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How to demo a block wall and boundary questions.

How to demo a block wall and boundary questions.

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  #1  
Old 05-09-19, 09:07 AM
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How to demo a block wall and boundary questions.

This is a block wall which is on my neighbor’s side of the property boundary line. The wall has tilted over and is leaning against my garage at certain touch points. It has no rebar, which in my opinion contributed to the collapse. The catalyst was the neighbor placing several sheets of drywall against the wall. The neighbor has been dragging his feet in rectifying this situation.

Any opinions on how this wall can be rebuilt? If not how to safely remove it without damaging my garage? Would you concur it’s the neighbor’s responsibility? As background he has identical walls surrounding his property. A wall perpendicular to this one also collapsed in the past and damaged another neighbor’s garage. The wall is NOT ON the boundary line but clearly on his side of the line.
 
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Last edited by PowerNovice; 05-09-19 at 09:49 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-09-19, 09:19 AM
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Hard to say sight unseen, pics would be nice.

Have you talked to his neighbor on the other side to find out his damage was handled?
 
  #3  
Old 05-09-19, 09:50 AM
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I've added the pics. Neighbor is not well versed with wall constrcution but clear its his fault.
 
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Old 05-09-19, 10:01 AM
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Easiest would be to simply push or pull on the wall and let it fall to the ground. It will break apart when it hits. The wall can be rebuilt but that will be up to your neighbor.
 
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Old 05-09-19, 10:04 AM
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Yes thats what I want to suggest to him but I'm scared the debris will kick back against my garage. Any thoughts on how to avoid that? How would one pull on it? With a rope, bobcat? Or do you think sawing it apart by section is safer?
 
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Old 05-09-19, 11:19 AM
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Two people...... one on each end.
Just pull it away from the garage. It will topple right into your neighbors yard.
The seam is broken at the bottom row...... it will topple cleanly.

That wall is on his side but it is too close to the property line.
 
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Old 05-09-19, 12:29 PM
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It might take more than 2 people but if you can get it past the center of gravity your neighbor will then have the mess to clean up!

I doubt it's going to kick up, the mortar joints will be the first to give which will absorb a lot of the energy!
 
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Old 05-09-19, 12:32 PM
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I agree, just pulling it away from your garage should cause it to topple to the ground with no real damage to your bldg.

IMO it would be better to extend/turn the chain link fence and not have that wall. Whenever a wall or fence is close to a bldg like that it's begging to fill up with debris which will hold water and eventually cause damage to your garage.
 
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Old 05-09-19, 12:45 PM
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Good point. Unless I'm thinking incorrectly, I like the wall because he recently installed sprinklers on his side. I'm trying to protect my garage from the overspray that is likely to occur with no barrior? Maybe get him to put up a vinyl fence as a replacement? I also dont wnat to cede the property to him as turning the fence would do so. Any additional thoughts are much appreciated from all of you!
 
  #10  
Old 05-10-19, 05:34 AM
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His fence leaning onto your garage is ALL his problem. He is liable for any damage it causes to your garage. If a new fence will be rebuilt in it's place then that too is all on your neighbor. Judging by what I see in the photo I doubt they will go the expense of rebuilding a masonry wall so a inexpensive option might be your best angle.

I honestly don't know why that wall is there in the first place unless your garage was built after the fence. Your garage wall serves as a barrier/fence so there is no need for a separate fence with a uselessly narrow gap between.
 
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  #11  
Old 05-10-19, 11:12 AM
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The sprinklers and his lawn are new and possibly a contributing factor to the wall's failure. If no replacement barrier is built then the overspray is gonna damage the garage wall. What can be done about that is there is not replacement wall?
 
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Old 05-10-19, 12:04 PM
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What is your garage siding made of? Are you sure the sprinkler system will get the wall wet? Getting wet by itself shouldn't cause damage, the bigger concern is how long it will stay wet - how long it takes to dry.
 
  #13  
Old 05-11-19, 09:00 AM
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Siding is made from stucco.

Any change pulling the wall from his side will damage his paved concrete? When the wall topples the weight will impact the paced concrete.
 
  #14  
Old 05-11-19, 01:08 PM
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Yes, that wall probably weighs a thousand pounds. Anything on the ground underneath will get squished when it falls. Also, when it hits the ground some pieces may go rolling or flying so it's a good idea to get everything out of the area before tipping it over.

If there is a concrete slab that it will hit when it falls you can protect it. You can put almost anything there to provide some cushion. Bags of mulch or potting soil, some old boards/plywood...
 
  #15  
Old 05-11-19, 03:42 PM
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It looks like your average cut-too-many-corners concrete-block wall-
The first course seems to be 1/2 way into the ground, so there's probably no foundation, just a trench with gravel and then block laid on top.
Would ALSO guess that there is no rebar, and none of the voids in the concrete block were filled with concrete for additional support..

The picture seems to show that several capstones have popped loose, should be easy for your neighbor to remove a few capstones and check whether there is a foundation, rebar, or concrete in the voids.

If the wall has no foundation, no rebar and no filled voids, I see two simpler options after removing all the capstones.

First, tilt it back to vertical, drive several 70" steel U-Channel fencing posts into the ground, then fill around the steel posts with concrete.
OR
Second, get about twenty guys and twenty 2x4s, slide the 2x4s into the voids in the block wall, then slowly tilt the wall until the block wall is horizontal; reuse as a patio. You'll need to prep the ground, level it with gravel etc, but, HEY instant patio. I'd continue the chain link fence with a decorative 2' tall fence to establish the property line, but write out a letter giving those neighbors permission to plant flowers along your garage.
 
  #16  
Old 05-11-19, 05:40 PM
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Counter Intuitive

As another user mentioned, this is entirely your neighbor’s problem. You probably want to stay on good terms. But if not, a call to your local building dept will result in quick action. This would be considered a life/safety issue.
If I were setting up a crew to do this, I’d do whatever possible to slip some protection between your wall and the CMU. Then, strange as it may seem, I’d begin by removing the first block above the sheared joint and work from there block by block. The wall probably doesn’t have durawall in it. I’m always surprised by how resilient these things are, you may find you can get at least half the wall removed one block at a time.
 
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