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  1. #1
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    Mar 2017
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    California
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    Default 1950 Adobe ranch house

    I performed a mock (practice be a real inspector) on another friend's home. This one was built in 1950 and the adobe blocks/bricks were made on-site. Slab-on-grade. I found some deterioration of the adobe walls because of rain water splash, no rain gutters and needs a new roof. I did not get up on the roof, you can see by the pics why.

    Questions: Is there a product out there that one could use to arrest the deterioration of this adobe?
    (I know that the nature of adobe IS to deteriorate) I suggested new roof and gutters, also to get the mulch plants and irrigation away from the foundation.

    Question: Are the cracks in the pics from normal aging and settlement, or are the walls absorbing water and cracking from the bad roof and rain water splash?
    He wouldn't let me go up in the attic to check.

    He's 93 years old and I did not argue with him about it, but I explained why I should look up there anyway.
    See what you think, thank you.

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  2. #2
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    Mar 2017
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    Default Re: 1950 Adobe ranch house

    The pic upoader froze up on me, here are the rest. oh grrrr did it again!

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  3. #3
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    Mar 2017
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    California
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    Default Re: 1950 Adobe ranch house

    White is interior, brown exterior ( duuh like you can't see that for yourselves!) There is a lot of drywall cracking under the TV dish that is attached to the roof. Gee I wonder why? I can add more pics I know it's hard to figure out what is what with pics sometimes.

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    Last edited by Elizabeth Chambers; 05-15-2018 at 11:32 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,617

    Default Re: 1950 Adobe ranch house

    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Chambers View Post
    I performed a mock (practice be a real inspector) on another friend's home. This one was built in 1950 and the adobe blocks/bricks were made on-site. Slab-on-grade. I found some deterioration of the adobe walls because of rain water splash, no rain gutters and needs a new roof. I did not get up on the roof, you can see by the pics why.

    Questions: Is there a product out there that one could use to arrest the deterioration of this adobe?
    (I know that the nature of adobe IS to deteriorate) I suggested new roof and gutters, also to get the mulch plants and irrigation away from the foundation.

    Question: Are the cracks in the pics from normal aging and settlement, or are the walls absorbing water and cracking from the bad roof and rain water splash?
    He wouldn't let me go up in the attic to check.

    He's 93 years old and I did not argue with him about it, but I explained why I should look up there anyway.
    See what you think, thank you.
    Hey Elizabeth,

    There are a couple of folks from Arizona and New Mexico that will (hopefully) chime in and will likely know more than me. My knowledge of adobe is pretty limited.

    I remember seeing older adobe protected with a lime whitewash or thin plaster and newer adobe protected with stucco. I can't say that those are the best ways, but that is what I have seen. When the adobe isn't protected, the house is typically given a generous roof overhang to protect the walls from rain and splash. Those eaves seem a bit skimpy, given the nature of adobe.

    Ya. Needs a roof. Is it multiple layers? Nice shot of the staple.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,275

    Default Re: 1950 Adobe ranch house

    I haven't done a lot of them, maybe 15 over the years. I've never seen it left exposed like that on the exterior. It's always covered in stucco on the exterior. The clay must hold up better in CA than in NM, because it wouldn't last very long here exposed.

    Q1: Yes, if it were covered and protected with stucco it would help to keep it from deteriorating. Honestly, at this age that looks pretty decent.

    Q2: A better roof and drainage control would help quite a bit. It is likely a combination of age and water at this point in time. It wouldn't be unusual to see it looking just like that here in a house built in 1950.

    The worst adobe problem we saw was when a pipe was leaking in the wall. It completely washed out the adobe from inside the wall, and left about a 4' wide x 4' high void in the wall cavity. I think they came back in with concrete block to shore it back up to where the adobe was still usable. There is usually some type of bond beam across the top of the wall that will help keep things together even if some of the blocks disintegrate. The bond beam is not easy to see once the house is finished, though.

    It's an interesting product, but not one I would choose to use.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    California
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    107

    Default Re: 1950 Adobe ranch house

    But stucco absorbs water too does it not? Do they housewrap the adobe then apply a drain plane then stucco? Thank for the replies so far.I am glad it looks in good shape for its age because I really have nothing to compare it to


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,597

    Default Re: 1950 Adobe ranch house

    Where you suggest pest damage, I don't know of a pest that would do that, build a nest there? So my guess would be moisture, breaking down the material behind the paint.

    I know it doesn't rain much there, but the addition of eaves troughs would help keep the lower rows of adobe blocks dry. New roof ASAP.
    I think stucco would ruin the house. Just fill with a compatible mortar and maintain the paint. Scrape and paint the steel at the window openings.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    California
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: 1950 Adobe ranch house

    Sorry it took me so long to reply. John, I do believe you are correct about the pest thing. After looking at the pics more carefully and thinking about it, the bottom of that adobe wall is located directly across from a rarely use guest bathroom.
    So probably damaged in the past by steam from the shower.
    However I did read that termites can and will do damage to adobe walls.
    Thank you HI"s for the responses.


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