How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Why do concrete blocks have holes in them?
Monday, June 18, 2018
The openings are called “cells” and one reason they are there is because they make the blocks lighter and easier for a mason to handle. But the primary purpose of the cells is that they align from top to bottom of the wall when laid, and enable a builder to fill some cells with grout/concrete to strengthen the wall. It is often done at sides of larger window and door openings, and vertical steel reinforcing bars are added. This detail is especially important in hurricane-prone areas of South Florida that are designated by the Florida Building Code (FBC) as within the High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ).
See our blog post What are the pros and cons of concrete block versus wood frame construction? to learn more about concrete construction.
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To learn more about exterior walls and structures, see these other blog posts:
• What is the average lifespan of a house foundation?
• What causes vertical cracks in fiber cement siding planks?
• What causes raised white lines of residue on a block wall that are crusty and crumbling?
• What is the difference between soil subsidence, heave, creep, and settlement?
• How much ventilation is required for the under-floor crawl space of a home?
• What causes stair-step cracks in a block or brick wall?
• What causes a horizontal crack in a block or brick wall?
• How can I tell if a diagonal crack in drywall at the corner of a window or door indicates a structural problem?
• What causes the surface of old bricks to erode away into sandy powder?
• What are the pros and cons of concrete block versus wood frame construction?
• Should I buy a house with a crawl space?
• There's cracks running along the home's concrete tie beam. What's wrong?
• How can I tell if cracks in the garage floor are a problem or not?
• What do you look for when inspecting vinyl siding?
• Why is housewrap installed on exterior walls under the siding?
• How do I recognize serious structural problems in a house?
• Why did so many concrete block homes collapse in Mexico Beach during Hurricane Michael?
• How can I tell if the concrete block walls of my house have vertical steel and concrete reinforcement?
• Should I buy a house with structural problems?
• What are those powdery white areas on my brick walls?
• What causes cracks in the walls and floors of a house?
• How can I tell if the exterior walls of a house are concrete block (CBS) or wood or brick?
• What are the common problems of different types of house foundations?
• What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?
• How can I tell whether my house foundation problems are caused by a sinkhole or expansive clay soil?
Visit our EXTERIOR WALLS AND STRUCTURE page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.
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