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Is this wall concrete?

nielkfj

Is the wall indicated in this photo concrete?

It is an exterior wall for a condominium I am considering purchasing. The real estate company selling the apartment didn’t know.

A few more details: The building was built in 1969. The rooms behind the wall are bedrooms, and the wall faces a street. So I suspect that the wall is indeed concrete to help block traffic noise in the bedrooms. But I want to be more certain about this. I will hire an inspector to look at the unit before purchasing, but at this point I just need more information about this exterior wall.

In case it is helpful here are some other photos:

Close-up of wall with corner:

Front of the building:

Left side corner of building (partly obscured by trees):

Rear of building:

 
Mar 20, 18 12:08 am
Rusty!

It's stucco, possibly EIFS. Clearly the building was renovated sometimes in last decade or so.

Concrete wall would not make any sense for either thermal or structural purposes.

Go up to the building and stab it with a fork. If it goes in easily and you pull out plastic mesh and Styrofoam it's definitively EIFS. If it takes repeated stabs and you eventually hit metal mesh it's Stucco.

Mar 20, 18 12:18 am
nielkfj

Yes, the building was renovated about 12 years ago. In the interior of the apartment the wall has drywall on the outside with a hollow sound when I knock on it.

Rusty!

When you knock on it does it sound like knocking on a box full of winter clothes or full of fluffy pillows? This is important.

Non Sequitur

hopefully it does not sound like a pillowcase full of cheese.

joseffischer

Underlying materials may be that brick veneer, or maybe just CMU.  You should be able to tell from the thickness of wall at windows and/or inside materials.  Condos are supposed to have the original floor plans, which would show you as well.  Though I know my condo didn't have it.

Mar 20, 18 8:57 am
nielkfj

In the interior of the apartment the wall has drywall on the inside surface with a hollow sound when I knock on it. I could check the plans (if they exist) if I get to the point of hiring an inspector. To much bother at this point.

Non Sequitur

I find it funny the OP thinks a condo builder would go the extra mile to reduce noise from traffic.

Mar 20, 18 9:37 am
tintt

That made me giggle too.

nielkfj

I hear what you're saying about cheap condo construction. But actually this building was originally rental apartments. I was only converted to condos about 12 years ago. So perhaps the design and build is higher quality than if it were built as condos originally.

Non Sequitur

That's even worse.

JLC-1

use a small drill bit and you will find out

Mar 20, 18 11:31 am
Almosthip7

Destructive testing...lets find out

Mar 20, 18 1:16 pm
nielkfj

Thanks all for the responses. 

I went back to the building yesterday and knocked on the wall at the ground level with my knuckles. Thankfully nobody asked me what I was doing, and apparently nobody was home in that unit. It has stucco on the surface, but it sounds like solid concrete underneath all the way across (I reached over the patio rail, behind those large plywood sheets in the photo, and knocked as far as I could reach). Very solid feel - I'm 99% certain it is concrete. So hopefully it's the same on all levels.

Mar 21, 18 11:48 am
Volunteer

Concrete block, aka CMU possibly. Solid concrete seems way too expensive to install and has virtually no insulation properties.

Mar 21, 18 12:00 pm
won and done williams

It's eifs - look at all those cheap details around the windows. Classic eifs. Whether it's on concrete block or not, who knows? The thickness of the wall might give you a clue.

Mar 21, 18 12:59 pm
Bloopox

No that's not a concrete wall.  You can see from the window placement and views through the windows that the walls aren't especially thick.  The thinnest composite concrete wall assembly that can be adequately insulated is about 10 inches thick, not including interior finishes (two 3-inch pre-stressed concrete planks with 4 inches of rigid insulation between them.) The thinnest non-composite concrete wall that can be adequately insulated is about 1'-3" thick, not including interior finishes.

Or let's say: on the off chance that it is a concrete wall, it's got inadequate insulation, so I hope for your sake that it's not.

Mar 21, 18 1:00 pm
cooperklein

It certainly doesn't look like one. Here, go take a look at Tilt Constructions QLD and their concrete walls and panels, and see the difference.

May 27, 18 4:15 am

1969, almost certainly CMU with artificial stucco added later during reno. 

May 27, 18 11:27 am
A605

If the rooms behind the wall are bedrooms, the concrete wall is not best support for convenient living. 

In case you want wall with heat and sound reduce or fire-resistance, you can repair the wall outside or inside with other materials, such as: Aluminum Composite Panel or PVC Foam sheet. 

May 28, 18 12:39 am

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