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  1. #1
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    Default Foundation consists of two different sized block walls.

    The foundation consists of two different sized block walls. The right angle area at the offset does not have mortar filled in. Anyone have a code reference I can paraphrase? Also, what do you say about it?234-1.JPG

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Foundation consists of two different sized block walls.

    Is that a short CMU wall on top of an un-grouted stem wall?
    On top of a footing, I imagine? Any reinforcement steel visible?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Foundation consists of two different sized block walls.

    From ACI 530 (I don't recall the section number): face shells shall be fully bedded.

    The reason is that the load on concrete block walls is carried down through the face shells, thus the face shells are required to be fully bedded in the mortar bed ... which is no possible when there is no mortar bed under the face shells going across the open cells below. Which means that the course below needs to be fully grouted, and quite likely, that fully grouted is for the two courses below it (I am basing that two courses below being fully grouted on the fact that when the face shells overhang the edge of a slab, the engineered fix is always to fully grout the two bottom courses of the wall which is resting on the slab but overhanging the slab - there must be a reason why that is what all of the engineers have designed when that arises).

    Jerry Peck
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Foundation consists of two different sized block walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    From ACI 530 (I don't recall the section number): face shells shall be fully bedded.
    The photo shows something that I've never run across. For my clarification, it appears that the face shells of the smaller upper course are grouted to the lower course, so does the photo show a problem needing remedy?


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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Foundation consists of two different sized block walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    The photo shows something that I've never run across. For my clarification, it appears that the face shells of the smaller upper course are grouted to the lower course, so does the photo show a problem needing remedy?
    The photo shows that the face shells of the smaller blocks of the upper course are set in mortar on the webs of the larger blocks of the lower course.

    The requirement is that the face shells shall be fully bedded.

    The only way to fully bed the face shells of the smaller blocks of the upper course is to fill the cells of the larger blocks of the lower course to that that face shells of the upper blocks are fully bedded (set in full bed of mortar) on the filled cells of the lower course ... not just set in mortar on the webs of the lower course.

    Zoom in on the photo and you can see the light and shadows going down into the hollow cells of the lower course, you will also see the hollow/empty space between the upper course and the lower course where the mortar would be if the face shells were fully bedded.

    The wall constructed of larger blocks on the footing, and with smaller blocks offset from center (exterior face shells aligned, which appears to be the case in the photo), creates an eccentrically loaded footing ... which is not good ... unless the footing was designed for the eccentric load (such as making the footing wider to the side of the wall where the smaller blocks have their face shells aligned with the face shells of the larger block below - but that footing would not be visible or known to the inspector unless the inspector was doing a different type of inspection and digging out the other side of the footing to determine is size and depth ... and that should be left to the engineer to do who is documenting that the footing was designed for the eccentric load).

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 01-18-2020 at 12:14 PM. Reason: speelin'
    Jerry Peck
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Foundation consists of two different sized block walls.

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Foundation consists of two different sized block walls.

    Are there any signs of structural defects? From a home inspection stand point, is this truly a defect needed to be reported with recommendation for repairs?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Foundation consists of two different sized block walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Stephans View Post
    Are there any signs of structural defects?
    That IS "A structural defect" ... unless one only considers it a structural defect after it has fallen ... in which case it may also be a criminal defect for causing injuries/deaths.

    From a home inspection stand point, is this truly a defect needed to be reported with recommendation for repairs?
    That's what home inspectors are hired for - to advise their clients of things like that.

    Jerry Peck
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Foundation consists of two different sized block walls.

    Questions I would ask are: How old is the house, how many stories, are windows/doors out of plumb, is there any walls / ceilings with major cracks? Is there current foundation damage? These are all indications if the system isn't functional. Is this typical construction for the area?

    In my area I rarely see CMU blocks. When I do its full basements so this detail of construction isn't viewed so your input is helpful.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Foundation consists of two different sized block walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Stephans View Post
    Questions I would ask are: How old is the house, how many stories, are windows/doors out of plumb, is there any walls / ceilings with major cracks? Is there current foundation damage? These are all indications if the system isn't functional. Is this typical construction for the area?

    In my area I rarely see CMU blocks. When I do its full basements so this detail of construction isn't viewed so your input is helpful.
    Even if the foundation is supporting the house without evidence of failures, we should report that it was incorrectly/improperly constructed.

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