Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: need help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default need help---feedback

    I am going to inspect this 1938 appartment building with 7 suites. I checked listing & found this stucco applied right to the bottom of wall. No foundation visible; from the windows I thought this building settled a lot, another chance the paved asphalt too high. All make me worried about the leaking foundation & sill plate rot. Any way I can find the defect? How can I properly address?

    Thank you

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Last edited by Peter Louis; 06-15-2012 at 10:02 PM.
    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: need help

    If no basement or crawlspace is present, and no visible indications of moisture intrusion are present, maybe it's time to break out the thin-prong moisture meter, and take a few readings through the bottom of the plaster walls (as inconspicuous as possible, of course) into the sill plate areas. If things are nearly as bad as you suspect, the readings should fly off the chart. Another option, although quite a bit more expensive, is to purchase an IR setup and scan every wall in the place.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: need help

    from the first row windows I though this is split entry, which is a basement foundation. MM & IR can only be effective when there were a couple rainy days I believe.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: need help

    Stucco in contact with the driveway is wrong. You don't need to know why they did it. Most likely the road bed has been filled. A building that size or any size doesn't sink straight down.

    If there is wood behind that stucco, there will be rot. Rot will be soft, so your screwdriver will find it. There's green algae growing there, so it is wet along that lower edge.

    I'll bet there is brick behind the stucco but maybe wood behind the brick. Right now, it is all just a guess.
    That building is trouble with a capital T, but your client probably knows that. I would just describe everything the best I could and spend a long time digging in every corner.

    Also, expect multiple layers of tar and gravel roofing that still needs work and will never be right until they tear it all off.

    Inside, check for leaky toilets and rotted floors in the bathrooms. Check for smoke alarms and fire escapes, and there will be plenty of electrical issues to dig up. Also lots of scary stuff like portable plug-in heaters plugged into extension cords. Have fun!

    Last edited by John Kogel; 06-12-2012 at 10:37 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: need help

    That building is trouble with a capital T?......I did not catch this. Can you tell me this, John?

    This is a wood frame 3 stories. I do not know if any brick there.

    Last edited by Peter Louis; 06-12-2012 at 11:06 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: need help

    Yes, It could be the windows flashing issues, security bars possibly no quick release, no over hang. For sure I will address these. As long as they got the multi-family occupancy permit, I do not care.

    I only worry about the structure potential a cash pit.

    Last edited by Peter Louis; 06-12-2012 at 11:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: need help

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post

    If there is wood behind that stucco, there will be rot. Rot will be soft, so your screwdriver will find it. There's green algae growing there, so it is wet along that lower edge.

    I'll bet there is brick behind the stucco but maybe wood behind the brick. Right now, it is all just a guess.

    This is what concerns me. I do not want to poke holes on the exterior wall, plus if I just got the foundation or brick, It would mislead me.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: need help

    1. Window sills at grade - implications: wood rot, water entry, content damage, mould.

    2. Downspout discharging at grade - implications: water entry, wood rot, basement leakage, content damage, mould.

    Rather than ascertain if there actually is hidden damage, write in your report that concealed damage may be present given the grading at windows, downpsout, algae, and further investigation is required prior to close of title.

    3. Also the french door with no stoop or porch should have a barrier across it to prevent someone from walking out the door and dropping several feet.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: need help

    A 7 apartment building isn't going to be cheap. I think I would recommend stripping off some of the stucco along the bottom to get a good solid look. Pick an inconspicuous place and have someone cut off a foot or so at a few areas. It can be patched just as good as it is now without much trouble. If I was buying it, that's what I would be asking for.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: need help

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Louis View Post
    Any way I can find the defect? How can I properly address? Thank you
    Peter, You've already found the defect. Report what you see - lack of proper clearances between the grading / pavement and the cladding and that this can create moisture retention and decay issues. Recommend that someone else figure out what's going on in the wall - you will have raised the question and done your job - even if you find nothing else inside that may relate to the exterior condition. Remember the KISS rule. ;-)

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: need help

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Peter, You've already found the defect. Report what you see - lack of proper clearances between the grading / pavement and the cladding and that this can create moisture retention and decay issues. Recommend that someone else figure out what's going on in the wall - you will have raised the question and done your job - even if you find nothing else inside that may relate to the exterior condition. Remember the KISS rule. ;-)
    Yes, We can refer to others. Actually there are a lot of building stucco applied like this in this area although it is not a good practice. John said building will not settle in this way. I did find a few old time apartments seriously settled in Metrotown Burnaby area. The worst is the sill plate at or below grade due to paving or settlement whatever. Otherwise, if foundation stands out the grade, it might not really bad. The lower windows really make me worry about this scenario.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: need help

    The building did not sink straight down. If it did, it was built on quicksand and I don't believe an investor in 1938 would allow that.

    There is a concrete foundation under it, or that building would be gone by now. When they built that place in 1938, the wood was not touching the ground, or that place would have gone, rotted away before now. The windows were not touching the ground either, because again, that would be poor building practice. That building was a big investment for somebody, so they built it to last at least for a few decades, with a concrete foundation and the wood sills clear of the dirt.

