25 Chaotic Disasters Spotted During Structural Inspections

Published 1 month ago

Alpha Structural, Inc. is a renowned contractor in the Los Angeles area that specializes in foundation engineering and repair, landslide repair, and earthquake and structural rehabilitation. The company’s team comprises highly experienced professionals with over 400 years of combined technical expertise. 

Unlike many others, their team works hard on-site, rather than managing the work from behind a computer screen. Additionally, Alpha Structural, Inc. shares the exciting and sometimes dangerous findings from their engineers’ day-to-day work, including amusing and bizarre discoveries. Here are some recent noteworthy discoveries.

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

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#1 These posts are waiting to fall over any day now.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#2 This home is suffering from a severe case of fungus growth inside the crawlspace. The amount of fungus that has spread across the joists and girder can potentially be a serious issue for the homeowners.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#3 This beach house was not spared from issues. The water has extremely eroded the footings and there is now concern for the support of the home. Also, do not get us started on the beams.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#4 This parking garage showcases an extremely concerning issue with its vehicle barrier wall, which is visibly disconnected from the structure and leaning over with a noticeable tilt. This is undeniably one of the more alarming instances we’ve seen, as the wall of the parking garage is at significant risk of collapsing. We wouldn’t want this to fall on anybody.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#5 The underside of the leaking hot tub reveals the true extent of the damage, with more spalling and exposed rebar. We will need to demolish this entire area and start fresh.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#6 The foundation of this home has literally snapped in half resulting in extreme shifting throughout the structure.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#7 The Los Angeles hillside communities were some of the hardest hit during the storm. Hillsides all over SoCal failed and our assessors were quickly dispatched out on emergency calls. Don’t underestimate the power of water.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#8 Due to the wood rot, they are now rendered ineffective and unable to provide adequate support, posing a serious threat to the structural stability of the entire structure.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#9 A retaining wall is at risk of failure when it can no longer withstand the pressure from the soil behind it. Poor drainage is a common culprit, leading to saturated soil and increased weight. This excess load can result in the wall leaning outward and, ultimately, collapsing.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#10 This DIY job involves the use of bolts and nuts as makeshift jacks between the girders and posts and piers in an attempt to level out the home. This is not a recommended or safe solution.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#11 Jenga? Who wants to play?

Image source: AlphaStructural

#12 These homeowners were out of town when their pool service technician left the water running. As a result, the pool overflowed and contributed to the failure of this deck.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#13 Artificial fill was placed behind this wall. When the hillside began to erode, the fill began to come down and bring the wall down with it. The wall has already dropped about a foot down.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#14 This pier’s lack of stability was evident since we could easily slide our entire hand underneath and lift it. This should not be possible with properly installed post and piers.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#15 During our assessment of this property, we discovered a substantial opening beneath the deck. Interestingly, the homeowners had been concerned about a rodent issue and were unaware of the potential entry point—ding, ding, ding!

Image source: AlphaStructural

#16 This Rancho Palos Verdes home is experiencing extreme settlement and shifting which is evident in the huge cracks along the exterior. Let’s just say the bend in the roof is not architectural.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#17 The main support beams for this stilt home are suffering from extreme wood rot.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#18 Massive roots have infiltrated this crawlspace, a testament to the relentless force of nature always finding a way to shake things up a bit.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#19 Another picture of the previous house. Foundation issues can lead to a cascade of problems, impacting the entire structure over time. This is why proper construction and constant maintenance are so important.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#20 No. Just no.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#21 This 7-inch crack is showing severe signs of differential settlement, meaning portions of the foundation are sinking at a greater rate. Foot added for reference.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#22 An unstable slope will show indications of movement by the presence of geotropism, which refers to the growth of plants against gravity. The way the trees bend towards the bottom of the slope lets us know the hillside is unstable and is constantly moving.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#23 This is an alarming case of spall damage. When it comes to extensive damage to the structural support of a building, it is necessary to act quickly. The South Champlain Tower that collapsed in Miami reportedly had extensive spall damage in their basement-level parking garage. The longer the damage is left untreated, the greater the risk of a catastrophic failure.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#24 This cosmetic block wall has begun to fail due to the builder choosing not to fill the holes in the cinder blocks. This is why taking shortcuts is never recommended.

Image source: AlphaStructural

#25 During the storms from the beginning of the year, a tree fell on top of this home. Luckily, no one was seriously injured, though the homeowner was sitting on their couch when their ceiling came crashing down.

Image source: AlphaStructural

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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Tags

Alpha Structural Inc., home and design, structural design, structural engineers, structural inspections
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