Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Learning Moment
I'm sneaking in another dilapidated building in under the guise of education. Note that the wall framing goes straight up to the top without the usual break between floors. This is known as balloon construction:

"Balloon framing, as heretofore explained, is the term given to that system of construction in which the skeleton, or framework, of a building is spiked together with butt joints, and depends almost entirely for its strength and stability upon its exterior covering and the manner in which this covering is applied."

As noted, without the siding the building is leaning rather precariously. As an insurance adjuster I refer to this type of construction as a pain in the (expletive deleted). Note the lack of fire stops and insulation. Once the fire breaks into the walls the house either burns to the ground or smoke travels everywhere behind the walls. The result is extensive demolition of the walls and ceilings to seal the framing to stop the smell.

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