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Author Topic: Please Help! - Structural Problems  (Read 4558 times)
JanetS
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« on: March 04, 2006, 07:39:15 AM »

Help!  I bought a nice 3-storey character home in St. Catharines, and I'm remodelling it for students.  My intent, to make a MUCH better than average student home.  I may (or may not) add a basement apt., but in the meantime I'm having the basement walls parged (by a Sr. Architecture/Construction student...free rent).

Upon parging one wall he came upon a problem.  He sent me a picture, but I'm new here and don't know if there is a way to post it.  The wall seems to be an aggregate, and there appears to be a large section where it is "chunking" off, almost as if it has layers (previous repairs?).  I will be going over today to take a first hand look at it myself.

My student said that he researched the issue, and that in the cases he found, reinforcement precautions had to be taken to support the building.

This sounds MAJOR.  I'm praying it's not.

A small update:   I still haven't been over there, but have spoken to my handiman (who did see it).  We'll go over together in a few hours.

He came up with a potential solution, and I'd like to run it by here, to see if it sounds "sound".

He thought that we would fill the hole (bricks/cement/whatever works).  But, to back it up, we'd build a new support system in front of the wall (inside of the basement).  He would put a "forget what he called it, but it's a manmade product designed for support" across the width of the room, held up with four construction jacks.  He would support the construction jacks by breaking through the concrete floor, and put in a sonatube, filled with concrete, to hold the weight).  We would loose a few inches of floor space, but I've no concerns about that.  Just want to know, is this a good solution.    It isn't cheap cheap, but it is affordable (versus having heavy equipment digging outside the house...and that part of the foundations is under the sunporch (finished and heated) above, so I don't know if you could even get in there without demolishing the sunporch.

Any comments:

I cut the picture out from the email, but tried to paste it here.  Paste was not one of the options when I tried to "click/paste" it in.

With the ridiculous codes (have to install an hrv system....in an old and drafty house???), and delays due to a huge variety of reasons, this big empty house (empty since Aug) is costing me an arm and a leg, and I'm using up my rrsp's to finish it off.  (wondering how I'm going to send my kids to university if it costs much more). 

Is there anywhere I can post the picture, so that I can get some feedback, perhaps from somebody who has dealt with this same issue?

« Last Edit: March 04, 2006, 11:39:12 AM by JanetS » Logged
Rod Johnson
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2006, 01:08:53 PM »

Pictures can be posted by clicking on the ">Additional Options" link at the bottom left of your reply window. Please make sure you size the picture befor eyou up load it. Make the picture small enough that it doesn't extend past the edge of the post window. If you make a mistake, just remove the attachment, adjust its size again, then upload it.

Thanks.

PS: You should have a structural engineer view this problem. They are trained for just this sort of thing.
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JanetS
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2006, 07:10:23 AM »

Update:

The architect came by.  He alleviated my panic.  My handiman and architectural student/helper were also there.


He said that the integrity of the wall was not in question.  The hole definately must be filled (he and the guys discussed various ways to do this...all greek to me). 

Just to be safe, I asked that one construction jack be placed against the wall, under the main support beam.  It's my backup.  They agreed it wasn't necessary, but certainly wouldn't hurt anything. 

I just didn't want to "bandaid" something that was serious.

Lesson: sometimes things that look really bad aren't such a big deal afterall.  And, the converse is also true.

btw, I love your Afro smiley :mrgreen:
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