Structural Investigation is typically performed to observe existing structural conditions or problems typically related to distress, damage, serviceability performance issues, or failure in order to evaluate them and provide recommendations based on findings. These investigations may also be performed with conditions unknown, typically part of a due diligence, in order to help determine the condition of the structure and if it has any problems that need further attention. Structurally Framed, Inc. (SFI) has extensive background and experience that provides necessary knowledge and insight for structural investigations. Some of SFI’s investigation services include:
- Condition Assessment for Due Diligence or Specific Structural Problems
- Code Review
- Construction Document Review
- Structural Analysis of Existing Conditions
- Development of Repair Options
- Insurance Structural Claims
- Forensic Structural Engineering
- Expert Witness for Construction Defect Legal Cases
- Written reports on findings and recommendations
Signs or indications of existing structural problems may be obvious, subtle in nature or may not even be visible. Obvious problems can be in the form of distress, damage or failure. Subtle and nonvisible signs of problems can be more difficult to identify and locate. A few common example signs of structural problems include:
- Visible evidence of exterior and interior distress such as cracks in brick, stucco, concrete, stone surfaces, wood siding and drywall surfaces
- Foundation wall cracks
- Foundation vertical offsets
- Excessive floor deflections
- Signs of material deterioration such as concrete reinforcing corrosion, steel member rusting and delamination, concrete spalls, masonry breaking apart and wood rot
Identifying and locating the cause(s) to structural problems in some cases may be as straight forward as the problem itself or it more commonly may be difficult to determine. Complicating matters further is there may be a multitude of causes creating the problem. It is important to identify the cause(s) and/or potential causes(s) prior to any necessary repairs, otherwise, the repair(s) may not address the problem. Some example causes of structural related problems include:
- Vertical foundation movement
- Poor drainage and maintenance of waterproofing systems around the exterior structure
- Major loading changes on the structure such as mechanical equipment, snow and wind
- Damage caused by vehicle or equipment impact
- Construction defects
- Material issues or failures
- Original design related issues
Problems that are not addressed when they are first noticed run the risk that they may lead to more serious problems and likely increase the cost of repairs. If you are in need of a structural investigation to help understand and/or address a structural problem(s), contact SFI today to see how we can help!
Go to SFI summary of Structural Engineering Services.
Go to SFI Design Services.
Go to SFI Repair Services.