Basement concrete block wall - can it come down?

mrplattsAugust 4, 2007

I realize that to get an "official" answer I should consult some sort of professional. But, I have a wall in my basement which until recently surrounded a very poorly constructed bathroom. Anyway, to make a long story short, the drywall, studs and the shower surround (plywood in parts!) were soaked through and covered in all sorts of funky mold. I hated the batroom anyway, so I tore off the walls and took out the rotten shower surround.

I need to get an idea if this 3.5 inch thick block wall is bearing any load whatsoever in my house. It is a ranch & this is under the upstairs bathroom. I would love to take out this ugly block wall, shift around a bit and make use of the space more wisely. There is a massive steel beam running the length of the house with steel posts supporting it, so I'm pretty sure this is bearing the brunt of the load.

Four joists seem to either rest on or pass right over the wall.

Any opinions?

Don't worry, I'm not planning on tearing the wall down right away, I'm just trying to plan out my new basement.

Photos:

View of wall

View of wall

TOP View of wall

TOP View of wall 2

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mrplatts

oh yeah, it isn't on the blueprints either.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 6:27PM
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brickeyee

Unlikely but you need someone to inspect in in person.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 10:31AM
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mrplatts

I took down one section which was obviously not structural, it was free standing and barely attached to the wall, it was also just sitting on top of the concrete floor.

Who does that sort of inspection?
how much do you think that might be?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 12:56PM
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worthy

From your description, the block walls seem extremely unlikely to be part of the original structure--they rest only on the concrete floor, there's a proper steel beam, and they are only 4" block. I've taken down several of these hideous DIY basement baths made of brick and block. (They must have gotten them free somewhere--what a pain to cart away.)

You should be able to get some educated assistance from your local building permit/inspection office. Bring along your copy of the blueprints.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 8:52PM
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mrplatts

hideous isn't even the word to describe this.

When we moved in the house tested Radon positive & they installed a mitigation system. Though now I've taken a good look at this corner 7 tore out the DIY nightmare the PO me there are huge cracks in the floor & it seems that the area around the main drain stack is open to the ground under the slab. I suppose the radon fan is doing no good! Once I get it fixed up I'll have to re-test.

I do want to do some DIY myself, but after all the half-a&&ed jobs they left me with, I want to make sure I do things right.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 8:21AM
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