Realtors and others often ask me, "Why are you always harping on and on about cracks in brick veneer, and the questionable practices of the foundation repair business?" Listen, if you could see the unbelievable things I see each and every day in my structural engineering business, you'd understand why I get so riled up about it. I'm not exaggerating when I say I get AT LEAST a half dozen calls a week where I'm being called in to evaluate a problem that was found by a home inspector who stated to his client (homebuyer) that he was not qualified to evaluate or offer professional advice.

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when is structural repair necessary

When is Structural Repair Necessary?

I've been asked on several occasions, "How do you know or decide when a structural repair is necessary?" That's a good question. Let's talk about it.

Basically, most of our structural problems in the Huntsville-metro area are related to insufficient use of engineers to develop structural framing plans for large, complicated structures, AND the sole reliance on untrained home builders or framers to build such structures. 

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Is Your Home Suffering From E.D.?

Over 70% of structural claims occur four or more years after the sale date of the home. Claims that occur earlier than this are characterized as E.D., and are often a sign of a more severe problem. E.D. claims cost an average of 33% more to repair than the average of all claims. The timing and severity of claims is particularly important to home builders that maintain financial reserves to pay claims. 

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the house that buck bought

The House That Buck Bought…

For a few years now, you've heard me preach about the injustices taking place, daily, in the Huntsville-metro Real Estate marketplace, regarding insecure home inspectors and their foundation repair contractor friends. Well, I want you to come see the house that Buck bought to live in.  According to two foundation repair contractors in Huntsville, recommended by the Home Inspector who inspected the home, my house had in excess of $15,000 worth of structural repairs that needed to be made.

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top 4 causes of foundation settlement

Top 4 Causes of Foundation Settlement

After three decades of inspections throughout Madison County, I feel that I have a lot to offer you on this topic. It all starts with the geology of Madison County. There are several reasons why houses experience Foundation Settlement. I will spell them out for you. (Remember, foundation settlement is almost inevitable... every home will experience it over time, so it's not imperative that foundation repair be done just because of minor amounts of settlement.)

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deck collapse

Deck Collapse – Lawsuits & Injuries

Building codes and requirements have really gotten tougher over the past years for deck construction. That being the case, newer decks being built are stronger and more enduring than ever before, preventing deck collapse. BUT, there are literally millions of outdoor decks in America that were built before the codes got tougher. 

So the bottom line is, there are still a lot of UNSAFE decks out there. As the temperatures warm and people seek enjoyment from outdoor life, some of those decks are bound to fail... and sometimes the failure can be catastrophic.

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arsenal blasting

The Effects of Arsenal Blasting

"Sarah... Come here and look at these brick veneer cracks! That darn Arsenal is tearing our house apart!"

For the past three decades, I've gotten one or two calls each year whereby people are contending that their brick veneer or drywall cracks were caused by the bomb detonations and rocket testing activities on the Arsenal.   The City of Huntsville has long been monitoring the Arsenal blasting activities with seismograph instruments placed around the Arsenal boundaries.   As far as I know, the levels of ground vibration recorded during this same time period have all been deemed safe.

But you won't convince the homeowners in South-Huntsville.  They know better!

Actually, they're wrong.  They are not feeling ground vibrations.  They are feeling their house shake from what engineers call "air-blast" a fancy word for concussion or low-frequency sound waves.

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hail damage hoax

Hail Damage Hoax

Realtors... Has this ever happened to you? You're trying to finalize that Real Estate deal when the home inspector expresses concern about the roof, so you bring in a "reputable" roofing contractor. The roofing contractor says that a new roof is needed because of hail damage. The Real Estate deal is put on hold, or worse yet, canceled because of this new "revelation."  The seller's insurance company disagrees and denies the claim, but the buyer demands a new roof!

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