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  1. #1
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    Default 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    I visited a 35 year old house recently that a home inspector cited 1\16" of crushing of a (3)2x10 beam as a concern. There was no deflection of the beam in either span and the other 6 columns in the residence did not exhibit the same condition. There was no evidence of movement in the residence.... Flat floors, no crackied tiles, perfect gwb, etc...

    Would you mention something like this in a report? Just wondering...

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    Nope.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    Sounds like missing "squash blocks" with joist on a load bearing beam. If I found this with TJI type joist it makes my report but if it is dimensional lumber and I can not see any issues inside the home, I doubt it will make my report. Measuring 1/16" of an inch in a crawlspace is a feat in itself!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    Just want to make sure that we are all reading this the same:
    Quote Originally Posted by kurt jensen View Post
    ... 1\16" of crushing of a (3)2x10 beam as a concern.
    You are referring to a triple 2x10 beam.

    There was no deflection of the beam in either span ...
    There wouldn't necessarily be deflection if the load causing the crushing was directly above that column where the crushing was.

    ... and the other 6 columns in the residence did not exhibit the same condition.
    The other 6 columns were under that same triple 2x10 beam and in the same area?

    Or were the other 6 columns in other areas and/or under smaller beams (lesser loaded beams)?

    Are the loads above all 7 columns (the 6 other columns and that one with the crushing) all the same, i.e., one column not under a central point taking load from most of the structure above?

    Are you a structural engineer? I ask because that is the type of person who should check it and decide if it is or is not a problem or potential problem (probably not a problem, but 'something caused that triple 2x10 beam to crush' and a triple 2x10 can take a lot (unless they used the wrong species for wood for the location).

    Could it possibly have been concentrated construction material loading?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    The basement columns are in one line down the middle of the home with one more on the rear elevation on a bump out. The columns are equally spaced at about 9' o.c. and the loads on the line should be about the same given the construction.

    I just wondered about why the inspector cited this one item and if other inspectors would cite it as it seemed minor to me? The real question I am asking I guess is that if you find "nothing" to really make note of, do you change your standard and cite minor items that you would not cite normally? I am an architect btw...

    Kurt


  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt jensen View Post
    I just wondered about why the inspector cited this one item and if other inspectors would cite it as it seemed minor to me? The real question I am asking I guess is that if you find "nothing" to really make note of, do you change your standard and cite minor items that you would not cite normally? I am an architect btw...

    Kurt
    Good, an architect, I realize that your question was about how minor is minor and if it is called out, but you have now changed to the question to about whether or not one changes their standards if one finds "nothing" and feels compelled to write "something" up ... completely different question.

    While 1/16" may be a "minor item" ... "something" caused that beam to be crushed in ONE place, and only ONE place, and that beam was a triple 2x10 which is not that easy to crush at all ... so, I don't see anything wrong with writing that in the report to have a structural engineer determine, if possible, there was "some reason" for that triple 2x10 beam to crush in ONE place and ONE place only ... that is not a "normal" occurrence, so let an engineer make that decision.

    i wouldn't have called it out, but ... I would be quite curious as to why only that ONE place in a triple 2x10 was crushed.

    Another question for you: How, or what, causes you to suspect that inspector changed their standard and felt obligated to write something up? Did they truly find "nothing" else? That is a bit difficult to comprehend on any house, much less a 35 year old house.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    I admit i did not inspect the entire house nor do i look at a house the same way as a home inspector does. But in the locations i saw i did not see any issues. I typically see major failures of one sort or another and it was odd to see something so minor being called out is all... it is odd that the other locations did not exhibit the 1/16", maybe it was construction loading as you had mentioned?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    Kurt asked in part;
    if you find "nothing" to really make note of, do you change your standard and cite minor items that you would not cite normally?
    No, I am looking for major issues, and not nickle dime stuff, nor am I a nitpicker. Some will write up all manner of issues to CYA.

