How big a problem was this.

In the 1950's my father owned half of a building in the old part of a small city. Maybe built around 1900. My uncle had a bar on the first floor, with a slogan something like that of the Cheers bar slogan. Decades earlier.
Maybe 4 stories tall and 100' wide by 200' deep, with at least 4 apartments on floors 2 and above. Maybe my uncle lived in one.
My father died and then my uncle and by the late 60's we lived somewhere lese and heard from the real-estate agent who collected the modest rents that someone had found problems with the building. I was visiting friends there not long after and took a look.
In the back wall, one brick width, or maybe one brick length, from the corner, the bricks were separated from each other by an inch or two along a vertical line at least 20 or 30 feet high, maybe all the way to the top (I don't think I could see well that far), maybe to within 5' of the ground.
Prior to going there, the thought had occurred to me that they might have much exaggerated the problem** but I saw that there was definitely a substantial problem. **for one thing, the city then or not too long thereafter wanted to take the building and tear it down as part of urban renewal ,
At the time, even though I was old enough to know better, I thought for sure what I saw meant that the whole wall was about to fall down, leaving nothing or maybe just studs and plaster walls around the people living behind it,
But now I know that bricks are often just facing, and don't do anything aiui for the strength or structure of some places (especially one and two story houses, maybe not 4 story buidings built in 1900. )
So with no more information, what are the chances a contractor could have knocked down that layer of bricks and replaced it with something that didn't match, but took much less time to install, maybe 4x8 sheets or batts of insulation and 4x8 sheets of siding? Without compromising the strength of the wall.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mickey:
You said:
At the time, even though I was old enough to know better, I thought for sure what I saw meant that the whole wall was about to fall down, leaving nothing or maybe just studs and plaster walls around the people living behind it,
But now I know that bricks are often just facing, and don't do anything aiui for the strength or structure of some places (especially one and two story houses, maybe not 4 story buidings built in 1900. )
In true "brick veneer" walls, the bricks aren't structural, which means that they don't support any weight except for the bricks above them.
However, in a brick veneer wall, there has to be something that supports the massive weight of that brick veneer.
Typically in steel beam construction, there will be steel I beams that support the weight of the brick veneer on the exterior of the building, and in that case you can remove the bricks without the building falling down.
In masonary work, each layer of bricks or blocks in a wall is called a "wythe".
In smaller buildings, they bond a wythe of bricks to a wythe of concrete blocks in something called an "American bond" or a "common bond". In that case, every 2nd row of concrete blocks is what's called a "3/4 block" where 1/4 of the block is missing. And, each 6th row of bricks will be laid perpendicular to the wythe and fit into the part of the 3/4 block that is missing. So, the wall will look like normal brickwork except that every 6th row of bricks on the outside will be laid perpendicular to the wall, like this:
http://www.009.cd2.com/members/how_to/images7/18.jpg
In this way, the concrete block wythe and the brick wythe are bonded together for greater strength. But, the bricks can only be replaced between the layers of perpendicular bonding bricks (the brown bricks in that image) one section at a time. And then, not the whole section all the way around the building, but only a few feet of each section at a time.
If you have no knowledge of concrete blocks in the walls of that building, it's very possible that the walls are made entirely of brick, typically three brick wythes thick bonded with perpendicular bricks every 5th row on both sides of the wall. In that case, it is those brick walls that support the wooden floor joists inside the building.
Now, it depends on which walls are supporting the floor joists, but if there's a crack near the corner of the building, then the brick walls on either side of that crack aren't stable because they're not preventing each other from moving. Either wall could fall outward at any time, whereas without that crack, both walls would hold each other in place.
I think you've got a serious structural problem with that building, and I can see some City building inspector wanting to condemn it before it falls down and kills a bunch of people.
--
nestork


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, December 9, 2014 12:17:11 AM UTC-5, nestork wrote:

Given the age of the building, ~1900, without knowing anything more, I'd say the above is the correct working assumption. Except for the last part about it being a current problem. From the post, this was 40+ years ago.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A photo would be helpful.
--
Web based forums are like subscribing to 10 different newspapers
and having to visit 10 different news stands to pickup each one.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, December 9, 2014 7:18:08 AM UTC-5, CRNG wrote:

Given that this is about some building from 40+ years ago, I doubt that's coming.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In the 1950's my father owned half of a building in the old part of a small city. Maybe built around 1900. My uncle had a bar on the first floor, with a slogan something like that of the Cheers bar slogan. Decades earlier.
Maybe 4 stories tall and 100' wide by 200' deep, with at least 4 apartments on floors 2 and above. Maybe my uncle lived in one.
My father died and then my uncle and by the late 60's we lived somewhere lese and heard from the real-estate agent who collected the modest rents that someone had found problems with the building. I was visiting friends there not long after and took a look.
In the back wall, one brick width, or maybe one brick length, from the corner, the bricks were separated from each other by an inch or two along a vertical line at least 20 or 30 feet high, maybe all the way to the top (I don't think I could see well that far), maybe to within 5' of the ground.
Prior to going there, the thought had occurred to me that they might have much exaggerated the problem** but I saw that there was definitely a substantial problem. **for one thing, the city then or not too long thereafter wanted to take the building and tear it down as part of urban renewal ,
At the time, even though I was old enough to know better, I thought for sure what I saw meant that the whole wall was about to fall down, leaving nothing or maybe just studs and plaster walls around the people living behind it,
But now I know that bricks are often just facing, and don't do anything aiui for the strength or structure of some places (especially one and two story houses, maybe not 4 story buidings built in 1900. )
So with no more information, what are the chances a contractor could have knocked down that layer of bricks and replaced it with something that didn't match, but took much less time to install, maybe 4x8 sheets or batts of insulation and 4x8 sheets of siding? Without compromising the strength of the wall.
--- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
--- Synchronet 3.15b-Win32 NewsLink 1.92 SpaceSST BBS Usenet <> Fidonet Gateway
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.