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?"

After you're done scrolling, check out Bored Panda's earlier articles about Alpha Structural, Inc. here, here, here, and here.

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

#1

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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!

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Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

Nice to see a house not in danger of falling down for once!

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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.

#2

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

I am assuming a big rock fan lived down here!

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Tanner Wright
Community Member
1 month ago

Ooh, this dude is speaking my language!

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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.

#3

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

A car jack used as a subfloor support underneath a home. Classic!

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KombatBunni
Community Member
1 month ago

Aww heck no..big ol’ nope

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#4

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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.

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Tanner Wright
Community Member
1 month ago

Yup, that fence is rather ineffective as of now

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#5

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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!

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 month ago

ACME Beer, simply the best :-)

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#6

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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!

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Steve Barnett
Community Member
1 month ago

In the UK houses have been built by the coastline that is chalk; mainly the calcium deposits of dead fish (I apologise if this is not 100% correct, but I think it is) What holds some of it together is where trees have been planted, therefore the roots will, even temporally, keep the soil from disintegrating. Do not buy a property next to a cliff, unless the cliff is made from rock (Disclaimer. I'm not a geologist and seek professional advice first).

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#7

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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.

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Lady Vader
Community Member
1 month ago

Sliiide to the left. Sliiiide to the right. Cha cha one time. Everybody clap your hands!

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#8

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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.

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PhantomBuni
Community Member
1 month ago

Kick it, I want toast

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#9

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

Jenga: House Edition.

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M O'Connell
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

This may look odd, but doesn't seem structurally questionable. One end of the girder is supported by masonry, the other by a post which is supported by the foundation. Blocking accepts the load from the beam above. I'd prefer to see some disaster clips, but this is fine. EDIT: Disaster clips AKA hurricane ties.

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#10

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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.


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Tanner Wright
Community Member
1 month ago

Pretty, at least

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#11

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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.

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pandamonium.
Community Member
1 month ago

ε=ε=ε=ε=ε=ε=┌(; ̄◇ ̄)┘

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#12

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

"How do you know it's rotted?" This is how.

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2WheelTravlr
Community Member
1 month ago

I can't even imagine being in a crawlspace on my back and sticking a knife into the supporting beam above to find that it's no longer supporting and barely even a beam.

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#13

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

That old tree trunk seems to be the main support at this point.

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KombatBunni
Community Member
1 month ago

A real “fixer upper?”

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#14

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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.

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Stephen Lyford
Community Member
1 month ago

*pour

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#15

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

My man E.T. never made it home!

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Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 month ago

Couldn’t bear to leave Elliott.

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#16

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

No marble test needed on this one. Now that's some sloping floors.

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2WheelTravlr
Community Member
1 month ago

It all looks like new flooring and cabinets. Who the heck installs a new kitchen and doesn't realize that having to create a triangular-shaped toe kick isn't normal?

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#17

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

The heart of a termite den, once occupied by a colony of the little home destroyers.

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Mimi777
Community Member
1 month ago

I know at least a couple people who had to sell their homes because they got termites. Really nice homes. It was unfortunate.

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#18

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

Some serious termite damage on a stud wall. No bueno!

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Maddz
Community Member
1 month ago

That isn't good by any standards

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#19

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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!

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Marcellus the Third
Community Member
1 month ago

Finally I have a term for my approach to problems, "exploratory demolition".

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#20

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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.

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2WheelTravlr
Community Member
1 month ago

That's not even a "Meh, good enough".

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#21

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

Strap the gap and that's a wrap. I made that up. Feel free to use it.

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CR Harvey
Community Member
1 month ago

Umm, even this amateur knows that's bad.

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#22

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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.

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2WheelTravlr
Community Member
1 month ago

Wood fence = not structural. Got it!

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#23

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

Mother Nature will always win eventually. I'm no tree or electrical expert, but I assume this is a fire hazard.

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M O'Connell
Community Member
1 month ago

Those are all communication lines. Usually line-clearance is the responsibility of the relevant utility. The power company will clear anything interfering with their lines, but leave the lower stuff to the telephone/cable television utility. They usually don't care too much about it.

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#24

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

This is a massive crack in the middle of Route 95 in Nevada after the recent 6.5 magnitude earthquake.

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Lydia Coy
Community Member
1 month ago

I remember watching a yt vid of somone talking when that took placw

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#25

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

Classic LA post and pier.

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CR Harvey
Community Member
1 month ago

One good shake.

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#26

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

It's gotten so bad that even the brick and cement patio is caving in where the once sturdy deck supports were.

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Lydia Coy
Community Member
1 month ago

Youll float too

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#27

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

Luckily, all of these posts are treated but they all touch dirt!

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Jessica Nametz
Community Member
1 month ago

In case anyone is wondering, the posts need to be in cement, not just in dirt...

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#28

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

This is truly a roller coaster ride looking at this joist support. Who wants to take a guess at the cause?

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M O'Connell
Community Member
1 month ago

Definitely inadequate load-bearing capacity due to exceptionally poor placement of the posts. If they were placed directly beneath the joists and the horizontal member used for stability only, this might have been fine.

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#29

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

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.

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#30

Bizarre-Structural-Inspections

A few of the piles supporting this hillside deck are beginning to lean over, which will eventually cause some serious structural issues!

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Amanda Hunter
Community Member
1 month ago

Mine were like this too.

Note: this post originally had 179 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.