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Recommend IR Scan? - Split-face Block


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I inspected a split faced block Chicago three flat today. 1997. There were not any signs of moisture at the interior drywall except at two glass block windows. There was only one place where I could see the I-joist sitting in the wall and the web looked a little dark but the flange had no stains that I could see. It was hard to see. I could not get close to it. It looks like the joist is grouted into the wall.

There were some moisture issues above a couple of glass block windows. I'm sure this is because of flashing problems and I'm not overly concerned. With these split face walls I am always more concerned with how the joists are sitting in the outside walls.

The interior paint job did not look fresh so I don't think anyone is trying to hide anything. Would an IR scan of the interior be a good recommendation? It has been pretty cold out. 20 F or<.

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I inspected a split faced block Chicago three flat today. 1997. There were not any signs of moisture at the interior drywall accept at two glass block windows. There was only one place where I could see the I-joist sitting in the wall and the web looked a little dark but the flange had no stains that I could see. It was hard to see. I could not get close to it. It looks like the joist is grouted into the wall.

There were some moisture issues above a couple of glass block windows. I'm sure this is because of flashing problems and I'm not overly concerned. With these split face walls I am always more concerned with how the joists are sitting in the outside walls.

The interior paint job did not look fresh so I don't think anyone is trying to hide anything. Would an IR scan of the interior be a good recommendation? It has been pretty cold out. 20 F or<.

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After I scare the crap out of clients about the history of split-face block, and after they search the web re: same per my recommendation, I've NEVER had a client buy the condo.

No, I don't recommend an IR that might sell false piece of mind.

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Steve Hier, Bob Kelly, and myself have opened up more of these than anyone else I know. We've never found one that didn't have some water somewhere. Not a one.

I could show you how it is literally impossible to get the flashing details on these buildings correct; can't happen. There's no way to get the back dams and end dams right. Water always gets in the cores, and lacking dams, it can move anywhere, usually to the interior.

The glass block should have a lintel; contrary to popular opinion, glass block isn't structural/load bearing. There's always problems around the glass block. Always.

No capillary break on the joist means it will absorb moisture regardless. Sometimes very minor, but it will absorb water. Water and tree farm punk joists means rot.

The one small area looks OK, but it's one small area. In 1997, they were all getting built like crap, so, who knows?

Some years ago, I and Kelly thought it would be a great business to get into split face block renovation....I got tired of that pretty quick, as the inevitable result was always building owners that were mad because we couldn't come up with a silver bullet fix. I grudgingly concede that some of them work OK, and I have no idea why.

IR scanning isn't going to show you anything this time of year. Maybe, but probably not.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm new to the forum

I looked at one sfb last week for a new client. He needed a $ to negotiate the sale. Asking price $1.1 The house looked surprisingly good except for a water stain in second floor closet. Then we went to the unfinished garage: identical construction and modac coating. It was a soaker! About 120k to fix.

I reminded him they didn't give the house to the good crew and the garage to the apprentice

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