Breaking Like a KitKat Bar

Posted by in Case Studies, Soil Issues | November 05, 2019

Remember the 1990’s KitKat commercial where the chocolate bar was snapped in two?

If you don’t, you can watch it here on YouTube.

That’s what this barn in the featured photo appears to be doing in one of the sidewalls.

But why is it snapping in two?

The out-of-square door opening shows that one length of the wall is dropping more than the other length (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Out-of-square door shows wall on right has dropped relative to wall on left.

The upward bend in the bottom chord bracing shows that the walls supporting the roof trusses are dropping more that the side walls (Figure 2).

Figure 2 End of bottom chord bracing is bowed up from sidewall connection being higher than bottom chord of truss.

The separation under the siding of the side walls shows that at least one post in the sidewall is also heaving upward (Figure 3).    

Figure 3 Bottom siding boards separated from grade. Also note how siding boards on right are rotated relative to wood post indicating post has moved upward.

Conclusion:  The poles of the barn (Figure 3) are moving up or down unevenly due to earth movements.

Now go get a KitKat bar. You know you want one.