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  1. #1
    Brian Quan's Avatar
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    Question What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    We are looking for a house and we noticed there is a bow in wall. The bow is in the middle. The inspector said he did not think it could be a structure problem. He also did not found any water damage problem. The interior wall does not have bow.

    What could be the cause? Please take a look at the pictures. Thanks a lot!!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Lots of possibilities.... IMO it's most likely just crooked framing. Maybe a badly bowed stud that was shimmed on the inside so the drywall would be flat. The wood shingle siding certianly does nothing to mask the problem. I tend to agree with the inspector that in most cases these things are just an eye sore.

    This is a perfect example of the limitations of an inspection on a finished building. There's really no way to know what's causing it without being able to see inside the wall and see what material caused the problem.


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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    I recommend opening up the wall and see whats going on? appears to be warped stud.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Matt and Rolland,

    Thanks for your replies. Could you guys give me an estimate how much it could cost for the worst case to fix this issue?

    We have not bought the house yet so we cannot actually do any further inspection yet.

    Thanks again!!


  5. #5
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    I agree that it is most likely a bowed/crooked stud, or it could be a bad piece of sheathing. The good news is that it was found, and is something that you should insist that the sellers address.


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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Quan View Post
    We are looking for a house and we noticed there is a bow in wall. The bow is in the middle. The inspector said he did not think it could be a structure problem. He also did not found any water damage problem. The interior wall does not have bow.

    What could be the cause? Please take a look at the pictures. Thanks a lot!!
    My guess would be poor or failing fasteners of the siding. If that siding is what I think it is, it is put up in sheets. Not individual shingles. Re-nailing should fix it.


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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    I would figure a siding or substrate issue. I don't see one stud bowing like that. Realistic cost, min $1500-4000; possible cost based on what is in the wall = who knows

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Thanks for all the information. My last question is, it is being like this for a long time according to what sellers said. If we have a deal on the house, shall we leave it as is or we should fix it?

    Thanks again!!


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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Quan View Post
    Thanks for all the information. My last question is, it is being like this for a long time according to what sellers said. If we have a deal on the house, shall we leave it as is or we should fix it?

    Thanks again!!
    If it was me, I would check it from a ladder to see if it flexes or is secure. If if flexes fix it.


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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Brian, you are asking for things that cannot be determined online. From your posts you sound like many customers who have tried to hire the cheapest inspector only to find that they are left with many unanswered questions.
    Bowed framing would show up at the interior wall also.
    if the interior wall is straight, the problem lies in the siding underlayment, which was either not fastened properly or has gotten wet and buckled, or both.
    The only way to determine is to have a qualified inspector or contractor take a look.
    Education can be found at a fair price if you are willing to pay and to learn.
    I have given you free accessment, so buck up and be honest,
    How much did you pay for your home inspection.?
    Why has your inspector not given you real answers?
    What do you do for a living?
    We all put our heart and soul on the line here every day.
    Are you willing to do the same?


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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    brian,
    i would guess that it is one of the siding crew that got in the way when the tyvek was rolled on and then nailed on with the siding installation. these blow and go guys don't stop for anything except cerveza! tear off the siding in the affected area remove worker remains and throw a decent wake and burial. cost at about $1000 for the work,peace of mind for the family=priceless


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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Don't know, as stated could be a warped stud - might also be a displaced one on the 2nd floor platform.

    Might be water damage related.

    Question is what is on the other side on the second floor? Chance that is location of plumbing (supply and/or drains) i.e. bathroom - tub and/or shower; or upstairs laundry room? Looks remarkably like a ghosted pattern of a washed shower/tub wall or possibly a laundry hookup with water leaking in the wall (see notated photo attached). Where are the mechanicals such as water heater, condensing furnace? AC/Heat Pump? Attic or 2nd floor room?

    P.S. is there an exhaust vent just above on the wall or in the sofit? (ex. dryer exhaust, bathroom exhaust vent, direct vent fireplace) that could be washing the exterior with copious amounts of warm moisture ladden air, allowing excessive condensation on the siding?

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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    How old is the house?

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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    brian,
    i would guess that it is one of the siding crew that got in the way when the tyvek was rolled on and then nailed on with the siding installation. these blow and go guys don't stop for anything except cerveza! tear off the siding in the affected area remove worker remains and throw a decent wake and burial. cost at about $1000 for the work,peace of mind for the family=priceless
    I'm leaning towards your explanation .


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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    I agree that it is most likely a bowed/crooked stud, or it could be a bad piece of sheathing. The good news is that it was found, and is something that you should insist that the sellers address.
    My house has a wall like that. Being curious, I opened it up and found that indeed it was a couple of bowed studs that were shimmed on the interior to make a flat wall. But that doesn't mean that's what's going on with this house.

    If you're really keen on the house but don't want any surprises (and the sellers are unwilling to fix it before closing) I'd suggest negotiating an amount they'd be willing to deduct or place in escrow for an invasive inspection and remediation. It it's truly nothing they're out a few hundred dollars for the inspection and patch up. If it's rotten framing from a leak then you're not stuck holding the bag. Talk to your real estate attorney about setting aside funds for major repairs to the structure.


