Blog - The Stress Point

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Recent Blog Posts - Residential

Residential Renovation: Design & Construction Defects

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Jeffrey W. Pitzer, P.E.

EDT was assigned to determine the cause of damages to a single-story residence. The residence, constructed in the 1950’s, was renovated in 2015. The work consisted of a complete teardown of the structure and cladding. The replacement structure was constructed on the existing timber floor beams and...

Roof Collapse

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Charles E. Whitley, P.E.

In a perfect world of consulting engineering, every investigation would result in a single, concise cause of damage to the product, structure, or system under investigation. In the real world, this rarely happens.

Furnace Safety Devices

Earlier this year, I was called to investigate a fire in an attic of a single story home. The fire damage was minimal, mostly related to smoke. The residence was occupied at the time of the fire, and the occupants turned the furnace electrical breaker off when they observed smoke coming out of the...

Brick Veneer - Defined in the Code

Even with its long and trusted history, questions can arise regarding the performance of a brick veneer system. When these performance issues arise, the property owner, adjuster, or attorney are often barraged with various terms such as water-resistive barrier, veneer, or exterior wall envelope...

Why Is the AC Vent Wet?

Have you ever walked around in your socks at home, stepped onto the air conditioning (AC) vent and your socks got wet? Have you ever noticed water dripping from a ceiling AC vent? You might say to yourself, my vents are leaking water; do I need to call the plumber?

Creep

One day a homeowner exited his home to find water pouring down the driveway. Closer examination revealed water was coming from the water meter box and the plastic threaded connector attaching the transition pipe from the water meter to the house supply line had fractured due to continuous stress...

Voltage Surge or Lightning Strike?

Many times electrical engineers are confronted with trying to classify damages to electrical and electronic equipment as the result of a lightning strike. More specifically, was the damage the result of a surge or a direct lightning strike? The answer is “maybe neither.” The chances are the damage...

Keep Your Head Out of the Clouds

Engineers should never have their heads in the clouds, and a good engineer would never be as subjective as Hamlet and Polonius were when observing the shapes of clouds in Shakespeare's "Hamlet". However, pattern recognition is not just the stuff of playwrights... the ability to see patterns is key...

Where's That Water From? (Part 1)

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Rod Turk, P.E.

In part 1 of this four-part series, we will examine common causes of water damage from mechanical systems. Small, slow leaks—or “stealth” leaks, as well as large floods, cause more obvious and widespread damage. Either of these types of leaks can be caused by many different mechanical systems in...

Automatic Water Shut-off Valves

To anyone that has ever had a water line burst in their house, it is clear, the uncontrolled discharge of water into an occupied space is a problem. To anyone that has ever had a water line burst in their house, it is clear, the uncontrolled discharge of water into an occupied space is a problem...