used all over Chicago in brand new homes built during the latest building boom.
“I’m very scared,” said home inspector William Decker.
Decker has been dealing with the problem for years.
“For the last four or five years, the major problem we saw was water coming in, and mold, and stained walls,” said Decker.
But now, he says, during his inspections he’s seeing a much bigger, more dangerous problem.