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Re: Berkeley Balcony Collapse - now a criminal case

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It isn't just Florida. There was moisture intrusion and bad stucco work in Minnesota - to where the Building Dept at one city stepped in and started a large investigation and came up with standard of care and other issues. There were also major problems, about the same time as the Florida construction, in California and I became involved for some time in the investigations. It was a combination of deficient stucco and flashing application as well as out-of-plane wind loads not being adequately addressed. Most of these homes were in the million dollar range (whole tracts) and had scaffolding around many for a number of years. We may see this come again as a new housing boom is beginning here.

On the local scene, California, people started to get sick from the mold. Then a inspector was called and dry rot and mold were discovered. The people in many cases had to move out of their homes. Then it went to litigation and army of experts on each side fought legal battles. In the end many of the people lost their homes. Also when homes were sealed, the problems started anew and we then started looking at the structural side and started finding many structural problems. From page 10 of my non-professional web site:
Sill crushing
Sequence of construction
Improper gapping of sheathing
Differential movement of the supporting soil
Incorrect or omitted wind analysis such as gusts, exposure category and topographic effects (uphill wind speedup, especially for structures placed at top of hills)
Lumber and sheathing moisture content
Structure plan irregularities which might suggest possible wind tunnel studies
Framing errors or missing structural components.

and so on.

Out of plane wind load cracking appeared: Horizontal cracks at the 2nd floor lines at the windward side and horizontal cracking at the middle of the 2nd floor walls on the leeward side. Usually this was because the studs were undersized.

One of the local investigative TV stations interviewed an stucco inspector and the next day a local county supervisor stated that everyone in our county had lost $100,000 in their homes value that night.


On 6/26/2015 11:28 AM, Andrew Kester wrote:
On the subject of waterproofing, a coworker just forwarded me this story:

Not surprising at all. I look at stucco problems all of the time doing
forensic work, some related to poor roof drainage design or other problems, not just the stucco installation. Like this investigation I just did where the water was clearly splashing off an upper roof (no gutters), but once I opened up the wall I found this (see the pics).​

See if you can spot the root cause of the problem.

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