    In a 35 year old home with 1/16" crushed beam would be outside the scope of generally accepted practices in my view.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    I do mention it. 1/16" crushing is not insignificant. I'm not saying it is a structural problem, but I mention anything that I think someone may be concerned about. I find that the most common cause of this condition is not necessarily excessive load, but use of relatively wet wood. Wood is far more likely to crush when the moisture content is high. I seldom see this with kiln-dried wood.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    I guess this is a good time to ponder some of the ponderables I've been pondering ... (okay, that may be a bit too many ponderings there ... )

    Kurt, the architect, was there and saw it, neither we, nor I, did, so ...

    A triple 2x10 takes a lot to crush ...
    1 - unless the wood was real wet
    2 - unless the triple 2x10 beam pieces were not squarely aligned on the bottom and top at the columns
    3 - one 2x10 projecting out from the other two would be much easier to crush - were all three crushed
    4 - were the columns set first and the beam set and built up on the columns (making 3 not as likely)
    5 - was the beam pre-built on the ground and set in place (making 3 more likely, and, yes, I've seen that done)
    6 - was a column relocated (making 3 a greater possibility)
    7 - and I am sure there potential things which 'could be/could have been' we could ponder

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I guess this is a good time to ponder some of the ponderables I've been pondering ... (okay, that may be a bit too many ponderings there ... )

    Kurt, the architect, was there and saw it, neither we, nor I, did, so ...

    A triple 2x10 takes a lot to crush ...
    1 - unless the wood was real wet
    2 - unless the triple 2x10 beam pieces were not squarely aligned on the bottom and top at the columns
    3 - one 2x10 projecting out from the other two would be much easier to crush - were all three crushed
    4 - were the columns set first and the beam set and built up on the columns (making 3 not as likely)
    5 - was the beam pre-built on the ground and set in place (making 3 more likely, and, yes, I've seen that done)
    6 - was a column relocated (making 3 a greater possibility)
    7 - and I am sure there potential things which 'could be/could have been' we could ponder
    Well ponder this; picture taken last week under manufactured home, fiber board between all piers and the full foundation wall. Buyer is letting the seller have his contractor look at it. I can only lead them to water.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Well ponder this; picture taken last week under manufactured home, fiber board between all piers and the full foundation wall. Buyer is letting the seller have his contractor look at it. I can only lead them to water.
    And they say this is not rocket science ... 'they' are probably correct too ... but it is not 'Construction For Dummies' (is there such a book?) either.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    If compression is observable and can be noticed with the naked eye, I make note of it verbally and in my report. I may not recommend any repairs but it is a condition I want the buyers to be aware of if I see it.

    If I can see it, somebody else will be able to see it. What I don't want is the buyer to take possession of the house and then have an uneducated set of eyes point it out and say "your home inspector should have told you about this".

    It will only take me an extra 20-30 seconds at most to document it in the report and it it helps eliminate a callback, that works for me.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    If compression is observable and can be noticed with the naked eye, I make note of it verbally and in my report. I may not recommend any repairs but it is a condition I want the buyers to be aware of if I see it.

    If I can see it, somebody else will be able to see it. What I don't want is the buyer to take possession of the house and then have an uneducated set of eyes point it out and say "your home inspector should have told you about this".
    That is exactly why I put quite a few things in my report. I often mention that whatever the condition happens to be that it is not, or does not appear to be a significant concern. Or I may explain why the comment was included. Some inspectors put random comments in reports and leave whoever is reading the report to try and figure out why the statement was included.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Well ponder this; picture taken last week under manufactured home, fiber board between all piers and the full foundation wall. Buyer is letting the seller have his contractor look at it. I can only lead them to water.
    I think that blocking is different than the OP's post.

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  16. #16
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    Exclamation Re: 1/16" crushing on beam, OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    it is not 'Construction For Dummies' (is there such a book?) either.
    Building your own home for dummies. (No, I haven't looked at it)


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