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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Muncie, Indiana
    Posts
    78

    Question If it looks wrong...

    Did an inspection recently to evaluate structural repairs to a block wall foundation wall system.
    They did a combination of steel i beams supported by the floor joists and in 6 locations carbon fiber.
    Please give some input to the position of the I beams.
    I have never seen repairs of this type that did not use the flange side for the load. Also there is a single point of contact with the leaning wall while I typically have seen the gaps filled with conrete for support on the entire wall system.

    They installed a perimeter drain system in the floor to a sump and on the outside dug down 3 ft with gravel and field tile to a dry well. Nothing was done to educate them to the fact that overflowing gutters and negative slope won't cause more problems in the future.
    I appreciate your input.
    Seems like while it may reduce the basement water entry (or just channel it to the drain, they wasted the full use of their basement in finishing it out and will cause problems when they sell their home.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: If it looks wrong...

    "to evaluate structural repairs"

    A) What did the engineering design show as being required?

    B) Did the installation match that shown in the engineering drawings?

    If B) is yes, then ... The installation appeared to match the engineering design - have engineer provide a signed and sealed engineering letter stating that the work matches the engineering design and is approved by the engineer.

    If B) is no, then ... The installation did not match the the engineering design - contractor to correct work or have engineer provide signed and sealed as-built engineering approving the work as-built.

    C) Provide the engineering design and the engineering acceptance letters to the AHJ to be filed with the permit ... there was a permit, right?

    No way am I going "to evaluate structural repairs" and become the responsible party - I will be laying that back on the engineer who will be providing signed and sealed engineering for it.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,445

    Default Re: If it looks wrong...

    What Jerry said.
    I have never seen carbon fiber repairs that wide. They usually use fairly narrow strips here.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: If it looks wrong...

    If they did not have any engineering input, as an engineer I would say that it is wrong.

    If they had an engineer's plan, does it follow the plan?

    I'm sure that carbon fiber strips can work, but I don't typically like them. If you strengthen the wall properly to eliminate failure by bowing, then you can have a shear failure at the top of bottom of the wall. Few installations address that.

    I believe the wide strips are fiberglass instead of carbon fiber. Its been a while since I looked into this. Manufacturers of carbon fiber or fiberglass repair systems have requirements regarding the acceptable amount of bowing that can be present when the strips are installed. In one photo the amount of bowing may be more than permitted.

    I have designed repairs with steel I-beams, but I have more often used rectangular steel tubing. I have not idea why they turned one I-beam the wrong way. The beam still has some strength, but the strength is greatly reduced. I always specify grouting between the wall and the beam. I also specify elastomeric flashing between the steel and the grout to minimize the potential for corrosion. I typically use a steel baseplate and use flashing there also.

    I never space beams more than 4 feet on center. You can get away with possibly up to 8 feet, but the reactions get so large that it becomes impossible to secure the beams properly at the top or bottom. If you have clay soil the design reactions at the top at 4 feet on center can be in the range of about 2000 to 4000 pounds. It takes a lot of fasteners or well designed connections and bracing to transfer these forces to the floor system.

    I have concerns with that installation, and unless you are an engineer and want to verify the calculations and installation details, I would not suggest commenting on the adequacy of the repair.

    As a side note, I was called out to look at wall reinforcing recently performed by a mason. He installed block pilasters against the foundation wall. The cores were filled and he said there was a #8 rebar in each core. Of course, I could not tell if that was true. Even then, The pilasters did not have the required strength. The best part was that the support at the top was a 2x4 attached to two floor joists with one deck screw into each joist.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Muncie, Indiana
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: If it looks wrong...

    Thanks for the replies.
    You all bring up good points concerning an engineers plan and execution of plan. In this case I don't believe this company provided such plans or even permited the work to be done. That is the first question I asked and was told there were several trips made by different people in the company deciding the best course of action.
    Many times that is the way it is in small town Indiana, population under 1300 people.

    I do not have a dog in the hunt so to speak because I am doing this for a good friend and am not making an official report out of it. He just wanted my opinion on whether to pursue further actions.

    I have suggested he contact the local building authority and go down that road because they told his mom that they would be getting all necessary permits for the work. They also had trouble throughout the process with their workers being dependable and even showing up with tools to perform their job.
    There are just too many things that don't look right and wanted some clarification to see if I was looking at them correctly.
    I too have normally seen rectangular tubing in this scenario and questioned the positioning of the I beams. I also questioned the positioning and width of the carbon fiber (which is what they were told it was) since the wall is out of plumb more than 2 inches. They charged them $1k per strip for the carbon fiber. They also failed to uncover two walls with paneling which I think would have revealed mor defects requiring repair.
    I told my friend to pursue bringing in qualified people to make it an official inquiry because there were too many things that didn't add up.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: If it looks wrong...

    In my area waterproofing contractors who perform structural repairs (and it seems that many are getting into doing structural repairs) are performed without engineering guidance, whether recommended or required by the companies supplying the repair method, or some method of their own.

    A couple years ago I had to design repairs for a foundation wall that was just repaired by a waterproofing contractor because the method he used was inadequate. He certified the work himself by writing a letter and stamping it with his corporate seal.

    Bottom line is that if an engineer did not design and sign off on the work, then it is suspect and probably does not comply with code.


  7. #7

    Default Re: If it looks wrong...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Gainey View Post
    Thanks for the replies.
    You all bring up good points concerning an engineers plan and execution of plan. In this case I don't believe this company provided such plans or even permited the work to be done. That is the first question I asked and was told there were several trips made by different people in the company deciding the best course of action.
    Many times that is the way it is in small town Indiana, population under 1300 people.

    I do not have a dog in the hunt so to speak because I am doing this for a good friend and am not making an official report out of it. He just wanted my opinion on whether to pursue further actions.

    I have suggested he contact the local building authority and go down that road because they told his mom that they would be getting all necessary permits for the work. They also had trouble throughout the process with their workers being dependable and even showing up with tools to perform their job.
    There are just too many things that don't look right and wanted some clarification to see if I was looking at them correctly.
    I too have normally seen rectangular tubing in this scenario and questioned the positioning of the I beams. I also questioned the positioning and width of the carbon fiber (which is what they were told it was) since the wall is out of plumb more than 2 inches. They charged them $1k per strip for the carbon fiber. They also failed to uncover two walls with paneling which I think would have revealed mor defects requiring repair.
    I told my friend to pursue bringing in qualified people to make it an official inquiry because there were too many things that didn't add up.
    Then I would strongly advise, (demand), that your friend get engineering from the contractor who performed the repairs, and if there were none, hire an engineer to visit the site and provide an Engineering Analysis of the repairs.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,243

    Default Re: If it looks wrong...

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffGHooper View Post
    Then I would strongly advise, (demand), ...
    I like your use of "strongly advise, (demand)" as we can ... 'insist', 'demand', and 'yell, kick and scream', but what we cannot do is "require" ... we have to do our best to make sure they understand the need to follow 'our advice' ... then we need to be able to walk away ... letting them do as they will or will not do.

    See that tornado out there coming this way? My advice is to take cover as quickly as possible ...

    But we can't make them do it.

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

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