Month: November 2021

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Shoring Inspections

Concrete Shoring Inspections & Formwork Engineering

EMA provide concrete shoring inspections and formwork, we have developed a reputation for excellence in the design of concrete shoring and reshoring systems for all types of structures. We have been trusted by concrete shoring and formwork industry leaders for over 20 years to meet the most stringent project requirements and schedules.
We work closely with our clients in consideration of project type and schedule to determine the optimum concrete shoring and formwork system(s) for their needs.
Our concrete shoring inspections expertise includes all major proprietary shoring products and methods as well as conventional wood-framed forming methods. We are experienced in slab shoring design (e.g. flat plate, pan/joist, pan/slab, precast joist and soffit, etc.) as well as wall and column form design.

EMA  has special capabilities in several areas of Structural Shoring Inspections:

  • heavy and logistically difficult shoring applications;
  • custom formwork design; and
  • reshore design for virtually any concrete shoring system and construction sequence.
EMA delivers full service engineering and Showing Inspections for your shoring projects, or, if you prefer, engineering review/sign/seal for projects which you have drafted. Our on-demand inspection program keeps your project moving along on schedule.
EMA gives the utmost consideration to economy as well as safety on each of our projects.  We consider it the highest compliment that the vast majority of our work has been obtained through “word of mouth” advertising. We have a flawless safety record — no design-related failures have occurred on any of our projects.
We are currently registered as Structural and/or Professional Engineers in 6 states and continue to expand each year.  When your project requires a professionally engineered shoring or reshoring design call 813-398-5383

 

snow load roof collapse damage

Snow Load Roof Collapse

Snow Load Roof Collapse Risk

snow load may collapse roof
ema engineers perform snow load assessment to check if snow load may collapse roof

Snow Load Roof Collapse, Dr. Ali, principal engineer of EMA Structural Forensic Engineers, says that the best way to prevent a snow load roof collapse from snow is to be proactive. A good rule of thumb is that if your roof has more than 2-ft* of snow then it is definitely time to consider finding ways of removing it.*this is a rough estimate when no information is available to analyze a roof properly.

Common signs of potential snow load roof collapse include:

snow_roof_collapse_jpg4Commercial Buildings: If sprinkler heads are protruding through ceiling then you may be at risk of a snow load roof collapse. Sprinkler heads are hung from the roof of most commercial buildings, and as a result, would be sagging if the snow load is beginning to put pressure on the roof.

Residential Buildings: It is difficult to tell when it is really cold. In warmer weather, a roof collapse can be preceded by a leak of some sort—look for signs of water damage coming through the ceiling or cracks in the drywall. If you’re able to get into your attic, look for cracked roof joists. Many occupants of collapsed buildings report of hearing cracking sounds prior to the collapse.

What’s the breaking point?

Snow varies in density, so knowing just how much weight 2-ft of snow is putting on your roof isn’t an exact science. However, we suggest property owners assume that every 1-ft of snow is putting about 15lbs per square foot of pressure on their roofs. The amount of pressure can vary significantly, anywhere from as low as 5lbs to 50lbs of weight. It all depends on the density of the snow.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) presently puts the current weight of snow on the ground at 33lbs per square foot. As a reference, most new buildings in Portsmouth have a design roof snow load of around 40-psf (not including drifting).

How to tell yourself

A simple way to determine the weight of the snow involves taking a piece of PVC pipe and doing the following:

  • Push down PVC pipe to the base of the snow for a sample of the snow.
  • Then cap it, upright it and let it melt inside the tube.
  • When the snow melts, measure the depth of the water. (If you have 8 inches of water in the PVC pipe it equals 41 pounds per square foot and would go up or down with each inch of water by 5.2 pounds. This is a rough estimate figure and should be used with caution)

There is also a special website run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that can help you determine the water equivalent of snow pack.

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Storm Damage Assessment

Storm Damage Assessment:

How a Structural Engineer Can Assess Wind, Snow and Water Damage After a Storm

Structural storm damage assessments and structural engineer inspections for East Coast hurricane, flood and snow damage.

