Buckling Exterior Wall

 
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:17 PM   #1
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Buckling Exterior Wall


I am inspecting a new job to bid on and I am not sure how to approach it. The customer has an exterior wall that has severe horizontal stucco cracking and buckling. The problem starts near the second floor truss area and goes up about 24 inches or so. The second floor has cathedral ceilings and the roof is concrete tile. I think the wall is compressing and doing the stucco damage. Anyone have any ideas how I should approach this job? Here is a drawing I made of the existing wall construction: Buckling Exterior Wall-eastwall.jpg
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:34 PM   #2
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


IF THIS is a completed job, how do you have so much detail? the repair work must begin with the demolition of the affected area, i would go for T AND M the whole way. if the customer is not comfortable with that, give a price for the demo only, after clearly determining what the cause is, then you can give a solid estimate. as far as guessing what the cause of the problem is, we dont build like that in my location, someone else, i am sure is familiar with this type of construction.

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Old 09-09-2008, 08:41 PM   #3
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


[quote=genecarp;492480]IF THIS is a completed job, how do you have so much detail? quote]

Hi Gene. The customer had pulled the ceiling down because of water intrussion. It was easy to see the construction detail. I agree with T & M. I am just not sure of the engineering aspect with consideration to roof load.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:45 PM   #4
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


[quote=Duntov;492485]
Quote:
Originally Posted by genecarp View Post
IF THIS is a completed job, how do you have so much detail? quote]

Hi Gene. The customer had pulled the ceiling down because of water intrussion. It was easy to see the construction detail. I agree with T & M. I am just not sure of the engineering aspect with consideration to roof load.

10-4, sounds like a visit from an engineer may be appropriate, why should you assume that responsibility. line it up for her, make some money on the engineering, then do the job with confidence.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:16 PM   #5
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


So is there no green plate that the floor trusses sit on? If not I would expect that the trusses would be rotten.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:43 PM   #6
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


Interesting. Are the wood framed walls 16" o.c or 24"? Is the sheathing ply (1/2" or 5/8") or OSB? If the roof load is too much, you'll have to open up the walls and add some framing and maybe some squash blocks between floor trusses. Since it's a cathedral ceiling (and with a high or no collar), maybe you're exterior walls aren't properly held together and they're pushing out. There are many things to consider, which I would explain to the home owner, and you'll most likely have to get and engineer to calculate it once you've opened her up. T & M is the only way I'd touch it (unless they accept an outrageously high bid...you know, worst case scenario bid).
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:40 PM   #7
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


The drawing is weird. What looks like a concrete wall is labeled a concrete beam. A beam is usually horizontal. Did you mean a concrete post or foundation wall? If the latter then I concur with the previous poster who noted the absense of a green board plate. How old is the house? Is the roof supported by rafters and ties or cathedral trusses?
Sometimes real stucco will sag if the wire mesh isn't well attached to the subsiding. Sounds like an interesting problem...glad it's your and not mine.
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:10 PM   #8
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


JAD - The truss is an upper story floor truss sitting on a horizontal poured concrete beam. The upper floor is over an open patio area. The house is 5 years old. The second floor has cathedral ceilings. I hope this helps to clarify the situation.

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Old 09-11-2008, 10:30 PM   #9
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


Better?
Buckling Exterior Wall-picture-004.jpg
Buckling Exterior Wall-picture-010.jpg
Buckling Exterior Wall-picture-014.jpg
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:05 PM   #10
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


Strange that there is no plate
on the lintel.
I don't think it's strange that
there was shrinkage in that
floor detail (especially considering
that it was wet...swelled...
and dried ...shrunk).
Stucco doesn't accommodate that
kind of movement.
I'd bet if everything is dried,
patching the stucco will be fine.
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Old 09-12-2008, 01:15 AM   #11
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


No doubt, it sometimes easy and other times difficult to determine a problem from a drawing and photos alone without physically visiting the property. However, in your particular instance, if the wall was not designed to take the load above, this would ordinarily cause a bow in the wall from top to bottom. In looking at the photo, the first thing that comes to mind is that there is no horizontal break/control joint along the floor elevation change to accommodate differential shrinkage/movement behind. Think about it?
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:51 PM   #12
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


Is that daylight I see in the first picture?

Quote:
In looking at the photo, the first thing that comes to mind is that there is no horizontal break/control joint along the floor elevation change to accommodate differential shrinkage/movement behind. Think about it?
That would be my guess as to what happened: plywood meets concrete with stucco covering the whole deal

Last edited by bert0168; 09-12-2008 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:33 PM   #13
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


[quote=genecarp;492488]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duntov View Post


10-4, sounds like a visit from an engineer may be appropriate, why should you assume that responsibility. line it up for her, make some money on the engineering, then do the job with confidence.

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Old 09-12-2008, 05:05 PM   #14
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


The window is leaking and allowing the water to seep behind the stucco
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:57 PM   #15
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by rbsremodeling View Post
The window is leaking and allowing the water to seep behind the stucco
YUP, the reason you see the damage where you do is because the water is being dammed there.

Either the flashing method around the window was poor, or more than likely water is entering the wall through the window sill. perhaps a blocked weep hole, or non water tight frame system.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:33 PM   #16
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Re: Buckling Exterior Wall


Another possibility besides leaking...

Assuming there a header over the window, any load on the header, like a roof truss, would transfer from the header to its support
jacks on either side of the window's rough opening and on down to the floor truss and the concrete beam in turn.

Judging by the crack to the left of the lower window sill, it looks like the whole framing assembly (rough opening and jacks) has been compressed down. I've seen this happen when a lower wall plate was not originally nailed tight to the floor underlayment and/or the wall studs were not nailed tight to the plate. Eventually the roof load compresses the wall framing tight Even a 1/4" compression will crack an inelasltic finish like stucco. I think the downward direction toward the window of crack to the side tells the tale. Well, that's just a thought...

If I am right, the fix is simple; repair the stucco.

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