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  1. #1
    Michael Koser's Avatar
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    Default Utility Pole Built House

    I got a phone call from one of my agents today asking me about a listing that of hers. The house in question was built from old creosote treated utility pole materials acquired from a local utility company. I have not seen this house and do not know how extensive this material is used and where it is used but it has been reported to me that the main structure is in fact creosote treated utility pole construction. I want to go and see this thing. A finance company is now telling the owner and the agent that because the creosote is regarded as a carcinogen, the house MUST be bulldozed and that they will only finance the land portion after the house has been removed. Needless to say, the agent and current owner is very stressed about this. The agent in question was the buyer’s agent for the current owner and now she is concerned about her own liability. I have never seen a utility pole built house before and was hoping for some additional input to help answer some of her concerns. The creosote is the main issue and concern here.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    That's one of the reasons they no longer use creosote for playground wood any more too.

    It's a problem and more of a problem to some than to others.

    That house will likely be there long after all the others around it have turned back into dirt.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Sounds like that homes a keeper.......... ATSDR - Public Health Statement: Creosote

    Good luck with that

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    I thought that was the Arsenic in the CCA part of the treated wood. Is this one and the same chemical that we are talking about? Arsenic and creosote? I’m not a chemist but I thought we were talking about different materials. Isn’t creosote still being used in utility poles and if so is that not a public hazard?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Thanks Mike. I looked that site over and it addresses the chemical itself. But it doesn’t address levels of exposure, or is it any exposure. We are exposed to this substance every day while we are driving down the road. It’s a petroleum-based product. Tar and creosote are almost interchangeable. That website also stated that large amounts of creosote were responsible for skin cancer in rats. Would a utility pole constitute as a large amount? I am not saying that I want to live in the house but I know that the agent will ask me this question.


  6. #6

    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    My house was built by the homeowner who happened to work for out local power company. It's a post and beam built house, with power poles used as the posts where 4x4's would typically be used. Only time I've seen it. I scratched my head and decided that it was better than using 4x4's that would rot.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Cresote can be used under special circumstances like a emergency back-up. Verizon just settled with line-man association to quit using and replace any poles that has creosote oozing.

    I don't think there has been any definitive studies that prove what causes what......yet

    CCA and creosote is two different things.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post

    CCA and creosote is two different things.
    Thats what I thought as well.


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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Underwriting for fire insurance (etc.) would be problematic. Mortgage bankers want the collateral insured.

    Creosote is what you brush out of the chimney, it is very flammable.

    Coal tar creosote is very flammable and highly carcinogenic.


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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Koser View Post
    A finance company is now telling the owner and the agent that because the creosote is regarded as a carcinogen, the house MUST be bulldozed
    Tell them to find a new finance company. Any banker that tells you they want to bulldoze your home does not really deserve your business, do ya think?

    The obvious answer is to encapsulate the creosote timbers with plaster or something similar, if it is indeed inside the home at all. Creosote smells so strong, I can't imagine there are any exposed portions inside anyway.

    Creosote pilings are still in use here for docks and breakwaters. A couple of years ago, I watched firefighters spray water on a burning section of ferry dock for 2 hours before the fire was put out. They thought it started from a tossed cigarette. So yes, it burns good. Same could be said for an asphalt roof.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    For anyone interested in the effects on humans living in a home made of creosote treated wood. My family lived in a home exactly (and possibly the same one) you are asking about. The whole sorted mess is on Scream With Me - Home The life altering health problems we now have are COPD, Lupus, Neuropathy, Hashimotos thyroiditus, skin cancer, neurological damage, gastrointestinal damage (from runoff going into the well) siezures, loss of pigment in skin. At 29 there are days I am in a wheelchair. You get the general idea. We were advised that we had 1-5 years before the really bad cancers set in. We have an 8 yr old son who can never procreate (if he lives that long) this house took 3 perfectly healthy people and condemned them for life. So I would seriously suggest staying as far away as possible from this situation. You can contact a toxicologist if you would like more information. The biggest problem is not the poles themselves but the fact that they offgas in the home and the occupants are constantly being poisoned. You may also want to visit beyondpesticide.org
    OOH by the way the EPA and local DEQ have very strict rules about disposing of creosote treated wood, so you may want to rethink some of the suggestions made. They have to be taken to a superfund site for disposal Superfund | US EPA you might also want to read Creosote - toxicity, ecological toxicity and regulatory information
    Just out of curiosity where is this house?

