Who could've thought that photos from structural inspections can be as intense as a Hitchcock movie? Well, Alpha Structural, Inc., that's who.
The company specializes in advanced hillside foundation repair and are mainly called to inspect when buildings are facing issues such as sloping floors, failed retaining walls, etc. And the photos they come back with from these sites are absolute nail-biters.
Rotting decks. Crumbling foundations supported by screw jacks. These experts constantly run into disasters in the making and watching their pictures, you can't help but ask yourself, "How long will it hold?"
This was a property built in the late 1940s by a guy who used to build barracks for the US Army. The home was sitting on metal I-beams and they were supported by large concrete piles. The home hasn't moved an inch since being built. Very interesting and impressive!
Usually, homeowners have a feeling when there's something wrong with their building but aren't really aware of the scope of the problem. "A majority of people know something is wrong but they are often oblivious to the reason behind the issues or the severity of the situation," an Alpha Structural, Inc. spokesperson told Bored Panda.
The representative for the LA-based company said they advise roughly 10-15% of the property owners that hire them to provide their buildings immediate attention. Although, they inspect over 100 properties a week so that number can vary week to week.
I am assuming a big rock fan lived down here!
However, not everyone listens. "We've definitely inspected properties that should have been demolished too, though they never take our advice on that particular issue."
Alpha Structural, Inc. also shared exciting news: they're expanding to Orange County this November! So follow them on Instagram and Facebook for their cool content which we should be seeing more of soon.
A car jack used as a subfloor support underneath a home. Classic!
You know your hillside has significantly eroded when the concrete pad which was once embedded into the ground is now dangling a foot in the air.
We always seem to find very old but interesting items when working under homes in LA. Some stuff here dates back to the very early 1900s!
This is the result of a creeping hillside and shallow pile placement.
As the hillside slowly moves down or "creeps", the concrete piles, retaining walls and their footings begin to go down with it. This is why proper bearing material should be reached for all supporting systems on a hillside. Some places only require 5 feet down, others require 45+ feet down. It is imperative to get the proper depth!
This is one of those houses you don't want to be under for a very long time... All of the cripple walls and post and piers were tilting and the house was a solid wind gust away from collapsing. We really don't know how it didn't collapse in the last earthquake here in LA. There's one thing for sure, it probably will in the next one.
Here's one of the corners of the home. This place is a ticking time bomb.
Almost all of the concrete piers under this home were in this condition. One solid kick and they would all be toast! They need a good replacement.
We have inspected this home a few times. It's a vacant lot, currently up for sale.
It has been like this for quite some time and should somebody buy the property, they would be in for a nice replacement project.
Here's the side of the home where you can see a decently sized crack separating the failed and stable areas.
Nature is taking over where this retaining wall has cracked and displaced.
A post barely hanging on and probably not doing a very good job at supporting the subfloor. The soil in the back can be seen to be very high in clay content. This is also called expansive soil and is riddled across LA County.
That old tree trunk seems to be the main support at this point.
This is a hillside deck supported by a few concrete piles with spall damage. It also appears that there were hollow spots after the poor and it was never repaired.
No marble test needed on this one. Now that's some sloping floors.
The heart of a termite den, once occupied by a colony of the little home destroyers.
When we do soft-story retrofitting, we often add exploratory demo to our engineering phase. This ensures that we know exactly what needs to be done and how to engineer it. This is the reason why!
The stucco guy on this retrofit project called this "a done". I don't know about you, but that doesn't look like "a done" to me.
Strap the gap and that's a wrap. I made that up. Feel free to use it.
This was an area of a hillside home that was not being retained by an actual retaining wall. There was a wooden fence holding back the stone and dirt and it eventually gave way when too much pressure built up. Neighbors said it sounded like gunshots when the nails started popping out of the fence as it fell.
Mother Nature will always win eventually. I'm no tree or electrical expert, but I assume this is a fire hazard.
This is a massive crack in the middle of Route 95 in Nevada after the recent 6.5 magnitude earthquake.
Classic LA post and pier.
It's gotten so bad that even the brick and cement patio is caving in where the once sturdy deck supports were.
Luckily, all of these posts are treated but they all touch dirt!
This is truly a roller coaster ride looking at this joist support. Who wants to take a guess at the cause?
The concept of cripple walls doesn't seem to penetrate some people's minds. If a decently size earthquake struck near here, the house would likely fall off the foundation.
A few of the piles supporting this hillside deck are beginning to lean over, which will eventually cause some serious structural issues!
Note: this post originally had 179 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.