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Old 06-28-2011, 08:06 PM   #1
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Old house slightly sways (or shakes) with high winds


Hi all,
I have an 100 old house that when winds are 80 km/h or more slighly moves. The movement, very subltle but noticeable in the second floor, is parallel to the bearing walls. Only once during hurricane Igor did I feel it in the first floor when gusts reached 120 km/h. I could describe it as a sway because it appears always paralel to the outside walls. The house looks south. But it could be just a shake. It only happens intermitenly with the highest gusts.
I am doing several renovations in the house and I tought that this is a very old house and this is part of its character, a long with the squeaky floors and the cast iron fireplace, but maybe I should invest some money on fixing/checking it. I know that many houses in the area has this or similar type of problems with the high Newfoundland winds, but I don't know. What do you guys think? What would you do?

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Old 06-28-2011, 08:42 PM   #2
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Old house slightly sways (or shakes) with high winds


you need to cross brace the roof at least in the attic? What kingd of roof and attic space dop you have?

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Old 06-28-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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Old house slightly sways (or shakes) with high winds


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Originally Posted by Damianocastro View Post
Hi all,
I have an 100 old house that when winds are 80 km/h or more slighly moves. The movement, very subltle but noticeable in the second floor, is parallel to the bearing walls. Only once during hurricane Igor did I feel it in the first floor when gusts reached 120 km/h. I could describe it as a sway because it appears always paralel to the outside walls. The house looks south. But it could be just a shake. It only happens intermitenly with the highest gusts.
I am doing several renovations in the house and I tought that this is a very old house and this is part of its character, a long with the squeaky floors and the cast iron fireplace, but maybe I should invest some money on fixing/checking it. I know that many houses in the area has this or similar type of problems with the high Newfoundland winds, but I don't know. What do you guys think? What would you do?
Houses don't sway. Not old houses or new houses unless something is wrong.
What sort of renovations have you done?
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:51 PM   #4
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Old house slightly sways (or shakes) with high winds


We got hit by a microburst (death rattle of a thunderstorm) a couple months back. Probably had 80-100 mph winds momentarily. Neighbor's roof torn up and satellite dish removed. We lost an attic turbine and had the top of a tree flung across the yard and smashed a fence. Another tree a few houses down took out the powerlines for 24 hours. Fun times for all.

My beadroom is an enlarged dormer sticking up from the main roof. When I went up that night, I found a number of new diagonal hairline cracks in the plaster walls. The main roof is a gable roof with the gables facing north and south. The wind hit from the south, also hitting the south side of the dormer, racking it to the north. The house is 83 years old. The second floor is wood frame. The sheathing and subfloors are 1x12 planks oriented perpendicular to the frames, i.e. no real cross bracing worth mentioning.

"They don't build them like they used to" can sometimes be a good thing.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:30 AM   #5
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Old house slightly sways (or shakes) with high winds


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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
Houses don't sway. Not old houses or new houses unless something is wrong.
What sort of renovations have you done?
I beg the differ on this one. I just finished a MAJOR reno on a house here in BC that was built in the early 1900's.. Probably 1920's.

Classic old school framing techniques of actual 2x6 floor joists spanned over 14 feet with 3/4" bearing on one end. NO shear value at all on any wall.

I would be on the 2nd floor of this house and I was SERIOUSLY freaking out cause it felt like the house was going to fall over. Myself and another worker both took hold of an exterior wall and shook it as hard as we could and it was like jello.

After that we went right down to the basement and started shearing some key walls to help the shakes.


For you that don't know what a shear wall is;

A shear wall is a interior or exterior wall that is sheeted with preferably 5/8s ply wood. You block all the ends of the sheet in the middle of the wall so you can nail every perimeter edge 3 inches on center and down the studs at 10 inches on center..

Another good idea would be to solid block in between joists landing on load bearing walls.. This would help the floor not "roll" over in the event of a earthquake..


Would there be any way you could draw a layout of all the walls in the basement and first floor as a little blue print? Better idea of where to implement shear walls.

Hope that helps a bit!

Joey
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:58 AM   #6
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Old house slightly sways (or shakes) with high winds


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Originally Posted by joeyr View Post
I beg the differ on this one. I just finished a MAJOR reno on a house here in BC that was built in the early 1900's.. Probably 1920's.

Classic old school framing techniques of actual 2x6 floor joists spanned over 14 feet with 3/4" bearing on one end. NO shear value at all on any wall.
Joey
That would be the definition of, "something wrong?
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:03 PM   #7
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Old house slightly sways (or shakes) with high winds


Floor plans.
Old house slightly sways (or shakes) with high winds-house-plan-basement.jpg
Old house slightly sways (or shakes) with high winds-house-plan.jpg
A couple of clarifications:
The shaking happen since we got the house, renos has nothing to do.
The roof is flat
House is detached
The center wall in the basement is not attached to the main bean and columns.
I included pictures of both one column of the center wall in one side of the house and the backwall, where joits join the bearing wall.
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Baloon construction, whatever that might mean.
80-100 km/h winds are very common in this area, and I have never heard of a house collapsing, altough old timers tell histories such as houses in which you have to wait until the wind change direction to open certain door. I do not want to get to that point.
Thanks for the comments

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