Is this severe?

Hello Everyone,

I inspected a potential condo for my friends yesterday. It is on the third floor. In the middle of my inspection I noticed the hallway was slanted to one side about an inch and a half to the other side and on the other side of the wall the kitchen was slanted toward the hallway. When I went into the basement the center brick wall that ran half way through the basement was sort of collapsed underneath the same general area. The building is 101 years old. The door and door jams were not affected but there was an active crack on the entry way to the dining area. I should say when I pushed on the brick wall the bricks moved back as much as I pushed. (About 3/4) of an inch. Can I still write this off as it being ok? My friends are really excited and I don’t want to alarm them. The pictures are from both sides of the wall and the close up is to show light is coming through in a few spots.

Any help would be appreciated,


When you can move a load-bearing wall with your hands, that is severe.

What harm can their be in stating "the load bearing wall appears to have been compromised in its structural integrity, to be sure of the severity have this evaluated and obtain an estimated cost to cure by a structural engineer.

When it comes time to sell the property I am sure this will come up once again when YOU are the seller. It would be prudent to have the information of its structural integrity from a the proper individual.

By your description I would say its a major concern that warrants temporary shoring until a more in-depth assessment can be made.


What caused the brik veneer to crumble?
Did someone throw logs at this wall?

Evidently a non qualified and non experienced brick layer redid the mortar pointing job as well as he could.

The wall is croked but with the pictures you included one would have to be drunk to see it straight.

I don’t see any sign of danger.

Thank you for sharing though,

Beauchemin, Marc-Andre
Brossard, Quebec, Canada :slight_smile:

Two Questions…

  1. Do you like your friends?
  2. Do you intend for the friendship to continue in the future?

One statement:

  1. I would refuse to let any of my friends make that purchase without a (competant) SE’s report. If they make that purchase without heeding my advice, well, that just goes to show what kind of friendship *we had! *I certainly wouldn’t want to be around for the aftermath of that *potential *nightmarish scenario.

This confuses me!! You seem to know there is a structural issue and you don’t want to alarm your friends because they love this place?

Have it evaluated by a qualified contractor and if someone tried to remove the wall, I believe it could be a support wall.

Just saying!

Beauchemin, Marc-Andre
Brossard , Quebec, Canada


what would you report to a paying customer?


I work for a company that specializes in foundation repair. It’s a network with more than 50 dealers across the USA and Canada.

Boy does this wall look like a retaining wall of some sort, along the perimeter and touching soil. I see signs of water damage.

OK, so say it’s really a wall running along the middle, with basement on both sides. A builder would not use heavy brick to build this wall unless it was meant to bear load. Otherwise, the builder would have used cheaper, faster wood to build the wall, or they would have made no wall at all. It is a load-bearing part of the structure.

All load-bearing parts of a structure are important, and if they’re failing, then there is a structural issue. WHile the outer walls of this may be fine, and the foundation is not the issue itself, the building is showing signs of sinking in the middle, which is what’s manifesting itself upstairs.

Eventually, this sag will lead to cracked walls, jamming doors, and the floors sinking further. The damage to the value of the home will eventually be extremely high, more than $20,000. It’s unfortunate that they’re so excited, but I’d let them know what they’re getting themselves in to.

~Concrete Treat: Concrete Sealer](
Revolutionize Your Construction.

Call it as you see it. Your not an expert in 100 year old brickwork. Let someone who is come in and do the evaluation. You friend can ask the seller to make the repairs, money in escrow for him to make the repairs or ask for a reduction in price, walk, or what ever but that’s between him and his agent. If the wall looks this bad it should have been in the disclosure anyways and if it wasn’t they are going to have to disclose it now. It will help your friend to know of this issue. Not saying anything and allowing him to buy it and then have a structural failure on that wall would be very bad for both of you. I’ll have to admit that this question even being asked is a bit scary.

Not enough information in that picture.
Where are the I beam(s) posts,footings,joists,etc?
The slope in the hall may be from old wood in the floor joists above the second floor ceiling and only removing a portion of the sub-floor will help determine that.
The brick movement is ongoing for a very long time as the tucpointing is not new or crumbled all that bad as compared to the movement I see.

Only a foundation contractor and a carpenter can fix those issues.

There’s a white stick bracing the wall. Looks OK to me.

Sounds like he’ll do good with the local realtors.:stuck_out_tongue:

Just came across this while looking through the history here…All I can say is, WOW!!!

A real estate agent would call this a character wall,100 year old houses did not employ brick veneer as a practice,it is probably load bearing ,save your friendship,call it.

Call it out .

Call it out… doesn’t mean they won’t buy the place. You don’t give a ‘pass or fail’ on a property. You are hired to let the clients know the current condition. They’ll just have to dole out some more money for a structural engineer and really open up their bank account for a proper fix. There’s a fix for pretty much everything, it’s just how much they want to spend. It’s ultimately their decision.