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  1. #1
    RobertSmith's Avatar
    RobertSmith Guest

  2. #2
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Cracks, cosmetic or structural

    In and of themselves, I would say not structural. But what else did you see inside and outside the house Robert? Any corresponding cracks on the exterior walls? Any cracks in the basement/crawlspace or any sloping floors? Any door frames racked and out of plumb or out of level?


  3. #3
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Cracks, cosmetic or structural

    Is this only area with cracking?
    What did the exerior walls look like-- was there cracking greater than 1/8th of an inch? How long were they?

    What did the areas above the doors and above/below the windows look like?

    Were there any doors that would bind before closure?

    Did the windows all open?

    How about the flooring? Any tile cracks?

    Attic-- any separation at the ridge board?
    Any indications of separation at the friese boards?

    All the above need to be evaluated as part of the equation of, 'Is this a structural concern'.

    Absent all other indicators, I would say cosmetic. Somethings are just indicators of settlement that do not represent structural damage.

    Rich


  4. #4
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Cracks, cosmetic or structural

    Rich, What is HCRI? I know I'll be sorry for asking!


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Houston, Texas
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    Default Re: Cracks, cosmetic or structural

    Residential interior drywall is not a structural component so cracking in such is not in of itself a structural concern. BUT! Cracking in the drywall could be a tell tale indicator of distress in actual structural components of the building and have to be assessed accordingly.

    Personally I donít see the degree of cracking in the posted photos to be particularly worrisome from a structural damage potential and consider them to be cosmetic issues at this point.



  6. #6
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Cracks, cosmetic or structural

    Richard S-- it's an acronym.

    Honkie
    Caucasian
    Roofing
    Inspector

    Last edited by Richard Rushing; 07-14-2007 at 11:39 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cracks, cosmetic or structural

    Robert, as a long time report reviewer and litigant supporter I advise against using the term "cosmetic" either verbally or especially within an inspection report. The word is totally subjective and has got more inspectors into litigation than you can imagine. The only other word more dangerous than "cosmetic" is "minor."

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  8. #8
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    Ft. Lauderdale Fl
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    Default Re: Cracks, cosmetic or structural

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Stojanik View Post
    Residential interior drywall is not a structural component so cracking in such is not in of itself a structural concern.

    I would say that drywall is a structural component. It prevents racking.

    Captain


  9. #9
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Cracks, cosmetic or structural

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Captain View Post
    I would say that drywall is a structural component. It prevents racking.

    Captain

    Mitchell, under that circumstance... I think you would have to qualify the tape and bedding structural also??!! Errr?

    How bout the crown molding and baseboards... they could (possibly) be considered structural then??

    I don't think that because an item may assist with preventing racking, and not be the primary reason racking is prevented, that item can be considered structural in nature. When I think structural, I think load-bearing. An item that helps distribute the load to the foundation is a structural component. In my mind, the studs and framing the drywall is on is structural, not the drywall.

    Now, does it help... sure.it does. It acts like a full sized gusset across the wall. However, I don't see the drywall as a load bearing compnent that helps distribute the structure to the foundation.

    JMO

    Richard (just another 'Dick')


  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Ft. Lauderdale Fl
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    Default Re: Cracks, cosmetic or structural

    Richard

    If my memory serves me correctly after hurricane Andrew a group of inspectors went down to homestead to study the damage. And again I think Jerry went there.

    They found that the drywall was only nailed in the four corners and that was the cause for a lot of damage. Jerry will chime in when he wakes up from his nap.

    If I am wrong I be sorry.

    Captain


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Cracks, cosmetic or structural

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Captain View Post
    Richard

    If my memory serves me correctly after hurricane Andrew a group of inspectors went down to homestead to study the damage. And again I think Jerry went there.
    Yes, I did go down after Hurricane Andrew with a group of inspectors to study the damage.

    Not only was there problems with the application of drywall, but with roof sheathing, nailing, strapping, and anchoring of all types.

    One wall we looked at had been sucked off the end of the house, there it was, laying on the ground, with two large angle brackets at each corner sticking up into the air. Okay, there are the brackets which should have helped hold that end in place, so why did it fail? Because there were no bolts in the other walls (no bolt holes either) which was supposed to hold those large angle brackets to the still-standing walls. The engineer had it right, the contractor/framer just did not execute it right.

    There there were the houses (several of them) which were swept clean down to the second floor decking, with the only thing left on the second floor being the forlornly tub, still sitting there. In these cases, there was a lack of design AND execution regarding uplift resistance for the second story walls and roof. These could not be evaluated as ... well ... they were no where to be found.

    Drywall *can* be 'structural' in that it was used to help make diaphragms. Such as ceilings and shear walls.

    I think it is now recognized that drywall gets wet when things go wrong, and wet drywall has no structural value.

    I doubt that drywall is used for diaphragms anymore.

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

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