Category Archives: Masonry

What Can We Tell from This Photo? (Case Study 4)

Posted by in Basements, Cracking, Masonry, Simple Forensic Methods | October 20, 2014

  This is an exercise to develop the abilities of observation. What can one know from examining this photograph? The pattern of the joints under the coating indicate that this is a concrete block wall. The coating appears to be… Read More

Some Evidences of Recent Movement

Posted by in Cracking, Masonry, Simple Forensic Methods, Wood | September 08, 2014

We are often called in to evaluate as to whether some particular damage is old or new, that is, did it occur recently as reported or has it been present and possibly progressing for years.  As experienced forensic engineers we… Read More

Bulging in a Clay Brick Wall

Posted by in Cracking, Masonry | August 18, 2014

What causes a clay brick wall to bulge outward as we see in Photo CBW-1? A bulging clay brick wall is an unexpected sight to most observers.  When one becomes aware of a bulging brick wall one is usually startled… Read More

Unbalanced Backfill & A Garage Foundation Wall

Posted by in Construction & Shortcuts, Foundations, Masonry, Soil Issues | June 16, 2014

It is not uncommon for a garage floor slab to be raised above the original grade, especially where the grade around the garage slopes down from front to back or side to side.  This hillside or sloped grade setting will… Read More

Why is My Chimney Sweating?

Posted by in Chimneys, Masonry, Roof, Winter Concerns | April 07, 2014

When the chimney and/or the framing, plaster, or drywall around it are wet, most assume that the wetness is due to a roof leak.  And, although roof leaks at chimneys are not uncommon, sometimes the wetness is due to another… Read More

What caused my brick porch pier to lean like that?

Posted by in Masonry, Soil Issues | January 20, 2014

I don’t know how many leaning porch piers we have evaluated, but I can say – “a lot!” Leaning porch piers are usually noticed by the tenant or owner of the property after a strong wind storm, a vehicle impact… Read More

When Did THIS Happen?

Posted by in Concrete, Cracking, Simple Forensic Methods | July 10, 2013

We are often asked to determine the age or the history of various structural damages.  For example, we may be asked if we can determine the age or history of cracking in a wall, driveway, floor, etc.? The age and/or… Read More

Concrete Masonry Units Are Being Made with Smaller Cross Webs – This is Better, but “On the Other Hand…”

Posted by in Masonry | February 20, 2013

It has been over a year since the American Society of Testing Materials approved ASTM C90-11 which allows thinner cross webs in concrete masonry units (CMU).  The new standard allows cross webs to be ¾ inches thick instead of 11/8 inches. … Read More