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Missing expansion joint


Danny Pritchard
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I'm curious as to how the rest of you would report the lack of an expansion joint at the 2nd floor.This is a 5 year old home with concrete block at the 1st level and wood framing above.At the left side corner the builder has separated the stucco between floors but at the front there is no separation.The wall around the window has numerous cracks.

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Architectural details indicate they should have installed one. I see this all the time, and most of the time it has never created a significant problem. But, I've also done 3 expert witness cases (1 on a local TV show with an investigative reporter) where the joints were not present, and it cost the owner over $40,000 in repairs, mold clean-up, etc.

By the time the house makes it to 5-7 years with no significant problems you're usually safe, but..................

Dan Bowers (Kansas City)

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What Rambo said.

It should be there, but I see them all the time when they aren't, and things are usually fine. Sometimes there are problems.

If there is a problem, & you go to court over it, the expert witness will say there should be an expansion joint. You will lose.

Tell the client that there should be an expansion joint, w/appropriate comments regarding what happens if you don't have one.

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Originally posted by Danny Pritchard

I'm curious as to how the rest of you would report the lack of an expansion joint at the 2nd floor.This is a 5 year old home with concrete block at the 1st level and wood framing above.At the left side corner the builder has separated the stucco between floors but at the front there is no separation.The wall around the window has numerous cracks.

The main issue with this will be water penetration. When water inevitably leaks behind the stucco over wood frame, how does it get out?

It doesn't. I've seen several houses where this condition has caused structural damage, water inside the house and the dreaded M word. It's a fundamental flaw.

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