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  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Inspecting Adobe Structures

    Can anyone please give me some guidelines on inspecting adobe residential buildings? This house was built in 1908 and has a partial basement. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    Default Re: Inspecting Adobe Structures

    Here are some photos of adobe construction here in Santa Fe!!

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    Charles @ PreVue Property Inspections, Santa Fe, NM
    http://www.prevuepropertyinspections.com/
    "How can someone with glasses so thick be so stupid?"

  3. #3
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Inspecting Adobe Structures

    What are those bricks made out of? Are they like standard baked bricks?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Inspecting Adobe Structures

    Don't know the type of brick yet. I was told it was a territorial type building built in 1908. I'll probably go out tomorrow and drive by the house and see what I can see. I think I know what problems to look for like significant cracks, wall bulges rotted timbers etc. My feeling is that if I see anything like this I should refer it out to a licensed structural engineer. Does this seem right to you?

    Thanks


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Inspecting Adobe Structures

    Are you a home inspector or home buyer? An SE is not easy to find around here, so it would depend on what you see at the house.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    New Mexico
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    Default Re: Inspecting Adobe Structures

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    Are you a home inspector or home buyer? An SE is not easy to find around here, so it would depend on what you see at the house.
    Hi Jim,
    I am a home inspector. Inspected frame block and brick and buildings but not an adobe yet. Just want to do right for my customer. I believe that I can find deficiencies if any are visually evident, just not sure how far I have to go with an adobe inspection.

    Thanks!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
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    Default Re: Inspecting Adobe Structures

    I'm not at all an adobe expert, we don't get too many of them around NYC, and I'm sure there must be issues that are things very special about adobe, but in my head I would look at it just like any other home. Since the building is more than 100 years old, I imagine it has done everything it is going to do... can't imagine any new movement, unless something has been disturbed. I would look for erosion, signs of patching. wood rot, and everything else, just like any other home. I guess once I got there I would know what to look for.

    I think I would read up on how adobes are built, in the event there are some recommended clearance isues.

    Jim, you are from the land of adobe, is my thinking wrong? Is there something about adobe, that unless you know what to look for, it will be missed? Are there infestation problems associated with adobe?

    Of course I would imagine power washing is a no no.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  8. #8
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    Mar 2007
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    New Mexico
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    Default Re: Inspecting Adobe Structures

    I've inspected about 10, and worked on two. The main thing is water intrusion, like any other house. You may see some settlement under the windows it water has bee getting behind the stucco. With an overhanging roof and maintenance, it's a decent product. With a parapet style roof and not proper maintenance it can be a significant problem.

    The really old ones tend to be on a crawl space that you can't even begin to access, so the foundation stem wall is not visible. When I downplayed the SE, it's because I've seen them called in, only to have them say the same things that I said, in that the foundation was not visible, etc. A lot of the old ones have several different additions at various times, so the floors are just going all over the place. Education of the buyer is helpful, in that it's not a cookie cutter by any means. We call it Santa Fe style, meaning they didn't have a level back then. Heck, with the drought, they probably couldn't even afford a water level.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    New Mexico
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    Default Re: Inspecting Adobe Structures

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    I've inspected about 10, and worked on two. The main thing is water intrusion, like any other house. You may see some settlement under the windows it water has bee getting behind the stucco. With an overhanging roof and maintenance, it's a decent product. With a parapet style roof and not proper maintenance it can be a significant problem.

    The really old ones tend to be on a crawl space that you can't even begin to access, so the foundation stem wall is not visible. When I downplayed the SE, it's because I've seen them called in, only to have them say the same things that I said, in that the foundation was not visible, etc. A lot of the old ones have several different additions at various times, so the floors are just going all over the place. Education of the buyer is helpful, in that it's not a cookie cutter by any means. We call it Santa Fe style, meaning they didn't have a level back then. Heck, with the drought, they probably couldn't even afford a water level.
    Thanks to all for all of the good information I really do appreciate the time you have taken to educate me!
    Kathleen


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Peoria Arizona
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Inspecting Adobe Structures

    Go to Clay Mine Adobe: Mud Adobe Brick, Mortar and Plaster Mix, Tucson Arizona and then look under Adobe and Mortar. Read the different PDF's located under Architectural Details.

    Jeff


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