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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A few years back a large tree was removed from my neighbors yard. I'm guessing this is what caused the cracks in the wall.

Since the tree is gone the roots are probably dead but I don't know this for sure.

It's been recommended that I patch the damaged area.

If in time the patched area begins to buckle I'll know something is still going on and move forward at this point. If not all should be good

This sound like a reasonable plan?
 

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Sounds reasonable to me. It looks like settling damage. I would patch it and see what happens as it will be obvious if it moves more. Maybe roots under it are rotting.
I am curious about something. A party wall has a specific meaning in building codes pertaining to buildings. Is that type of wall called a party wall in your part of the world?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds reasonable to me. It looks like settling damage. I would patch it and see what happens as it will be obvious if it moves more. Maybe roots under it are rotting.
I am curious about something. A party wall has a specific meaning in building codes pertaining to buildings. Is that type of wall called a party wall in your part of the world?
Yes, this property is in AZ and we call it a party wall because it's shared by the neighbors.
 

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Interesting. In building codes a party wall is a fire rated fire wall that divides a contiguous structure into two buildings for code purposes and which is located on a property line. Not being from the southwest, I never heard an exterior property line wall called a party wall. Live and learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
There is also this issue (see photo) I was told the water stains are caused by the lawn on the other side which runs up against the wall.

Initially I thought I could water proof my side of the wall. However, I was told this would trap the water inside the brick causing more damage.

Since I will be asking my neighbor to address this issue can anyone recommend an inexpensive way to prevent or at least slow the water from reaching the wall?
 

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Back to the first picture for a minute, there is something strange there. It looks like it was built that way.

Go to the bottom two courses of blocks and note the block on top starts at the midpoint of the blocks below and that is correct and should have continued all the way to the top. But as you follow the midpoint up you see the blocks on top are missing that midpoint. No sign that they were moved by and shifting as the seams are right where they were installed.

Any thoughts?

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Back to the first picture for a minute, there is something strange there. It looks like it was built that way.

Go to the bottom two courses of blocks and note the block on top starts at the midpoint of the blocks below and that is correct and should have continued all the way to the top. But as you follow the midpoint up you see the blocks on top are missing that midpoint. No sign that they were moved by and shifting as the seams are right where they were installed.

Any thoughts?

Bud
I bought the house in 2012 and the inspection report mentions the block wall was fine. No mention of any damage. I don't recall seeing any damage when I bought it or the times I visited the home. (It's a rental)

One of the contractors I spoke said he fairly certain the damage was caused by roots from a large tree that used to be in my neighbors years. That tree was removed a few years ago.

Another contractor said it's possible the wall just has settled wrong.

In any case I'll patch the area and wait.

However, the water stains need to be addressed as this is an on-going issue..
 

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Any chance there are pictures somewhere. Every home inspector I have used has taken lots of them, especially if there were gaps like we see.

Can you get over to the other side to get a picture from there?

As is, the left wall is tilted away if I'm seeing it correctly and the builder of the right wall just cut and fit to butt the back wall to it, all-be-it poorly.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Any chance there are pictures somewhere. Every home inspector I have used has taken lots of them, especially if there were gaps like we see.

Can you get over to the other side to get a picture from there?

As is, the left wall is tilted away if I'm seeing it correctly and the builder of the right wall just cut and fit to butt the back wall to it, all-be-it poorly.

Bud
No photos of the yard on the inspection report. The buckling is fairly noticeably. If the damage was there at the time of purchase I would have seen it.

I've looked at the other side of the wall and there doesn't appear to be any damage. It's just on my side.

I'm not going to bring up the buckling with my neighbor because I can't be certain of the cause. I just know a large tree at one time had been directly on the other side of the wall.

One contractor was adamant tree roots were the cause and the other suggests either tree roots or the wall simply shifted over the years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I had contractor come by yesterday for an estimate on repairs:

Wall Repair Disassemble 12 ft section of fence Remove footer and tree roots Install new footer Reassemble wall using the existing block - $1200.

He also wrote:

Wall Deterioration
In examining the wall I have determined that the deterioration is do to moisture (Specifically sprinklers, drip systems, etc.) in the neighboring yards. This deterioration will continue as long as they have grass and sprinkler next to the wall.

However, I'm going to have my handyman simply patch the wall. The tree is gone and the roots likely dead. On the other hand if the patch should crack over time I will know something else is going on and have the wall repaired by the contractor.
 
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