Calling All Stuctural Engineers!

Originally Posted By: John Murray
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

Hello all.

I am on the verge of starting up and I thought I would perform a mock inspection on a friends house! My friend has recently purchased this house. I do not have pics as of yet and hopefully I can explain this situation with clarity!

This is a 25 year old bi-level house. The downstairs portion has a garage in one half and living portion in the other half. The problem I found is as follows:

The middle downstairs wall (middle of the living portion not separating the garage) has an 3/4 gap where it meets the foundation floor and gradually gets smaller, on both ends, until it reaches 2 separate doorways (Approx 10 ft. span). The wall is composed of drywall. No cracks on any portion of walls downstairs or upstairs. On the upstairs portion, right above this “wall gap” there seems to be plywood flooring dropping as well with nailheads popping up (not totally through yet) through the upstairs kitchen vinyl flooring. The Kitchen is outlined with an L-shaped wall (which is right above the problem wall) which ends on both sides with entranceways (2) to the kitchen. The inside corner (or below) of that L is where the problem is. I also noticed on the “L” that the inside “ends” of the entranceway studs were twisting at the bottom. Also the carpeting which ajoins the kitchen (the dining room) has long slack folds near the suspect area . There is a kitchen refrigerator exactly on the inside portion of the “L” wall where the problem seems to be coming from. The last owners had their fridge placed there as well but my friend says his probably has an xtra 200lbs. Back to the downstairs. There seems to be a recessed 4x4 area in the foundation floor right below the problem wall. The problem wall is right in the middle of this recessed area (almost exact). The “sinking” seems to get worse when it’s colder but, this is not conclusive due to the short time my friend has lived here! There are no inside or outside plumbing leaks and the grade around the house is good.

No leaks on lower level walls. Also the rain gutters are properly discharging 6 ft away from the house. Again, this problem is occuring in the middle of the house with no “uneven settlement” detected anywhere else.

-Could the weight of a fridge (300-400lbs) cause such a thing?

-Could this become a catastrophic problem or is it just uneven settling?

I know this would be tough to diagnose from afar but, any scenarios on repairs would be greatly appreciated.
BTW, I know a diagnosis is not part of a HI job!! Just trying to win friends and influence potential customers!

Originally Posted By: dvalley
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

A pic would help tremendously.

David Valley

MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: jrice
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.


I am trying to understand this problem. If I read your post correctly, in the basement, the wall is 3/4" higher than the floor in the center of the span. And again on the main level the floor is sagging in the corner where the fridge sits.

There might be a support post in the wall right at this spot and it caused the floor to “sag”. Maybe the wall was built around the problem to hide it?

Since concrete floors usually are not built to be flexible, you should see cracking in the floor around this area. Maybe the two are unrelated. Could there be a clean out or floor drain close to this area in the basement? Maybe the floor is sloped towards this?

Can you send a picture or two?


Originally Posted By: John Murray
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

Thanks for your responses.

Will have pics uploaded by weekend.

To much going on now with purchase of new work

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