Storm damage assessment is a process that follows any major storm event. Homes and other structures along the East Coast damaged by recent storms such as Hurricane Sandy or winter storm Nemo may require a structural inspection in order to file or resolve an insurance claim. Summit Engineering can help determine cause of damage for insurance companies, adjusters, and homeowners.

We can do Storm Damage Assessments, if damages were the result of:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Maintenance
  • Improper construction or design
  • Flooding
  • High winds
  • Wind-driven rain
  • Snow accumulation
  • can also determine if the level of wind and/or water damage is repairable or if the entire structure is a loss.

EMA Structural Forensic engineers conducts structural storm damage assessments and can provide the documentation insurance companies need to process claims from storms. As an East Coast structural engineering firm, we’ve spent many years working throughout New England and along the Atlantic Seaboard. We have seen storm damage of all types. We can identify structural damage causes and deliver a written assessment of our findings. In the event of litigation, we can provide expert witness testimony.

What you need to know about flood damage

Typical homeowners insurance doesn’t cover damage due to flooding. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers coverage in communities that adopt and enforce minimum FEMA construction standards.

Many homeowners along the East Coast have found themselves both uninsured for flood damage and a victim of hurricanes or other coastal flooding events. Since wind damage is covered under most insurance policies, it often becomes the point of dispute between homeowners and insurance providers. Summit’s structural engineers will assess storm damage and deliver a structural damage report to insurance adjusters. These post-hurricane engineering assessments are crucial to completing insurance claims.

What you need to know about damage due to snow

Most homeowners insurance policies cover outright damage due to buildup of heavy snow. However, most do not cover lack of maintenance. A structural engineer familiar with building envelopes and snow accumulation can determine causes of damage from snow accumulation.

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structural 40 Year Recertification Inspections, EMA Forensic Engineers Florida

40 Year Structural Inspection

40 YEAR STRUCTURAL INSPECTION & RECERTIFICATION?

40 Year Structural Inspection Recertification Inspections

Serving Broward, Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Volusia and Palm Beach Counties

EMA Structural Forensic Engineers explains what a 40 year structural inspection or certification is and why it is important.

The 40 year structural inspection and recertification building inspection is required by law and is to ensure that buildings are structurally and electrically safe. Buildings must have the inspection performed by a structural engineer at 40 years of age from construction and every 10 years thereafter.

Although the cost of a Structural Inspection & Recertification can vary widely from professional to professional, there are certain basic items that can affect the cost.  Either way, it is a good idea to understand what these potential issues are so you can discuss these with your engineer.  Your engineer can provide you with a proposal once he has a good understanding of your building.  Some engineers  provide a price per condominium. Prices can range between $150 per door to $450 per condominium (depending on many factors).  Others provide a price based on square footage.  Still others take into consideration the location or the structure, its age, and even if it has a crawl space that he may have to squeeze into

settlement crack evaluation

Settlement Crack Evaluation

Building Settlement Crack Evaluations

The settlement crack evaluation in foundation walls are important as the wall are connected to the top of the footings and transferring major structural loads. The purpose of a foundation is to carry the weight of the house structure down through the foundation to the footings.

Whatever their construction, (concrete, brick, concrete blocks, etc.), foundation walls crack because of lateral force, settling, heaving or uneven loads (more weight than designed on a specific section of the foundation), of the foundation walls. Natural forces such as earth quakes can also be a contributor in earthquake regions.

Building settlement crack evaluations start with a pad and pencil.  Make notes of interior & exterior cracks and their locations. When inside the lower level, you will want to try to locate them on the inside. If the crack goes entirely through the foundation it may be a red flag. Small hair-line cracks that do not go through the foundation wall are common and nothing to worry about; they may have been caused by shrinkage of the concrete or mortar joints.

