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Bow in foundation wall  XML
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Kevin Moore
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Joined: 06/18/2014 08:58 PM EDT
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Had a CMU foundation wall today with a 4" bow in the middle. The owner had a engineers report saying it was ok and prob do to the old coal trucks. The wall looked like it was about to cave in at any time. Anyone else run into this type of issue with the engineers report?

Kevin Moore
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Philo
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Actually, very recently. There as a foundation repair, with an engineer's post-repair "blessing." Good enough for me; move on. If I thought it was going to be a problem, would have suggested (not recommended,) they get another opinion.

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Dan Hagman
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Kevin, a 4" bow is massive. Did you put a laser on it to verify? Zero to 1/2" bow has not effected the structural integrity of the wall, 1/2 to 2" it is recommend that the wall be shored up by a basement foundation professional and anything over 2" there is discussion on replacing the wall. That info was from a structural engineer and foundation professional.
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Cameron Anderson
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Kevin Moore wrote:Had a CMU foundation wall today with a 4" bow in the middle. The owner had a engineers report saying it was ok and prob do to the old coal trucks. The wall looked like it was about to cave in at any time. Anyone else run into this type of issue with the engineers report?

Sounds like nonsense to me. If indeed the measured bow is 4 inches, then I would want to see the report, see the engineer's letterhead and his signature at the bottom of it. Then I would recommend the client contact the engineer for a review and a second foundation specialist for an additional opinion.

We have a low-quality contractor in our area who is also a home inspector and is regularly called out by agents to provide rebuttal opinions on behalf of sellers. There have been many times where he is referred to as a "qualified expert" and even once a seller referred to him as an engineer. When pressed, the sellers and/or their agent finally admit who their "expert" actually is. He has never once provided his opinion in written form with a signature. All that to say, just be sure you are getting accurate and proven information from the seller.

Cameron Anderson
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Kevin Moore
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Joined: 06/18/2014 08:58 PM EDT
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Cameron Anderson wrote:
Kevin Moore wrote:Had a CMU foundation wall today with a 4" bow in the middle. The owner had a engineers report saying it was ok and prob do to the old coal trucks. The wall looked like it was about to cave in at any time. Anyone else run into this type of issue with the engineers report?

Sounds like nonsense to me. If indeed the measured bow is 4 inches, then I would want to see the report, see the engineer's letterhead and his signature at the bottom of it. Then I would recommend the client contact the engineer for a review and a second foundation specialist for an additional opinion.

We have a low-quality contractor in our area who is also a home inspector and is regularly called out by agents to provide rebuttal opinions on behalf of sellers. There have been many times where he is referred to as a "qualified expert" and even once a seller referred to him as an engineer. When pressed, the sellers and/or their agent finally admit who their "expert" actually is. He has never once provided his opinion in written form with a signature. All that to say, just be sure you are getting accurate and proven information from the seller.


I did see the report and it was from a well known engineer with a good reputation. I didnt agree with it but the report was on site. I didnt follow up as the client stopped the inspection and backed out of the deal.

Kevin Moore
HomeChex
Radonpro Inc
www.buffalo-home-inspector.com
www.radonaid.com
(716)418-0694
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Cameron Anderson
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Joined: 09/27/2014 09:37 AM EDT
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Location: Peoria, IL
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That's pretty amazing. Maybe he was an electrical engineer.

Cameron Anderson
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jeff32@satx.rr.com
Maverick

Joined: 12/05/2014 10:07 AM EST
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
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Lots of things with this, I very seldom put much weight in the majority of engineers reports I see. Many of them are very inaccurate due to a lack of attention to detail. ( a few exceptions by a handful of engineers)

When it comes to real estate transactions huge numbers that reside in this type of work are whores and are there to stroke the deal. It also depends on who they are working for when working for the seller they will tend to say that it's supporting the loads the structure, really we all couldn't see that??? But what's it going to do in the long haul??? When the seller or realtor hands me these types I ussually make a comment like thank god I don't want to get hit by a piece of falling house while I'm here lol.

You have to read this things very well, just this afternoon I was talking to the plaintiffs attorney on a case I'm working and he read me an engineers report, as im explaining what the report said I told him an attorney has nothing on writing bullshit like an engineer. Often there will be very inaccurate info in their letter, they will put wording like the foundation is supporting the structure and should continue to do so as long it does not fail, really???? He'll Stevie wonder could look at it and make that determination. Sometimes the will say the foundation is supporting the super structure but if it keeps moving it may require underpinning, the problem is the buyer is only shown the perrigraph stating its supporting the structure, this doesn't mean it supporting well now does it.

For the Dallas guy saying the engineer looked at it basically move on, this is just bad advice, if said it before and I'll say it again, we are professionals and we should act like it!!!! If my client is ill advised I will interject my expertise, remember the engineer only paid more for his education and may not know anymore than you.

If you are a buyer than often you will get a totally different report from the industry whores, same problem just have gotten paid by a different party so now it's a different answer, these engineers don't worry about the litigation side due to the fact it's only opinion in which you generally have no recourse for an oppinion.

Now to the problem of the bow, the bow is no more than a math apical equation that can be dissected a couple of different ways, the wall deflection of material is measured at L/360, basically 1" of deflection in 360". Now most engineers will recognize a wall or slab that is 1% out of level will generally require repairs, at 2% some areas may even condem the structure UNTILL repaired. Now each case can be slightly different and the 1-2% can be moved ever so slightly depending on other factors. This wall sounds like it's around 4% out of level???

Do yourself a favor and your client a favor don't put yourself at the level of a whorish industry, write what you see and explain the facts to your clients, you be the professional and let them decide who they choose to listen too.

For the handful of great engineers this is not intended for you, for your whores this is for you, good god clean your whorish industry up and be a professional!!!!!

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