30 Times Building Inspectors Found The Weirdest Stuff During Structural Inspections

Published 5 years ago

While most of us see buildings as nothing more than collections of pretty apartments, structural inspectors get to explore the unseen side of them – and it’s not pretty. Turns out the undersides of some buildings are full of hack jobs by amateur handymen and weird things like skulls and creepy dolls, that are just too bizarre not to share. That’s why structural inspector Derek Marier and his co-workers at Alpha Structural, Inc. upload their weirdest findings to Imgur for everyone to look at.

In a recent interview with Bored Panda, Derek said coming across weird stuff can shake you up at first. “I would have to say the skull gave me the biggest chills by far. I assumed that it was fake right from the start, but I didn’t realize that I picked up an actual skull from Peru which was estimated at being 1,000+ years old,” said the man. Another thing that put more scared the inspector more than the creepy items was a man-made tunnel dug under a building’s foundation. “I’ve heard horror stories of people getting trapped under houses by attempting to squirm through those gaps,” said Derek. “That’s a nightmare in itself. Thank the lord there was no scary doll or human skull staring me in the face while I was attempting to crawl through!”

When Derek stumbles upon something weird, he informs the homeowners and in some cases even the authorities if things seem odd, like the time he found the skull. He says that not all homeowners are even aware of the things lurking under their homes. “In the case of the skull, the owners didn’t know it was there. The previous owners brought it back some time in the 70s or 80s and just threw it under the home,” said the man. “They were just as surprised to see it as I was!”

Check out all of the creepy dolls, tribal statues, and Mickey Mouse jobs found during structural inspections in the gallery below!

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

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Image source: AlphaStructural

This subterranean basement had a window that opened up into an open area underground. Imagine opening the window in your basement and a group of bats fly in. That probably wouldn’t happen here but it’s possible! This is a great spot for putting your disobedient kids.


Image source: AlphaStructural

We are doing a seismic retrofit on this apartment building and our crew took off the bottom portion of stucco on this column to expose the column connections. This is, quite literally, what we discovered. There was nothing supporting the unit above. No connections or even anything touching the ground besides the stucco facade. Thank goodness we had shoring put in place.


Image source: AlphaStructural

We discovered this REAL skull while doing a foundation inspection on a property in LA. The authorities were called and it was discovered that the skull was in fact real and that the previous owners brought it back from Peru in the 70s or 80s. There wasn’t any TSA agents to stop them from bringing it back, and when it came time to sell the property they threw it under the home.


Image source: AlphaStructural

One of the worst structural cracks we’ve ever seen. The entire back side of the home was sinking down and pulling away from the rest of the structure. A knock down if you ask me.


Image source: AlphaStructural

This was brand new, 2019 construction and this is what they do. How lazy can people get, you ask? This lazy.


Image source: AlphaStructural

This is an old septic well covered up under a parking space of an apartment building. It’s about a century old but was still in decent shape.


Image source: AlphaStructural

Found this Nkondi while doing an inspection. Nkondi are statues made by tribes of the Congo. They can mean many things but are often said to hold a spirit which hunts down bad people and wrong-doers.


Image source: AlphaStructural

Whoever did this has quite the sense of humor, but lacks the proper funds.Mickey Mouse Job: A job done incorrectly in an extremely poor manner using the simplest, easiest, cheapest and fastest way possible.


Image source: AlphaStructural

What seems to be the issue?


Image source: AlphaStructural

Another extremely creepy doll which had no reason to be where it was.


Image source: AlphaStructural

At least they braced it, but still a total mickey mouse job.


Image source: AlphaStructural

If you wanted a visual representation of what evil looks like, this is it. And the brick foundation is in really bad shape…


Image source: AlphaStructural

Almost stepped on this during an inspection but I decided not too. He looked like a fungi. Ha.


Image source: AlphaStructural

Here’s a few post and piers under the same house that are also clearly leaning quite a bit.


Image source: AlphaStructural

If you have foundation issues, your internal cracking should resemble this. Large, diagonal cracking. Though, this was a pretty severe case.


Image source: AlphaStructural

This is a wooden column which is currently the main support for an apartment unit above. Moisture has basically eaten away the bottom of the column, rendering it pretty useless. We’re currently doing an earthquake retrofit for this building and will soon be replacing this column with steel. Would you feel safe if your unit was being help up by this column? I wouldn’t.


Image source: AlphaStructural

Slab crack to the max… At times homeowners can be overly concerned about cracking in their homes. However, this type of cracking is definitely a cause for concern…


Image source: AlphaStructural



Image source: AlphaStructural

Grab some 2x4s and a little DIY creativity and you have yourself a recipe for mickey mouse work.
Always remember, doing the cheapest repair is the best route to go no matter what!

(Please do not take that seriously!!)


Image source: AlphaStructural

This was a front porch that had been sinking a few inches over a short time. This created some separation from the columns that help support the roof above (as most porches in LA connect directly to a portion of the roof). You can see that they added a large post to the right of the column so it would help with supporting the weight-load from above. Scary stuff!


Image source: AlphaStructural

There’s 11 different pieces of wood connecting to each other in this photo.


Image source: AlphaStructural

This was a wooden retaining wall with a stone facade on the front. Over a short time, the hillside began to erode and the dirt started coming down the slope. This caused the retaining wall below to pull away and lean downward, taking parts of the facade with it. Don’t use wood for retaining walls. They can be used for compacted and tiered hillsides, but not full on retaining walls.


Image source: AlphaStructural

Here we have a decent sized sink hole we inspected this week. From the top it doesn’t look too bad… But once you poke your head inside, it gets a little more serious. The hole is a little over 7 feet deep and 5-6 feet wide. You can see that there are some very large tree roots in the background. The fact that these are exposed is a sort of blessing in disguise. They do help stabilize the surrounding area but it’s still at risk of expanding. We proposed a exploratory investigation to see exactly what’s going on and what’s causing this too occur. I’ll also add that it’s only a few feet from the home’s foundation and could create some serious structural issues if left without being properly handled.


Image source: AlphaStructural

This is just like Tetris when you try to flip your piece at the last second and it offsets everything. :(


Image source: AlphaStructural

We inspected this old porte-cochère that had been slowly sinking and displacing over time. You can see that the deck at the top is clearly sloping down a few inches.


Image source: AlphaStructural

Gottem again!


Image source: AlphaStructural

So close.


Image source: AlphaStructural

Termite damage and dry rot do not go well together. Notice he’s using a flashlight to crumble the wood to pieces.


Image source: AlphaStructural

Here’s an old girder that’s been split in half. We tried finding the missing piece but it was nowhere to be found and the cause isn’t really known either.


Image source: AlphaStructural

This is what happens when an internal load-bearing wall doesn’t have a sufficient supporting foundation beneath it. Notice the slope toward the wall.

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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Alpha Structural, Alpha Structural Inc., architecture, buildings, creepy finds, creepy things, Derek Marier, houses, inspectors find weird things, mysterious things hidden in buildings, secrets found in buildings, strange finds, strange things, structural inspections, structural inspectors, weird finds, weird items found in buildings, weird things
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