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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    Brian, you are asking for things that cannot be determined online. From your posts you sound like many customers who have tried to hire the cheapest inspector only to find that they are left with many unanswered questions.
    Bowed framing would show up at the interior wall also.
    if the interior wall is straight, the problem lies in the siding underlayment, which was either not fastened properly or has gotten wet and buckled, or both.
    The only way to determine is to have a qualified inspector or contractor take a look.
    Education can be found at a fair price if you are willing to pay and to learn.
    I have given you free accessment, so buck up and be honest,
    How much did you pay for your home inspection.?
    Why has your inspector not given you real answers?
    What do you do for a living?
    We all put our heart and soul on the line here every day.
    Are you willing to do the same?
    I dont see where brians inspector did him wrong or what would indicate that he was a cheap inspector. A definite cause cannot be given without an intrusive inspection which is beyond the scope of a Home Inspection in my area! I have seen warped framing repaired by angle cutting which often created a bow toward the outside of the wall.

    James Bohac

  17. #17
    wayne soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    I didn't say he hired a cheap inspector, I said it sounded like peolpe i've had calls from in the past who may have tried to go the low ball route.
    If he had hired the right inspector he would have gotten and answer from his inspector much like the various replys in this post don't you think.
    He said his inspector just said don't worry about it.
    So why is he asking us?
    And why hasn't he replied to the questions asked?


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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Quan View Post
    Thanks for all the information. My last question is, it is being like this for a long time according to what sellers said. If we have a deal on the house, shall we leave it as is or we should fix it?

    Thanks again!!
    Nobody can tell you whether or not to buy it. The offers suggested here are educated guesses at best.

    Raymond Wand Home Inspection Service
    http://www.raymondwand.ca
    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  19. #19
    Brian Quan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Hi, There other side of the wall is two bedrooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Don't know, as stated could be a warped stud - might also be a displaced one on the 2nd floor platform.

    Might be water damage related.

    Question is what is on the other side on the second floor? Chance that is location of plumbing (supply and/or drains) i.e. bathroom - tub and/or shower; or upstairs laundry room? Looks remarkably like a ghosted pattern of a washed shower/tub wall or possibly a laundry hookup with water leaking in the wall (see notated photo attached). Where are the mechanicals such as water heater, condensing furnace? AC/Heat Pump? Attic or 2nd floor room?

    P.S. is there an exhaust vent just above on the wall or in the sofit? (ex. dryer exhaust, bathroom exhaust vent, direct vent fireplace) that could be washing the exterior with copious amounts of warm moisture ladden air, allowing excessive condensation on the siding?



  20. #20
    Brian Quan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    19 years
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    How old is the house?



  21. #21
    Brian Quan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    The inspector tried to hammer on it. The bow is solid.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    If it was me, I would check it from a ladder to see if it flexes or is secure. If if flexes fix it.



  22. #22
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Lots of possibilities....
    This is a perfect example of the limitations of an inspection on a finished building. There's really no way to know what's causing it without being able to see inside the wall and see what material caused the problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rolland Pruner View Post
    I recommend opening up the wall and see whats going on?
    Quote Originally Posted by Corn Walker View Post
    If you're really keen on the house but don't want any surprises (and the sellers are unwilling to fix it before closing) I'd suggest negotiating an amount they'd be willing to deduct or place in escrow for an invasive inspection and remediation. Talk to your real estate attorney about setting aside funds for major repairs to the structure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    The offers suggested here are educated guesses at best.

    Brian,
    I believe this is a pretty good summary.


  23. #23
    Ken Amelin's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    This looks like the fasteners are not long enough to secure to the sheathing. I suspect the fasteners went through three course of shingles but not deep enough for the sheathing.

    I'll put my money on - they used 1 inch staples, instead of the 1-1/4 - 1-1/2 inch long.

    I see where someone noted that the bow was solid when banged with a hammer, but I would need to see for myself.


  24. #24
    Bob Barnett's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Quan View Post
    We are looking for a house and we noticed there is a bow in wall. The bow is in the middle. The inspector said he did not think it could be a structure problem. He also did not found any water damage problem. The interior wall does not have bow.

    What could be the cause? Please take a look at the pictures. Thanks a lot!!
    I have seen alot of older homes like this. Usually it is the framing methods used during the time era. Is the house a platform or balloon framed type? I have also seen where plumbing causes this as well. It would be adviseable to determine where the vent pipe is running through the attic.
    Typically the longer running joists can do this due to age and moisture at one time getting to it. The siding is it cedar or wood?


  25. #25
    john_opwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    I agree with bob, this could be due to bad plumbming.


  26. #26
    Brian Quan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the cause for bow in this wall?

    Thank you very much for all of your suggestions. We have negotiated with the seller and they agree to fix the problem. Hopefully the contractor can find the cause of the bow.


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