Latent Effects of the `Big’ Mid-Atlantic Earthquake of 2011

Posted on January 10, 2012 by rick


I have found, in recent months, on several buildings we manage in Washington, DC a very odd, if not perplexing side effect of last Augusts’ quake.  After inspecting our properties’ for foundation cracks, wall separations, etc. one of the most common effects that has been observed is the separation of vent piping from their adjoining rooftop surface, known as flashing!  On a number of my buildings located in Dupont Circle that were built circa 1920, the vent pipes, typically PVC, broke through the membrane that sealed them to the roof.  I can only assume that when these buildings, with their solid foundations `moved’ the vent piping (that is attached to the waste stacks that carry away toilet waste) did not move with them.  While this analysis constitutes nothing more than a layman’s opinion from one not qualified as a professional engineer to make such an evaluation, I can only say that “the proof was on the roof.”  So managers, beware of leaks around vent pipes in 2012!  Larry.