Why so much shaking ? | Home Inspections Bellevue-Seattle-Everett

Home Inspector with Hergert Inspection LLC

Why so much shaking ? | Home Inspections Bellevue-Seattle-Everett

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Damaged crawl-space shear wall

This home had substantial shaking from front to back during the earthquake a few years ago.

The blueprints for the home showed a full height foundation wall up to the floor joists in the area that had excessive shaking.

shear wall in crawlspace

During the Home Inspection of the Bellevue-Seattle-Everett area home, I found a strip-footing with a 2 x 4 framed wall, approximately 3' high, up to the floor joists. The framed wall had been sheathed with 1/2" plywood on both sides. My assumption is that the builder failed to pour the wall and obtained the engineers and/or building departments approval to substitute the double sheathed wall for the poured concrete wall.

Since the original construction, this home has had a problem with excess moisture in the crawlspace. A prior homeowner and/or contractor performed work to increase ventilation.

It appears in order to increase cross ventilation, the sheathing has been cut out between every stud bay.  As a result, the shear wall is worthless (except for holding the loads above) and the home is therefore prone to excess shaking or possible structural failure during future earhquakes.

damaged shear wall in crawl space


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Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Reason #237 to get your home inspected before you buy it! You never know WHAT some one did to it once it is lived in.

Jan 19, 2011 05:00 AM #1
John McCarthy
North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH


Good detective work on your part. You were fortunate to locate the original plans and find the deficiency. Really appreciate the posts from home inspectors here on AR. Thank you

Jan 19, 2011 05:13 AM #2
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Kevin Hergert

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