Bright Side
NewPopular
Inspiration
Creativity
Wonder

20 Buildings on the Verge of Collapse That Left Inspectors Speechless

The technical inspection of buildings can cause stress to owners because they’re often unaware that the foundations of their properties are in bad shape. Some of these inspectors have been so surprised with their findings that they’ve shared them online. An internet account managed by engineers from a well-known Los Angeles firm has posted some of these pictures, and they are shock-inducing. We decided to show you the most startling ones.

Bright Side collected quite a few photographic testimonies from engineers, some of which look like they were taken straight out of a fictional home that requires an urgent inspection.

1. “This is a home we inspected that toppled over a few days after being hit by a car.”

2. “This photo was sent to me by one of our in-house engineers.”

“We are doing a seismic retrofit on this apartment building. This is, quite literally, what we discovered. There was nothing supporting the unit above. No connections or even anything touching the ground besides the stucco facade. Thank goodness we had shoring put in place.”

3. “Had to throw the whole house away.”

4. “This was an area of a hillside home that was not being retained by an actual retaining wall.”

“There was a wooden fence holding back the stone and dirt, and it eventually gave way when too much pressure built up.”

5. “This large, 14-foot masonry wall cracked and began leaning over.”

6. “This is an unstable hillside area with a home built on top.”

“The loose soil in this area could give way at any moment, but luckily heavy root systems are holding back quite a bit of the hillside area, preventing a slide.”

7. “This was a brick foundation we inspected that is desperately begging for assistance.”

8. “The entire outside perimeter hardscape of this home was sinking by almost a foot and was pulling away from the rest of the structure.”

9. “Life always finds a way...”

10. “This property’s crawlspace had tons of moisture underneath.”

“The homeowner tried to put sand and other materials down there in an attempt to dry or cover the moist ground. The moisture and fracturing of the wall caused significant horizontal cracking in the foundation.”

11. “Here we have a garage on top of an extended slab footing.”

“The slab under the stucco is breaking apart and beginning to slowly slide away from the structure.”

12. “One more heavy rain and this bad boy just might give way.”

13. “Water was constantly getting into the wall. This is the ugly result.”

14. “This is the result of a creeping hillside and shallow pile placement.”

“As the hillside slowly moves down or ‘creeps,’ the concrete piles, retaining walls, and their footings begin to go down with it. This is why proper bearing material should be reached for all supporting systems on a hillside. Some places only require 5 feet down, others require 45+ feet down. It is imperative to get the proper depth.”

15. “This is a severe retaining wall crack on the backside of a property in LA.”

“Many of the masonry blocks are loose and are starting separate from each other, as well as the patio area above.”

16. “This subterranean basement had a window that opened up into an open area underground.”

“Imagine opening the window in your basement and a group of bats flies in. This was actually accessible through a tiny opening on the side of the house but no normal-sized person could fit more than their arm or leg through it.”

17. “A few of the piles supporting this hillside deck are beginning to lean over.”

18. “This is a job we’re currently working on in Malibu.”

“Over time, the ocean water seeped into the concrete piles holding up the house and caused significant spall damage to the concrete.”

19. “This is by far one of the most interesting things we’ve inspected in Los Angeles county.”

“This is a full-on bomb shelter underneath a concrete slab garage. This early ’40s bunker hid behind a massive steel door, which led to a staircase going down to complete darkness.”

20. “Stones and dust holding up a post under a home. They did it right in the 1920s... Not.”

Have you ever hired an architect? Do you think it’s a risky job, or do you believe that technology is the greatest ally when fixing construction mistakes?