We love good plumbers! Running pipes through a home is not an easy job, and if done correctly, it usually goes unnoticed. In some cases, however, plumbing is done incorrectly, and it can have serious repercussions on a home. Recently we found floor joist damaged by a plumber.
Above are a few pictures of plumbing that was added that affected the structural integrity of the floor. Pipes are commonly run through floor joists, but floor joists have a job of their own -holding up the floor! If you put too many holes in a floor joist or just take a piece out of it altogether, you risk compromising or damaging the floor above it, resulting in sagging and cracking, especially if any weight is applied to the damaged joist.
The first picture shows where the plumber removed an entire piece if a joist to add a drain to what looks like a toilet. Now, the floor strength is questionable, and to make matters worse they set a 40-50 pound toilet on top of it, in addition to the weight of the occasional person using the restroom. I think we may have a problem, Houston.
To fix a floor joist damaged by a contractor or plumber, you will often need to have a structural engineer or framing contractor evaluate how to repair the structural problem in the area. This can be a costly undertaking.
Chris Scott is an ASHI certified home inspector with multiple years of experience in home inspections, blower door testing, duct leakage testing, and Boulder Rental License Inspections. Chris is also the Website Coordinator for Scott Home Inspection.