We are often contacted to evaluate “Why is the garage leaning?” and “When did the lean occur?” (See the featured photo). With regard to the latter question, fortunately we have super listening powers. That is, we are able to hear what the garage is saying to anyone that will listen. In today’s popular parlance we would be called “Garage Whisperers.”
Take for example the garage in the featured photo.
We know that the garage had been leaning prior to its last painting because the paint is unbroken at the joint between the siding and the trim (Figure GW-1). If the garage leaned after the last painting there would be a separation and newly exposed wood surfaces at the joint.
We know that the garage had been leaning prior to the nailing of the fence board to the wall because there is no separation or distress at the attachment of the fence to the wall (Figures GW-2 and GW-3). Had the garage leaned after the nailing of the fence to the wall there would be broken paint and separations.
We know that the garage had been leaning prior to the painting of the fence because the overspray of the brown fence paint follows the edge of the fence board (Figure GW-3). Had the garage leaned after the fence was painted the line of overspray would lean more than the fence.
And lastly, we know that the garage had been leaning prior to the garage door track being installed (Figure GW-4). Had the garage leaned after the garage door track was installed, the lean of the door opening and the lean of the door track would be the same.
If you listen carefully to the building you are examining, you never what you will hear.