Repair & Maintenance:
House Doctor Tip
Repairs are the
normal result of deferred maintenance. Regular caulking of window
casings outside, stops the need to replace rotted wood frames and
sometimes entire window sections. Proper maintenance of a roof reduces
the possibility of internal water damage of walls and ceilings. Proper
maintenance of tools and appliances reduces the probability of burnt out
motors and worn bearings. The list goes on and on.
It is much often easier to build a structure new than it is to correct problems in an existing structure. Building is simply a matter of following standard building practices to a final result. Repairs are not that easy! First we have to diagnose the problem. Then we can correct it. 25 years in the building inspection business gave us a very wide knowledge base of building problems and their causes. Add to this, years of building and maintenance experience on top of a college background in science and design and you have the necessary skills for this first critical step - diagnosis. Once the problem is analyzed, corrective measures are designed and put into place. Below is an example of the process.
Brick wall is falling away from the structure.
A combination of settling footings and shrinkage of the wood supports is forcing the brick outward. The downspout was probably dumping water right at the corner of the building. This super-saturation of the soil causes a reduction in the bearing strength of the soil and the structure settles.
The repair is shown below.
brick facing on this garage was loose and was falling away from the
structure. In a matter of time it would completely fall. This could be
very dangerous and would be difficult to repair. Normal repair here
would be to remove the brick and completely rebuild the facing. Often
times the rebuild does not match the existing building and looks out of
Our process did not remove the brick but reinforced it from the back side with steel supports and then pulled the stabilized brick structure back into near perfect alignment. Settling was corrected by raising the stabilized section and pouring concrete support below it.