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  1. #1
    eulalio02's Avatar
    eulalio02 Guest

    Default Is my family in danger?

    I've lived in this house for 7 years. Very recently however, i've begun to see cracks in the walls. Most occur in the corner as well as over windows frames and the door frames.

    Within the last few weeks i've seen small spaces in the floor and ceiling. I looked around for an explanation and suddenly realized i have a bowed wall.

    I've done some research with the county and this house was built before 1900. The records also show the exterior walls being veneer brick. i also looked for a cause and i believe that it might be a cracked rain gutter in that corner of the house.

    I'd like someone to take a look at the pics and tell me should i be moving my family out immediately? also what can be done to fix this? what ballpark figure will i be looking at to fix it?

    if you need more pictures of the house just let me know. i can take more where you need to see.

    -nervous young father/husband

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  2. #2
    Greg Kelly's Avatar
    Greg Kelly Guest

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    If the changes have occurred in that short of a time span then you should certainly treat it as a dangerous situation. It is difficult to be certain from the photos, but it would appear that the lateral support for the brick has failed or been compromised to some degree and is stressing the framework. The opening above and below the window air conditioner looks interesting. Was it modified structurally?
    Have a qualified contractor and/or engineer look at it ASAP. In the meantime close/fence off access to that side of the building as a precaution in the event of a collapse.

    Greg


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    St Paul, MN
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    1,628

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    I'm with Greg. Get a contractor or engineer out there ASAP.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    When a little ghost in the door is flipping you off.
    I think I would move.


  5. #5
    bill cook's Avatar
    bill cook Guest

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    Your home may be sitting on a sinkhole or a hidden decay site. I would suggest that you inspect the foundation elements to see if there is any movement there. An insurance claim may be in the offing.
    Bill Cook


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    First of all don't panic. second find someone in your area that has experince in foundations. the house is old and has settled some more. this is normal for a house that old. as to how much more it is going to settle that is why you get someone in your area to look at it. good drainage is a good defence to keeping your foundation solid. you have lived there a long time and most likely it not going to fall apart soon. look at the cracks and see are they new or been there for a while and you didn't see them. the house has been there a long time and with the proper care can be for longer too. have someone look at how the house is in structure too, if things are getting shaky and walls are moving in the wind RUN. otherwise have it checked out properly by someone in your area. we can only suggest stuff on here not check things properly via internet. )


  7. #7
    David Valley's Avatar
    David Valley Guest

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    With those type of cracks, I'd get a licensed structural engineer to evaluate (and monitor the movement) ASAP.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Michigan
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    249

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon McCarty View Post
    When a little ghost in the door is flipping you off.
    I think I would move.
    Was that in the right side window??Check that out too..

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  9. #9

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    I agree with the statement donít panic. You need to have this professional evaluated soon but If this is as you suggest a veneer wall then the danger is only falling brick to someone walking by!
    This forum could not ask all of the necessary question in order to evaluate what would take a few mimiutes on site with a professional engineer or a contractor who does structural repair work to do. Water and time can cause many issues but most will be repairable without a complete teat down. Have it evaluated so you know what to do next.

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  10. #10
    Kyle Meadows's Avatar
    Kyle Meadows Guest

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    Not to change the subject or cause you any more worry, but considering the age of the house and the apparent condition of the exterior paint, I would be concerned about the possibility of lead paint dust, especially if you have young children living in the house.
    Lead poisoning: Symptoms - MayoClinic.com
    Lead poisoning: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
    You can easily check with a home test kit like this one, available at your local hardware stores. It appears that the doors and windows are relatively new, which is good as far as lead dust is concerned.
    Lead paint exposure is not as dramatic as cracked walls and a (possibly) failing foundation, but can be quite serious. We moved out of our old house when our son was very young because of lead paint concerns, and I have no regrets. (The downside is that he's now smarter than me!)
    Good luck!

    Last edited by Kyle Meadows; 10-31-2011 at 06:09 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    3,746

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Meadows View Post
    ]....(The downside is that he's now smarter than me!)....
    Your parents likely did not know that lead paint would affect you so much.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  12. #12
    Kyle Meadows's Avatar
    Kyle Meadows Guest

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    @ Rick; No doubt. Who knows, I could have been really smart!


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Emporia, Ks.
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    Topeka, Kansas ?

    I agree, don't panic. I live in Emporia, Kansas ( 50 miles away ) and I have been in the construction/inspection business for 30 years. We have just had the driest summer in more than 50 years. Most homes in eastern Kansas are built on clay soil. Clay soil expands and contracts more than other types of soils as it becomes wet or dry. I have looked at many homes, this summer, that have had a lot of movement, both newer and older homes.

    In the short term, I would have a qualified contractor or engineer take a look at it and then continue to monitor any movement as we move into the wet time of the year.

    Hope this helps

    Howard Magathan
    Magathan Inspections
    Emporia, Kansas
    Magathan Inspections


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    Howard makes a very valid point. If the dry soil is the culprit things could move pack into position, at least partially. If this is the case, I'd be cautious about making substantial repairs prior to the soil's chance to expand again when more moisture is regained.

    Howard - I see you went through the PITI school. Hands down the best class I ever came across (1993). Too bad we have nothing like it anymore.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    Lead will make you dumber, but you don't know it because you are getting dumber.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    That's quite a bow in the wall, and your porch seems pretty distorted. That's not necessarily imminently dangerous, but if this has happened only recently I would be concerned about things like falling ceiling plaster (a danger of injury, plus the dust created from that could be more of a lead problem than flaking exterior paint, unless you have kids eating it). You might want to avoid rooms most affected until you get it looked at.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South-West Michigan
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    469

    Post Re: Is my family in danger?

    Without a site visit, it is difficult to say for sure just how recently any of these changes occurred. You might consider having a construction consultant or structural engineer do an on-site evaluation, and proceed from there.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
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    1,072

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Emporia, Ks.
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    Eric;

    Good to hear from you sir. PITI was my first inspection training class. It was a bit funny that I was using the "Big Red" inspection manual from PITI when your post came through.

    I hope all is well with you.

    With respect

    Howard Magathan
    Magathan Inspections
    Emporia, Kansas
    Magathan Inspections


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southeast Virginia, Hampton roads
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Is my family in danger?

    Not unusual to see in an antique home where shifting and settlement, frame sag and general distortion occurs over many years. Look like it's mostly on the original structure and not the addition to the right. I'm surprised it's brick veneer but it does appear that way as I see no tie bricks. It has a stone foundation which can get crumbly depending on soil conditions and mortar content. You're not in any imminent danger. Some of thse cracks may even close up as temperature and humidity rises. These cracks do warrant investigation of the foundation and girders for problems. Also be cognizent of any improper structural modifications that may have happened in the past. Maybe they removed some load bearing members going into the room addition.

    Dan
    Home inspection service in Hampton Roads Virginia

    When "functional" is not good enough, Call Final Analysis Home Inspections, Virginia Beach VA

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