A fo crack sometimes has a similar type crack on an opposite wall of the foundation. Similar cracks on opposite walls may have the same cause, with the exception of horizontal cracking caused by a lateral force.

Types of Cracking in Settlement crack evaluation

Vertical and 45 degree cracking is usually caused by settlement and heaving. Horizontal cracking is commonly caused by side pressure on the foundation, such as hydrostatic pressure (a lateral force). Surface cracks that do not go entirely through the wall and with no signs of displacement are not normally a structural defect. Isolated vertical cracks that do not extend to the lower edge of the foundation wall are usually shrinkage cracks. They are caused by the concrete shrinking during curing.

Causes of Horizontal Cracking

The foundation should act as a retaining wall, resisting lateral pressure of the soil on the outside of the basement or crawl space. If the foundation does not provide enough lateral support, the walls will deflect inward and create horizontal cracking. Some of the causes are foundation walls that are too thin or do not have, (or not enough), reinforcement, such as rebar in the concrete foundation, backfilling the foundation too soon before the foundation has a chance to fully cure, or during back filling if big stones or hard frozen chunks of ground were dumped against the foundation .

Causes of Heaving Foundations with settlement crack evaluation

Heaving cracks in foundations made out of brick, blocks, or stones,(not concrete), will generally have cracking in the form of a step, called “step cracking”. Step cracking usually follows the mortar joints in these materials.

In concrete foundations, heaving cracks are usually vertical and are wider at the top of the crack than at the base.

Some areas of the country have expansive soils, which increase in size when they absorb water, causing heaving cracks. Moisture added to dry expansive soils, say from a sudden down pour, will drastically change the volume of the soil and cause serious heaving problems as well as structural damage as a result of a lack of  settlement crack evaluation in some cases. When the expansive soil dries, the shrinkage can also cause a pulling effect on the foundation. The method of prevention is to maintain the soil moisture content, by keeping the soil as dry as possible along the foundation. This can be achieved by proper grading around the perimeter.

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snow load roof collapse damage

Rain on Snow

Rain on Snow: A Recipe for Building Disaster

rain on snow
rain on snow damage to buildings by EMA engineers

EMA Structural Engineers Explain Rain on Snow Roof Load Dangers

Rain on snow events in various counties. Structural Engineers at EMA Structural engineers, are cautioning homeowners throughout Florida, Texas, Louisiana, New york to be aware of the dangers any time there is a winter mix of snow and rain on the horizon.

Snow, followed by rain, is one of the worst combinations for roofs. The problem with rain or wet snow following a deep snowstorm is that the rainwater doesn’t pour off of the roof. It gets trapped in the snow. The increase in weight can get dramatic. Plus, the weight of snow varies depending upon the temperature and moisture content.

A 12-inch snow depth can weight from 10-lbs to 20-lbs a square foot. It’s the rain on top of this that is the real problem. This last storm probably added close to 30-lbs of snow over each square foot of roof. That’s a very large amount of weight.

Rainwater weighs approximately 5-lbs for every inch. A significant storm can cause a dramatic increase in weight on roofs that are already stressed by heavy snow and may have not been designed to handle it.

It is more of a concern for older structures. The building codes over the last three decades have done a far better job of mandating roofs to handle these types of loads. However, older cities in the Northeast have a large portion of their building stock built much earlier than that.”

We recommend that homeowners clear the snow off their roofs as soon as possible. However, he cautions that they should not go onto the roofs themselves to clean after a rain on snow event has happened.

Getting on a sloped roof with slippery ice and snow is extremely dangerous. Only remove snow from the ground with a roof rake or hire a professional with the proper insurance and safety equipment.

EMA Structural Engineers is no stranger to investigating building collapses. The firm was heavily involved in the investigation of structures after Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey for FEMA and have worked on a number of insurance claims involving damage from snow.

So keep those roofs clean this winter, and avoid any unwarranted surprises!

