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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Raleigh
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    105

    Default Odd pier movement

    House built in 1983. Crawl space very dry and no signs that significant water entry would be an issue. Pier and curtain wall. Several step cracks in curtain wall (one on right side, one at left side and one at right rear.

    Pier at left rear has a gap in it that is more pronounced at front of pier than sides (indicating a tilt between blocks). Three piers to right of this one have very, very thin gaps in same place.

    Odd thing is that I don't see a break between mortar on piers and curtain wall. I would think an indication of movement would be noted on either the block closest to ground or the one above.

    Anyone see anything like this and what might cause be?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    2,778

    Default Re: Odd pier movement

    Shoot some pictures at us.
    We all are very visual oriented.
    Also confirms your description.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Raleigh
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    Default Re: Odd pier movement

    I meant to do just that....

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    4,549

    Default Re: Odd pier movement

    My guess is that clay soil under those piers has compacted, dried out, and the pier blocks have separated at their weakest mortar joints.
    The weight is probably being carried by the brick wall. It needs to be repaired, but I wouldn't want to speculate beyond that.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Odd pier movement

    I agree with John ... and, by the way, that duct is not supported properly either - looks like the insulation is falling too.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Raleigh
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Odd pier movement

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    My guess is that clay soil under those piers has compacted, dried out, and the pier blocks have separated at their weakest mortar joints.
    The weight is probably being carried by the brick wall. It needs to be repaired, but I wouldn't want to speculate beyond that.
    That was my guess too. I'll post back if I learn more from the buyer.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,481

    Default Re: Odd pier movement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I agree with John ... and, by the way, that duct is not supported properly either - looks like the insulation is falling too.
    Duct? Jerry, I don' see no duct! Might be too bright in my office. Late afternoon sun.

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

  8. #8
    Michael Avis's Avatar
    Michael Avis Guest

    Default Re: Odd pier movement

    The CMU was laid up flat against the brick and not dovetailed or woven into the brick in any way so it hardly qualifies as a structural pier. The bricks on top of the block were woven into the brick but at only two courses it has minimal shear strength.

    What should have happened...
    1. The CMU should bear on a footing and should have been laid within the wall
    not installed as an after thought
    2. The CMU should have had the cells filled with grout and been rodded.doweled
    3. The brick should have corbeled down at least five courses or so

    As is, this is a brick bearing wall with two concrete blocks leaning against it nothing more.

    I think what happened is that as the house settled the brick on top of the block pushed down on the block and actually rolled it like a hinge (the gap is bigger on the outside than against the brick) until the brick above reached its limit and snapped.


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