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Structural failure in New York

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Project: Cause & origin inspection

Structural failure in New York

A 150-year-old barn collapsed during a storm. Built in the mid-1800s, the structure was built from post and beam-type construction, with the main structural members being hand-hewn timbers secured with mortis and tendon joints and hardwood pegs. The property insurance carrier called upon H2M to conduct a full structural inspection of the two-story barn, which had suffered a complete structural collapse. The barn, set on a stone foundation with a dirt floor, displayed severe signs of mold and rot. The underside of the second-story floor boards and the barn’s slate roof shingles showed signs of severe deterioration.

H2M determined that weakened and rotted structural components no longer were able to support the structure and the roof. Under the additional load of snow and ice, the connections at the roof rafters failed and the structure collapsed. Long-term water seepage from the leaky roof, which was visible to the insured, was the primary cause of the collapse.

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