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Question re - damage to brickwork caused by wheelie bin fire

Discussion in 'Building' started by smittydj, 19 Jul 2013.

  1. smittydj

    smittydj

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    Hi, i'm hoping someone can help me with a problem that i am having.

    A few days ago my wheelie bins caught fire between my house and next door's garage wall. The fire was put out / reduced significantly by another neighbour who spotted it early and the fire brigade were called who extinguished it fully. The owners of the garage are claiming that the fire has caused the interior mortar work of their garage to crack as a result, despite the fact that the exterior brickwork / mortar is unaffected.

    I find this hard to believe as,
    1. the fire did not get too big and was not burning for very long at all (this can be seen in the minimal damage to the plastic pipework in close proximity to the area indicating low heat. Also, the combustible material is only charred, not burnt and is visibly left.
    2. there are similar cracks in the mortar work approx 5ft further along the wall too. They are NOT joined and are a around 5ft from where the fire started.
    3. as mentioned above, the exterior brick / mortar work is unaffected and there for could not cause this damage to the inside.

    I have attached a couple of photos to show what i mean.

    Could someone please give an opinion as whether they think such an incident could have caused this or if it more likely 'old' cracks caused by something like slight subsidence or ground movement.

    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance.

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  3. trowlerman

    trowlerman

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    they look like old cracks to me
     
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  4. trowlerman

    trowlerman

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    they look like old cracks to me
     
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  5. smittydj

    smittydj

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    Thanks for giving your opinion - My thoughts exactly.
     
  6. RogerBoyle

    RogerBoyle

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    I agree they do look like old cracks but bigger and better photos would help

    Do any of the cracks line up with the outside location of the fire
    As the external pics show straight walls either side of the path but on the internal pictures where the crack is the wall isn't straight LOL
     
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  7. smittydj

    smittydj

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    The protruding parts of the interior wall appear to be almost 'added' to the inside. Where the liverpool photo is makes a 'shelf'which lead me to believe it may be almost 'freestanding' and a reason for the cracks (due to movement). Also, if you look closely, there is not 'dust' or 'debris' which you may expect to see if the cracks were caused recently.

    If you click on the album link you may see the pictures bigger.

    http://www.diynot.com/network/smittydj/albums/17027/63913
     
  8. noseall

    noseall

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    Those cracks are historic the neighbour is trying it on.

    A wall is subject to far more stress when the sun warms an entire facade, which can lead to thermal movement. A modest bin fire is not going to achieve this.
     
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  10. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Agree with the others. That pier (assuming it is a pier - not clear from the pics) doesn't appear to be bonded. With a single-skin wall, it would be surprising if no crack had ever ocurred there. Probably old and due to thermal- or slight settlement movement. No way a small fire would do that.
    Millions of old houses have fireplaces built of brick and don't have problems like this!
     
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  11. JohnD

    JohnD

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    certainly they are trying it on.

    It even looks to me as if the wall-paint is newer than the cracks.

    take some close-up photos if you can

    you'd better inform your insurance co, though unless the neighbours can prove the fire was caused by your negligence, it's their own insurance they'l be claiming on.

    Consider a brick wall with a chimney inside it. Unless you have a roaring chimney fire, it doesn't crack for many years

    You could help with the gutttering if you want.

    click on this and look on the old cobwebs on the crack.

     
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  12. smittydj

    smittydj

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    Thanks to everyone for your responses relating to this - you pretty much confirmed what i was thinking.

    The black pipework is all mine anyway so i'll be sorting that myself anyway.

    The only damage to their garage (on the right hand side is an ever so slight 'warping' of the soffit board which can hardly be seen. That also shows how little the fire actually was. They said they weren't bothered about that as long as it cleaned up ok.
     
  13. RogerBoyle

    RogerBoyle

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    How did you get on with neighbours after reading the replies from here LOL
     
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  14. smittydj

    smittydj

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    To be honest neither of us have mentioned any more about it. I've avoided the subject / contact with them and they haven't said anything either. Mind you, they've been away on holiday for the last couple of weeks.

    Everyone I have shown the photos to says the same, the damage existed previously and they are looking to try it on. Hopefully they will realise that and no more will be said about the matter -hopefully!!!!

    Watch this space.
     
  15. RogerBoyle

    RogerBoyle

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    LOL thought that would be the case
     
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