"South Africa: Soils, Substructure, and Superstructure" course

This thread is dedicated exclusively for those students currently enrolled in the InterNACHI online video course titled, “South Africa: Soils, Substructure, and Superstructure.

This course covers soil types, their performance characteristics and the effect they have on substructures and superstructures. It also covers construction methods of substructures and superstructures to accommodate soil conditions, and how they age and fail.

And, in keeping with InterNACHI’s commitment to Continuing Education, this course is open and free to all members, and can be taken again and again, without limit.

Students are free to pose questions and comments here and join in the conversation with other students. The thread will be monitored by the course instructor.

Contact: Director of Education, Ben Gromicko ben@internachi.org

Other inspector training courses: www.nachi.org/education.

Thank you.

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Hi Ben,

This is a great course.

Will there be a non-geographically specific version of this course coming out in the future?


Hello Ben,

This course is of great interest to me because the soils in South Africa are similar to the soils found in Kenya. You can just tell from the Savannah grasslands in both our countries.

That’s great to hear, John. I’ve read that there’s a rising demand for housing in Nairobi, with some kind of urban renewal program going on. Yes?

A wall that consists of two separate walls (called leaves) of either solid or hollow units, and are so built side by side and tied to each other with wall ties that there is a cavity width of at lest 50 mm between the leaves.

A wall that consists of two separate walls (called leaves) of either solid or hollow units, and are so built side by side and tied to each other with wall ties that there is a cavity width of at lest 50 mm between the leaves.

The attached photo shows a home where the roof has no gutter and the rain is collecting in the corner _ the water has ponded and has transferred through into the home in the form of efflorescence which is evident in the white powder forming

The attached photo shows a home that has no gutter and the rain is ponding in a corner - The capillary action has taken place and Efflorescence is evident in the photo. The outside area needs draining and a permanent solution sought.

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The white powder that can be seen in the picture is the result of salts (primarily calcium hydroxide) being dissolved by moisture migrating to the surface of the porous masonry. When the water evaporates it leaves behind concentrated calcium hydroxide, which reacts with carbon dioxide in the air to form white crystals which we call efflorescence.

Trusses and truss connections: Trusses are designed to bear loads at very specific points. Typical roof trusses should not touch any interior walls and should only bear loads on the exterior walls.When an inspector observe an alteration of some sort with trusses,he must record that condition in his report and have to recommend evaluation by a structural engineer.

Thank you for the course. Actually 73 soil types of the South African order can be put into 14 gatherings (natural, humic, vertic, melanic, silicic, calcic, duplex, podzolic, plinthic, oxidic, gleyic, cumulic, lithic and human-centered) which are recognized by methods for an eliminative key in view of the nearness of characterized symptomatic skylines or materials.

This permits speculations all the more promptly to be made about properties, beginning, dissemination and ecological essentialness. Connection with the World Reference Base (WRB) arrangement uncovers that 25 reference soil bunches are spoken to and with the guide of new dissemination maps the territorial wealth of WRB bunches in South Africa can around be evaluated.
Thank you for the course, I collected necessary materials to write my essay for me.

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Unless the missing concrete reduces support from the outer leaf, its not a structural problem. The damage should be commented on and an appropriate recommendation made. Typically, it would not be repaired unless it were structural, in which case the repair would be designed by an engineer.

When you run your finger over a concrete surface and it collects a coating of concrete dust, you have picked up loose powder that has formed as the surface has disintegrated. Its called dusting or chalking. The surface will be soft and easily scratched. Dusting is most noticeable with floors because they experience traffic and wear

Withdrawal force is like the force which would be generated if you grabbed the head of a fastener with pliers and tried to pull it straight out.

Shear force is whats used if you take a pair of heavy-duty wire cutters and cut the fastener. Fasteners designed to resist withdrawal, such as deck screws, are weak in shear resistance.

Efflorescence is the white chalky powder that you might find on the surface of a concrete or brick wall. It can be a cosmetic issue, or it can be an indication of moisture intrusion that could lead to major structural and indoor air quality issues.

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The inspection was done looking at the wall. Most of the cracks are found closed to the windows and doors. When looking at the door at the top extreme right there is a crack running from the plastered bricks to towards the roof. The crack is small and it has the same size. The crack is for plaster and do not affect the structural integrity of the wall.