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For those who do not see the least bit of entertainment in the procedure called ‘structural inspection,’ we may prove to you it can be as intense as watching a world cup finale. Especially if we’re talking about the findings made by California-based Alpha Structural, Inc.

These guys have seen it all—from rotting decks to crumbling foundations, falling walls, and very ingenious “we have it at home”-type of solutions. But that’s the job of these experts who are used to running into structural disasters where instead of cement holding it all together, you get pure luck.

So buckle up and scroll down for Alpha Structural’s most recent discoveries that will make you sigh, gasp, and even emit one or two swear words. And after you’re done, be sure to check out our earlier articles about Alpha Structural, Inc. here, here, here, and here.

More info: AlphaStructural.com | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

#1

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

This is one of the craziest things that we've seen during our inspections. This owner had undermined almost the entirety of his home by digging underneath the slab and excavating around the piles. There had been a minor mudslide and they decided it would be a good idea to create more space underneath... The grade of soil used to be up to the concrete slab above. Believe it or not, the property had not yet been red-tagged.

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Hannah Edwards
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The owner must be an idiot! What did they think would hold the house up. Air?

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#3

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

Here is one of our Senior Structural Assessors, Kyle, inspecting a failed retaining wall. You can see the tie-backs used to hold the retaining wall upright didn't work out too well.

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#4

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

Pottery can be a very useful tool.

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meinespammailadresse1 avatar
A B C
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This looks like it's just a cable duct or waste water pipe, the pot is certainly not taking structural load. It's still not how you build, but this is by far not as bad as other pics in here.

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#5

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

If you don't know what termite damage looks like, here is a great example. If you notice this around your house, I would call a termite guy right away.

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#6

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

This was a crazy bridge structure we saw across from a home we inspected. Many of the supporting posts are bending as the soil erodes and the structure above begins to move.

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#7

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

Please watch your step!

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think I'd rather spontaneously evolve the ability to fly than use those stairs. Lamarck, here I come!

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#8

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

Do not jump on this deck if you enjoy living. Don’t even walk for that matter.

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Marcellus the Third
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This floors enforces social distancing AND diets... two people within six feet will surely get swallows, or any person over 200Lbs.

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#9

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The column was barely hanging together with just a small portion of the top and bottom staying connected.

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#10

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

This is a cripple wall that is bowing outward, causing movement in the units above. This is dangerous and could end in a collapse if not handled properly.

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Steve Barnett
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This needs very urgent attention given the recent building collapsing in Florida.

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#11

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

This was a home we inspected with two sets of rotted stairs and plenty of interior cracking.

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Daniel Marsh
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Thank God you guys are professionals! Us laypeople would've never guessed these stairs were unsafe! (Sarcasm meant only for silliness, not derision... I enjoy these posts much.)

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#12

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I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your piers down!

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Marcellus the Third
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"We call such piers "Morgan". However unstable he looks, however much nobody can come up with something good, he's still around."

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#13

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This was a gnarly river rock foundation that was falling apart. Some say this is a rock-solid foundation, but those people must be stoned.

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I really dig your riveting puns, but I see no concrete evidence for your complaints.

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#14

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Here we have some damage dealt to a garden wall by a local FedEx driver.

At least it exposed the wall as being fragile and hollow. We'll be proposing a new wall here that will be properly done with concrete and steel reinforcement. It does hold back a sizable slope, after all.

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#15

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

This deck system has some bad rot and we are almost ready to start the repairs! There are some beautiful views of DTLA from this home as well. Luckily it had just rained so most of the smog was cleared.

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Valley Girl
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would not count anybody above or below that deck as lucky until the job is finished

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#17

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

This pier missed the mark and is now floating. To be fair, the expansive soil caused a ton of movement and the pier began to sink a long time ago.

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#18

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

I think this is the original.

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She's smiling because every time someone opens the window it tickles her armpit.

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#19

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The concrete porch area has some major cracking and is slowing pulling away from the house.

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lara
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes, but don't think of it as a minus, because now you have drainage of unwanted fluids.

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#20

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

This failing retaining wall was bowing quite a bit and it didn't help that it was connected to a section of the basement wall. This needs some attention asap!

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#21

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

I guess the contractor who installed these didn't know left from right, or up from down.

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#22

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

Anyone want to join in on this crawl? Didn't think so.

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#23

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

Here's a rubble wall that is supposedly holding up that corner of the home. Well, that corner is now sinking since the wall holds very little structural value.

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#24

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

Some good ol' termite damage.

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TheAnimalLady
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Termites are rotten to the core. They eat away at my confidence in my home.

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#26

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

Some nasty termite damage on an old girder.

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#27

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

Here we have an eroded concrete pier that will more than likely be gone within a year or two.

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#28

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

A mousetrap was placed here just in case any of those pesky buggers managed to slip through the cracks!

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#29

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

This stilted deck has multiple rotting members holding up and you can see the warping and rotation where some of the lumber connects.

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#30

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections-Pics

"Jack-lift the house" they said. "It will be cool" they said.

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Alexandru Bucur
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well, technically, the jack has more structural value than that flimsy bit of wood. I don't know why people in the US insist on building houses like this, because this is the structural equivalent of putting high heels on your house - instead of dissipating the forces, they are concentrated in single points and you absolutely will have uneven settling sooner or later, which means that the house itself will sag differently at different points. The flexibility of wood can help mitigate this effect a bit, but it only goes so far. Besides, what's with all the untreated pine used for structural purposes? Pine is probably the wood that rots the fastest, so you're just making sure you have to replace bits all the time or have the house rot out from under you.

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Note: this post originally had 70 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.