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mgbinspect

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mgbinspect last won the day on January 4 2018

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About mgbinspect

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  • Birthday 09/27/1951

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  1. I had not given that a thought, but I'm certain you are right.
  2. Recently, I was contacted by a fellow local home inspector regarding a mishap that caused significant structural damage to a solid masonry Episcopalian church in Powhatan, Virginia. The elbow joint of a bucket lift struck the side of the building and punched the masonry inward several inches sending cracks outward and upward throughout that side of the building. They wanted me to look at the damage and tell them how best to make repairs. Upon arriving, I surveyed the damage. The brickwork was punched in about two to three inches on the outside surface, but the inside wythes bulged in exponentially more as would be expected due to rotation. This inward rotation lifted up the masonry above the point of impact which caused diagonal stair-stepped cracks to radiate outward from that point. The plaster was severely cracked and had popped off in several locations. No doubt the initial impact pushed the wall in even more, but when the outside force was removed the masonry settled back down some. My first thought was to remove bricks from the center of the point of impact and hope that as this was progressively done the brickwork might close back up to leave a small repair. But, as I mulled things over in my head I concluded that, because this was lime mortar and the separation between brick and mortar was so clean, the brickwork should return to its original position with the right pressure. Exerting force to the wall from the inside or outside was out of the question because lateral force might compound the structural damage. It needed a force that would not exert lateral force to the building. I finally recommended drilling holes through the wall and drawing lumber plates together with threaded rods, washers and nuts to press the masonry back together in a vice like fashion. This approach was considered by a local licensed structural engineer who agreed that it was worth a try. I spoke with that engineer later the same day, and we agreed that we did not expect this to be 100% successful but 85% would be enough to point up re-apply plaster and go on with life. I did not hear from anyone for three weeks, so I called the fellow home inspector a couple of days ago to see how things were going. He informed me that the repairs had just been completed that same day and that it worked beautifully. All of the cracks closed up completely and the wall was straight and plumb. He sent pictures and the only disappointment I experienced was that the mortar used to point up the masonry was cementicious. But the exterior of the building was painted and the inside plastered. And the point up work was very cosmetic, so I'm thankful that everything went back together so nicely. In retrospect, I suspect that this approach might not have been the first thought to a modern masonry or general contractor, but it probably would have been for a mason back when the building was constructed. Now autogenous healing will hopefully knit things completely back together over time.
  3. Well, that's a shame. He sure kept things lively around here. Of course, I've been out of the loop for several years myself. The last I knew of Kurt's activities was when he went to China.
  4. Me either, which is why this was a curveball.
  5. What is Kurt up to these days? I don't see much activity from him here. It looks like his business is perhaps still up and running. He used to be so active here...
  6. I deduced that was probably the case as well. It was just a first for me, so I thought I'd bounce it off all you braniacs. Thanks for the input.
  7. Thanks Marc! I don't see this configuration in there, so I'll call it out as needing further evaluation. Have a great day!
  8. Back to the subject - has anyone run across this? I think it's panelized construction.
  9. (I was trying to put that together in my head as well...)
  10. Hey Tom! I reached in to determine if any of the members were taller. They were not.
  11. Yesterday, during a pre-drywall new construction inspection, I noticed that the framed window opening headers were 2 x 4's instead of 2 x 6's or 2 x 8's. The wall thickness is six inches, so there are three 2 x 4's in each header. Since this is the first time I've seen this, I wonder if any of my fellow home inspectors have run across this and found it to be an approved practice? Thanks in advance for any input.
  12. I got it, and thought it was pretty funny. But then, I just read a related recent comment,of Jim's regarding Facebook in another thread.
  13. I appreciate that, Jim! Yes, Facebook definitely has far more negative aspects than positive ones. Best wishes.
  14. I'd be interested in this as well. Please keep me in the loop.
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