The following photos are from a building structure in Hoboken, NJ that show what damaging effects that uncontrolled moisture can have on a building. The building shows damaged steel beams as well as damage to reinforced concrete columns and beams. When steel is exposed to high levels of moisture, it will begin to corrode. The corrosion causes the steel to delaminate with the rust making the steel expand. These forces can be incredibly strong, causing damage to the concrete around the steal and eventually causing the concrete to spall off of the structural element.
Another issue that this building was dealing with is uneven soil settlement. Many parts of New Jersey have unstable soil conditions that require specialized foundation systems. At this particular building, the main structural elements were constructed on piles, however, certain portions of the building were not. As the soil below and round the building has settled over time, the main structural elements of the building have remained place, however, some of the garage walls and slabs were not constructed on piles and have experienced uneven settlement over time, which has caused them to become damaged creating some unsafe conditions where the walls may collapse, and the slabs have uneven driving and walking surfaces. This client has repeated tried to attempt to address these issues by installing repair materials at the walls and slabs, however, this has proven to be a band-aid approach. For a short period of time, the issue appears to be resolved, however, after a few months or years, as the soil continues to move and settle, the cracks and damage kept returning, compounding the issues.
Falcon is currently working with this client on addressing both their water infiltration and soil settlement issues to develop long term solutions so that they are not constantly spending money on superficial repairs.