We are dedicated to answering your questions and building a relationship based on your structural needs. The following are some frequently asked questions.
Q: Can a house or building with structural damage usually be saved?
A: Almost always. There are a wide variety of tried and tested methods and materials available to reinforce just about anything. The real question is cost. Sometimes excessive cost makes replacement the better option. We will do everything within our power to present the most economically efficient options.
Q: What causes a foundation to settle?
A: Poor soil, soil with a high clay content, a high water table, insufficient soil compacting, insufficiently large or deep footings, or an erosion problem. Or some combination of these factors.
Q: When is a building unsafe?
A: A building is unsafe when there is an appreciable risk of a partial or complete collapse during normal usage. Buildings often contain structural flaws that create usage limitations and chronic damage to finish materials without actually being unsafe.
Q: How do you know if a wall is load-bearing?
A: In the simplest terms, a load-bearing wall runs perpendicular to ceiling joists so that the wall accepts loads. But there are numerous instances where due to gradual settlement or deflection of a structure, a wall not originally designed as load-bearing does in fact accept load. It is important for the engineer to understand how a building is actually performing as opposed to merely how it was designed to perform.
Q: Are older or newer homes built better?
A: Every case is different. Some older homes are overbuilt by convention. Other older homes are full of rule-of-thumb design elements that would not pass today’s strict codes.