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Emergency Apartment Wall Repair

Project type



April 2024


Seattle, WA



From calamity to charming: this apartment wall fell, in section, from 40 feet in the air into a shared courtyard space. Thankfully, no one was hurt - except the building!

Why did it happen? Because the previous builders used incorrect materials to assemble the wall: wall ties were not galvanized or treated, lintels were not galvanized or treated, window sills were rotted wood caulked to appear whole, roof was incorrectly flashed, etc. The list is endless.

This apartment manager was set up to fail - how could they know? How did this pass inspection? Because this was hiding behind the brickwork.

Be sure to trust your masons. Ask them what materials they use, and why. Don't skimp. I hope to never see a site like this again - this time, the tenants were lucky. The fall probably happened at night, and no one was near the area.

It took us just about 1 business week to do it all: clean the fallen bricks of old mortar and dirt (we were pulling them up from 1 foot down into the earth where they impacted during their fall), install the new lintels and waterproof house wrap and wall ties, and re-lay the 1000 bricks, and finally replace the roof flashing.

And in just that one week of work, this wall is stronger than it has been for quite a while.

Next steps: address additional sections of the wall methodically to prevent this from happening again.

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