Category Archives: Simple Forensic Methods

Old Fracture or New Fracture?

Posted by in Simple Forensic Methods, Wood | May 04, 2020

Roof framing that has been exposed to a substantial weight of ice and snow exhibits fractures (see the featured photograph).  Were the fractures caused by the recent accumulation of ice and snow?  How can the history (age) of a wood… Read More

Creasing: Is It from Wind or Hand Lifting?

Posted by in Shingles, Simple Forensic Methods, Wind Damage | December 02, 2019

Multiple lines of creases in the height of a tab often raise suspicion that the damage has been due to hand lifting, that is, intentional damage.  But, that is not true.  There is more to consider.  If the multiple lines… Read More

Threshold Vehicle Impact Damage

Posted by in Simple Forensic Methods, Vehicle Impact Damage | July 15, 2019

Most damage to a building resulting from a vehicle impact is relatively obvious because it is so severe; however, as the severity of the damage diminishes at distances farther from the point of the impact discerning vehicle impact damage from… Read More

What Can We Tell From These Photos? (Case Study 19)

Posted by in Case Studies, Roof, Simple Forensic Methods, Wood | May 13, 2019

The roof surface exhibits a deep trough near scupper through which the roof drains. The roof runoff can’t drain off the roof until it fills and overflows the trough. The trough has been present for months, as evidenced by the… Read More

What Can We Tell from This Photo? (Case Study 17)

Posted by in Impact Damage, Simple Forensic Methods | August 13, 2018

What can we tell from this photograph? This photograph was taken at the base of a wall in a hallway. The vertical and horizontal cracking exhibit sharp edges and relatively clean fracture surfaces indicating that they occurred recently. The horizontal… Read More

What Happened Here?

Posted by in Roof, Shingles, Simple Forensic Methods, Winter Concerns | July 17, 2017

The shingles along the eave of roof exhibit broken and dislodged tabs and surface gouges (Figure 1). What could have caused this?  Vigorous ice removal. The damage is along an area that was reportedly covered with ice (see featured photograph).… Read More

Quickly Identifying Unsealed Shingle Tabs

Posted by in Roof, Shingles, Simple Forensic Methods | June 19, 2017

Here is a quick and easy method to identify unsealed, partially unsealed, or poorly bonded shingle tabs or shingle strips.  But I must warn you, “DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT THE RISK OF… Read More

Wow! What Did That Look Like Before It Fell?

Posted by in Simple Forensic Methods | July 18, 2016

That’s a statement that we usually think when we see a collapse.  Through the wonders of technology we can now often find an answer. In this case, we were able to view the porch roof a year or so prior… Read More