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  1. #1
    Helen White's Avatar
    Helen White Guest

    Default middle (3-car) garage wall (column) shifted outward (CMU blocks)

    Dear all,

    while looking for a house, we found something we liked, but... The middle wall/column of its 3-car-garage appears to be pushed outward, at the height of 1 CMU block above floor.
    Like, the car bumped into it and pushed the blocks out? [alternatively, at some point the driveway slabs were raised by pouring concrete under - can this be it?]

    There were no major visible horizontal crack between the layers, though, as I would expect if two layers shifted relative to each other. Other than that, the garage walls do not have other visible cracks. The garage itself is 36' wide, and this narrow wall would be between 2 and 1 car-wide doors.

    What else can this be? How serious this is? Can there be damage to the garage foundation (or how likely)? What about the rest of the foundation/basement [behind the garage]?
    Any other considerations we are missing?

    Thank you in advance for the answers/suggestions!!!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: middle (3-car) garage wall (column) shifted outward (CMU blocks)

    Yes, someone drove into the wall and moved it.
    Wall coverings would have to be removed to see fully but I have seen that a few times before.
    Not something to tackle on your own.
    Wall must be temporarily supported to allow the wall to be moved back into place.
    Also possible the wall was never pinned properly to the footing which would cause removal and rebuilding.
    Get a good contractor out to give you estimates on repair.
    Don't assume it will never move again.
    And install another steel lally column on the inside after you finish.
    Just in case you back into it in the future.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: middle (3-car) garage wall (column) shifted outward (CMU blocks)

    looking closer at thepics, it doesnt look like tghe block wall moved, just the door frames, much easier to fix, still need the contractor


  4. #4
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    Default Re: middle (3-car) garage wall (column) shifted outward (CMU blocks)

    and why didn't you hire a home inspector?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: middle (3-car) garage wall (column) shifted outward (CMU blocks)

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    looking closer at thepics, it doesnt look like tghe block wall moved, just the door frames, much easier to fix, still need the contractor
    Wayne,

    I zoomed in on it and can see where the edge of the mortar is aligned with the block below, and where there is a ledge on top of the mortar where the block above it has been pushed back.

    *IF* that has the steel in it that it should have, that may not be too big of a problem, but knowing that many people either to not put steel in there, or they pull it out after inspections, the entire column is suspect anyway - as are all columns which do not have steel in them. If there was steel in that column, and it was filled solid as it should be, I doubt that block would have moved as much as it did - which leads me to suspect there is no steel in there and it is not filled solid.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 11-19-2011 at 09:31 AM. Reason: changed "soil" to "solid"
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: middle (3-car) garage wall (column) shifted outward (CMU blocks)

    There is possibly a lot of water from the roof accumulating in that area. Much algae growing on the concrete in the area.

    I am thinking frost heave prior to the concrete driveway being poured.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: middle (3-car) garage wall (column) shifted outward (CMU blocks)

    Yes Jerry, I suspect the same.
    garage is a grey area with too many different chefs
    I have seen many center walls pushed out with no steel, no solid fill and no pinning.


  8. #8
    Mike of MHI's Avatar
    Mike of MHI Guest

    Default Re: middle (3-car) garage wall (column) shifted outward (CMU blocks)

    Guys, look real close at the first picture. The cmu appears to be cracked, and the crack continues up to the top course. I would feel confident in saying this was car damage. Jerry is correct in saying it is probably not reinforced. Most masons will not rebar this and probably just filled the corner with mortar.

    When you have it fixed, insist on having the entire column grouted and pinned with rebar.

    Wayne I think you mean Bollards?


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