30 Engineering ‘Nightmares’ And ‘Miracles’ Discovered During Structural Inspections By This Company
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.
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.
Somebody was preparing for the zombie apocalypse or something!
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.
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.
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.
Do not jump on this deck if you enjoy living. Don’t even walk for that matter.
The column was barely hanging together with just a small portion of the top and bottom staying connected.
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.
This was a home we inspected with two sets of rotted stairs and plenty of interior cracking.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The concrete porch area has some major cracking and is slowing pulling away from the house.
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!
I guess the contractor who installed these didn't know left from right, or up from down.
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.
Some good ol' termite damage.
Here we have an eroded concrete pier that will more than likely be gone within a year or two.
A mousetrap was placed here just in case any of those pesky buggers managed to slip through the cracks!
This stilted deck has multiple rotting members holding up and you can see the warping and rotation where some of the lumber connects.