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Re: Lateral Load--Is it THE Design?

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Add reroofing (wood shingles vs. new concrete tiles).  No changes in shear walls, hardware, or foundations...
How do they allow that? And they still do...
V. Steve Gordin
Registered Structural Engineer
Irvine CA   
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2004 3:39 PM
Subject: Re: Lateral Load--Is it THE Design?

I think wind and seismic failures are the bulk of what gets widely reported, but in terms of failures I see day in and day out, the more frequent ones are:

1. Rotted wood, primarily dry rot as opposed to insect damage. Often caused by improper drainage, waterproofing failures, lack of ventilation, etc.
2. Improper remodeling by a homeowner who used his untrained "eye" to determine how big a beam (sometimes not even providing one) he needed to replace the wall he removed. Several times the building has racked significantly due to removal of a line of lateral resistance.
3. Tilting of retaining and/or basement walls due to expancive materials.
4. Settlement or heaving of a foundation on expansive soils.

None of these generally are usually very spectacular but they can significantly decrease value of the property and are often a real nuisance and expensive to fix.  Since they are not spectacular, they often don't get reported.

Bill Cain, S.E.
Berkeley CA

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