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Structural Engineers Inspections

Structural Engineers Inspections

EMA offers structural Engineers inspections for new and existing construction of any size and type.  Our licensed building inspectors, are supported by professional and structural engineers on staff. As part of our structural engineers inspections service, we also offer inspections for fire and water damage, hurricane damage and preventative maintenance solutions, stucco and EIFS systems, and residential mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.

 

These services can include timely and economical retrofit and repair solutions where deficiencies and/or damage are found with opinions of probable costs for corrective action.

The following structural Engineers inspections are a sampling of the types of inspections EMA offers:

Third Party Inspections
It is not uncommon to request third-party structural inspections to confirm quality assurance. We offer these third-party quality assurance structural inspections of new residential and commercial construction so that you can be sure your project is being built in accordance with construction plans and specifications.

Private Provider Inspections (Florida-Specific)

Florida Statute §553.791 provides that the fee owner may elect to use a private provider to provide plans review or required building inspections, or both in lieu of the building department; allowing construction to be independently inspected for quality and code compliance by a licensed Professional Engineer and/or his Duly Authorized Representative.
EMA thorough inspections may lead to increased quality in workmanship, less defect claims, and less warranty claims.When timeliness is vital to the success of your project, our structural inspection services avoid lengthly lead times normally associated with governmental personnel.
Threshold Inspections Structural Engineers Inspections (Florida-Specific)
A threshold building is defined in Florida Statute §553.371 as exceeding three stories or 50 feet in height, or which has an assembly building classification as defined in the Florida Building Code which exceeds 5,000 square feet in area with occupant content greater than 500 persons.
Florida Statute §553.379 requires a Special Inspector to perform structural inspections on a threshold building pursuant to a structural inspection plan prepared by the engineer or record.

 

Threshold Inspector Representative will work under the direction of a Special Inspector (Registered Engineer) licensed by the State of Florida to provide threshold inspections.

Shoring and Reshoring Inspections
Whether required by statute specification or contractor confidence EMA’s  extensive experience in shoring and reshoring design using many different systems allows for efficient inspections to keep your project moving along smoothly and safely.
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Structural Engineering Consulting

Structural Engineering Consulting

EMA Structural Engineering Consulting and Design Services

EMA Engineers is a full-service structural engineering firm dedicated to providing our clients with the pinnacle of structural engineering consulting and design service in all projects. Having serviced Tampa, Orlando and Daytona, Florida, for years, our varied experiences in civil and structural engineering culminate in a multidisciplinary skill set you can count on to create a cohesive engineering plan that meets your building criteria, budget, and aesthetic sensibility.

Whether building anew, restoring the old, or making a modest change to an existing building, EMA  Engineer’s experienced staff of structural engineer consultants can be relied upon to provide an innovative and functional engineering solution. We take pride in being very knowledgeable and comfortable working with any building material, including masonry, wood, light gauge solutions, steel framing, and even manufactured wall forms. From structural engineering design to completion, we will work alongside builders and construction crews to assure that your Tampa,r Orlando or Daytona Beach-area project is the success you envisioned.

What we do as Structural Engineering Consulting firm

  • Complete Building Structural Engineering Design
  • Masonry Structural Design
  • Wood Structural Design
  • Structural Steel Design
  • Post-tension Design
  • Composite Floor Systems
  • Reinforced Concrete Structural Design
  • Tilt-up & Pre-cast Structural Design
  • Structural Peer Review
  • Shop Drawings
  • Pool Permit
  • Pool Design
  • Blast Loading Design
  • Value Engineering
  • Construction Management
  • Structural Restoration
  • New Construction, Renovation and Addition
  • Light Gauge Steel Framing Design
  • Design-Build
  • Construction Document Printing
  • Contract Administration

If you need structural engineering design services, EM Engineers has you covered. EMA engineers can undertakes a wide range of jobs that vary in size and scope. Big, small, commercial or residential, we will create the plans to ensure your construction is well designed and structurally sound. Whatever the size or scale of your construction project, our structural engineer consultants are ready to listen, assist, and provide the solutions that you need to protect your investment.