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Foundation bracing help.


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100 year old home. Obvious wall failure that, according to my clients, had been repaired(pinned?). They were told that the metal bracket would need to be tightened monthly. According to my client, the company that did the install, states in their paperwork that they are not structural engineers and that it is up to the client to get that "inspection" if desired.

I personally don't know enough about this type of system(first time in 10 years seeing this) to make an educated call to my clients. I do however feel that the services of a structural engineer would a good thing.

Any recommendations/advice on this one?

Update: The system is called Grip-Tite Wall Anchor System.

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Hi Rob,

Well, I think calling for an engineer is the right call; although I don't think the client will get much out of it. I can imagine the engineer saying something like, "Well, what they've done might be just fine or it might not; without seeing exactly what they've done here and why they've done it, I can't be absolutely certain."

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

P.S.

I wonder what tightening that nut is designed to do every month with that kind of pressure on the other side of that wall? Strip the threads? Snap off the threaded rod? Bend that plate?

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The 'tightening' instruction tells me the contractor figures the anchors are going to pull the wall into place over a period of time but if you do a little simple reasoning, it doesn't make sense. Which has a greater surface area exposed to the earth, the anchor or the foundation wall?

That wall is likely to move the anchor, not vice versa.

It goes in my trash bin until such time that a track record shows otherwise.

I wouldn't waste the client's money by deferring to an engineer. Plenty of proven methods exist. They just more expensive.

Marc

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Why would anyone spend money for a company to design and install a structural repair when their paperwork states that they are not qualified to evaluate the structure? The logical process is to hire a qualified professional to first design a structural repair and then have the contractor follow a plan.

I recently performed a home inspection and reported that there was some termite damage that needed to be further evaluated and repaired. On the advice of the selling real estate agent, the seller hired a framing contractor to fix the damage but then the contractor refused to provide paperwork that they did a proper repair. This raised questions about the quality of work and the bank would not let my client close on the house until an engineer certified the work. The seller hired an engineer but he did not like the work done so it all had to be removed and replaced with a different repair. In the end it cost the seller an extra four thousand dollars.

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After watching folks trying to repair these things for a couple decades, I've determined there isn't any fix outside of replacing the wall.

Years ago, pinning was the accepted method. I've seen a some of these on return visits a couple decades later, and the pins are always bent and moving.

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I call those plate reinforcements "earth anchors," and if my eyes are correct the foundation does not look like the problem. However, the knee wall above it has scissored and that looks dangerous.

I would tell my client that my license prohibits me from telling them not to buy the house but as a friend and consultant my opinion is walk away. Don't waste your money on a structural engineer.

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Robert,

If it's becoming a stick one, you could consider having the client contact Robbins & Company. They've been around for half a century. It's a family owned business. Family members who grew up in the business went off to college, got degreed as engineers and now work for the company.

Foundation problems are their stock in trade.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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If the anchors are buried out in the soil that might just be creeping like a slo-mo tsunami pushing the wall in front of it, how is tighteneing supposed to help?

I saw a proper repair on one of these and it looked great underneath, but the front yard was caving due to a hurry-up on the backfill.

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