    In my opinion from looking at that pic, the surrounding ground has been raised, or there is concrete behind that stucco. It is bad practice to bring the stucco down over the concrete foundation wall, and a stucco contractor capable of taking on that job would know that.

    That is why I believe there is wood behind that stucco, and with that downspout pouring water in that crack, it is trouble with a capital 'T' - big Trouble.
    But it is just one stitched picture, and I said it was just a guess.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: need help

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    contractor capable of taking on that job would know that.

    That is why I believe there is wood behind that stucco, and with that downspout pouring water in that crack, it is trouble with a capital 'T' - big Trouble.
    But it is just one stitched picture, and I said it was just a guess.
    Hi, John: Can you please explain "capital T" trouble? Where is the crack?

    I guess this is a backup scupper.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: need help

    Peter,
    Definitely would either do or recommend intrusive testing and inspection.
    Why? This property is a time bomb.
    Many questions and probably no documentation for what has been done.
    1) Were the windows cut into the building after it was built to create below grade units?
    2) Was the exterior grade increased to create drainage?
    3) If grade was increased was there damage at that time.
    4) If grade was increased and there was no damage at that time, did it create a latent problem.

    What was its original use and how was it altered. Which will direct you into where to look for problems. Thinks of deconstruction and then reconstructing to flag areas of problems.

    Good luck.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: need help

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Louis View Post
    Hi, John: Can you please explain "capital T" trouble? Where is the crack?

    I guess this is a backup scupper.
    The crack is the junction of the stucco and the asphalt. There is a dark stain there.

    PS A backup scupper doesn't need a downspout.

    That looks like a laundry room in the basement. Post some pics when you're done. We want to know where the concrete stops and the wood starts.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 06-14-2012 at 07:45 PM. Reason: PS
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: need help

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Louis View Post
    Hi, John: Can you please explain "capital T" trouble? Where is the crack?

    I guess this is a backup scupper.
    The Music Man "Ya Got Trouble" - YouTube

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: need help

    done the inspection.

    Yes raise paving caused grade over the foundation. some window sill rot; touched wood sheathing or bottome plate still strong

    the building on a slightly negative slope at rear; It is hard to improve the grade. I thought the easy solution is to make the grade down to the side way. I doubt if there was a waterproof memberane at least a dampproofing on the foundation wall in this 1938 building. What to do guys?

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: need help

    A few more pics

    1 strange downspout underground drain material
    2.a little vermiculite insulation left at attic, what is the existing inslation? None? Is that UFFI between joints?
    3. Solder-dipped copper wiring, should we still call it knob & tube even all in conduit & all outlets grounded?

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Last edited by Peter Louis; 06-15-2012 at 10:01 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: need help

    Thanks, Peter. Behind the stucco would be good old building paper, most likely. Not waterproof, because they never intended the grade to be raised.

    They could dig a narrow trench down to below the sill and leave it open. They can pour a concrete retaining wall like a curb to hold the dirt back. Exposed to the air, the stucco and wood can dry out and be checked. Just an idea. An easier route would be to walk away.[]

    That white material squeezed up past the wood strips is a "lath and plaster" ceiling. The plaster is pushed up like that to lock it in place. That ceiling is not insulated. That might be a bit of cellulose there, can't tell. The original plaster walls and ceilings will all be done that way, plaster spread over wood lath.

    Wiring in conduit is not K & T. If it is old flexible conduit, it might be BX, but don't try to guess.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 06-15-2012 at 11:10 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: need help

    Thank you John & everybody,

    I mean most likely there was no damproof or water proof on the exterior foundation wall in 1930s' buildings. right?


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: need help

    The first time to do the commercial inspection, the management only allowed 10-15 mins for one 2-bed suite. How can we finish the work & not disappoint clients in such a short period?


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: need help

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Louis View Post
    The first time to do the commercial inspection, the management only allowed 10-15 mins for one 2-bed suite. How can we finish the work & not disappoint clients in such a short period?

    If you don't mind potentially making a enemy of the building management, once you are there the worse you can do is have them demand you leave because you are taking to long. Then when you do not leave they can call the police to through you out. You are working for your client not the building management. Would be an interesting story for the evening news on to what length you were willing to go for your client.

    Management does not want your there to find what is wrong with the building. Limiting your time is there only method short of refusing the inspection.

    There seems to be some issues with the property. Money can make the difference. The drainage may be the major issue, if the walls are not rotted out now. Digging out along the building and installing an enclosed drainage system to carry the water away form the walls and the building may be the answer. Raising the bottom of the windows off grade would be advisable. Do you get snow there??? Small drain line going where, made of what and carrying what, potential issue.

    Like I said before the property is a time bomb. Can be defused just will cost a few bucks.

    Let us know if you make the Evening News.


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: need help

    Yes, a trench with a grill cover might be a good way to drain the the water & not affect car parking.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •