Category Archives: Simple Forensic Methods

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

What Can We Tell from This Photograph? (Case Study 3)

Posted by in Simple Forensic Methods | September 29, 2014

  This is an exercise to develop the abilities of observation. What can one know from examining this photograph? The wood trusses are showing distress. Specifically, the members are buckling and the trusses are leaning as evidenced by the members… Read More

What Can We Tell from This Photograph? (Case Study 2)

Posted by in Simple Forensic Methods | September 22, 2014

  This is an exercise to develop the abilities of observation. What can one know from examining this photograph? The tabs with the diagonal crease (upper left of the photo), the double horizontal creases (lower center of the photo), and… Read More

What Can We Tell from This Photograph? (Case Study 1)

Posted by in Simple Forensic Methods | September 15, 2014

  This is an exercise to develop the abilities of observation.  What can one know from examining this photograph? The framing and the insulation indicate that it was taken in an attic. The color of the lumber and the use… 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

Evaluation of Concrete for Fire Damage

Posted by in Concrete, Fire Damage, Simple Forensic Methods | August 25, 2014

Just read a well-written article in Structure magazine about evaluating fire damage to concrete foundations, entitled Engineering Evaluation of Fire Damage to Concrete Foundations, by Peter Marxhausen, M.S., P.E.  Mr. Marxhausen writes about his approach to evaluating numerous concrete foundations… Read More

One of the Keys for an Engineering Investigation

Posted by in Simple Forensic Methods | May 05, 2014

In one of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson asks Mr. Holmes how he was going to be able to identify which of the suspects was lying.  Mr. Holmes answered, “We look for consistency.  Where there is a… Read More

Evaluating the History of a Leaning Garage

Posted by in Simple Forensic Methods, Wind Damage, Wood | April 28, 2014

Here are a couple tips for evaluating the history of a leaning garage. Sometimes a four foot level is helpful in measuring the lean of a garage.  Other times the lean is so obvious, no measurement is needed.    … Read More