    Last edited by Nina Hodges; 02-16-2011 at 06:44 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Nina,

    Sorry to hear of your troubles.
    * but I did not click on the donate page.

    I'll soon be 58 and about 50 years ago my Dad crawled under our house and with a large paint brush over several days coated everything in Creosote.( Termite Treatment )

    It was in the Summer time 90 plus degrees no AC and we had to sleep with the windows closed in the neighborhood we lived in.
    * Stank for weeks. ( maybe years we might have just got use to the smell.)

    I have ( to my knowledge ) not suffered any long term effects what so ever.

    I have 2 Children and 1 grandchild.

    My Dad died at 86.

    Perhaps there is something other than Creosote causing the purported maladies.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    How wonderful for you that you were not effected. But you are comparing a coating under a home to an entire home constructed entirely of creosote soaked poles. Poles are typically soaked for years in lakes of these chemicals prior to use by the utility company that provided the old poles for use in this home. Our house was entirely constructed from treated poles which were exposed throughout the interior of the home. In excess of 100 degrees it begins to offgas. According to the National Poison Control Center (which calls me every 3 weeks to check the status of our health) based in DC, Childrens hospital Center, 3 board certified medical toxicologists and an Industrial Hygenist, Georgetown medical universtiy, and John Hopkins all of our health problems were caused by that home. The air quality testing done was proof enough. The amount of benzenes in the air were 150X more than Osha standards for a typical 8 hour work day. No human or animal can breathe those amounts without being effected. I suppose that your father was lucky ( though I am certain the exposure was very different and minimal) Unfortunatly, not all of us are. And no, it has nothing to do with money. Actually we havent taken a dime, the point is to educate others of the risks. And stop this from happening to another family

    Last edited by Nina Hodges; 02-16-2011 at 08:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    I also have a Brother 4 years older than me. ( 62. )

    * all those health issues caused by 6 months of living in a house with treated poles?

    Darling I would further my search and get some 2nd opinions from people without an Ax to Grind or Dog in this Fight.

    .

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 02-16-2011 at 08:51 PM. Reason: caused by added
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Call it what you will sir, facts are facts


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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Hi Nina,

    I, for one, sympathize with the health problems faced by you and your family. I don't care what caused it and I don't understand why other folks on this forum feel the need to dismiss your concerns regarding creosote and it's possible adverse health effects. All you have to do is take one whiff of it to know its powerful stuff. Whether or not it is the proximal cause of the illnesses that you all face is, to me, immaterial. Indoor air quality is something that home inspectors should be very familiar with and it is an area where they should err on the side of safety. Leave it to the real estate agents to minimize the issues...we should be taking the high road and doing all we can to inform our clients about the place where they and their family will spend the bulk of their time. God bless you and best of luck in your push toward a healthier future.

    Dan

    Dan Cullen
    www.domicileconsulting.com
    Chicago IL

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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    The logic exhibited by some of the responders to Nina's issue are really problematic. The logic they use reminds me of, "My second cousin's grand-nephew twice removed smoked 2 packs a day and drank a quart of corn likker every day and lived to be a 120." or "Jim Fixx ran a marathon every week and died of a heart attack." These kind of anecdotes can be interesting but they are certainly not something that we, as home inspectors, should be relating to our clients in order to give them either a false sense of security or a false sense of alarm. We should be looking to inform them to the best of our ability given the state of the science at hand and to the highest industry standards we can find. Home inspectors should not be using the fuzzy logic that is apparent in the 'my grandpa did this' or 'my grandpa did that' type of comments.

    Dan Cullen
    www.domicileconsulting.com
    Chicago IL

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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Cullen View Post
    .
    The logic exhibited by some of the responders
    .
    Dan,

    The High Road or Logic of feeding on someones fear and phobias in hopes of Cashing In " Mold is Gold ! " is not for me.


    " Since those who work daily with creosote show no statistically significant evidence of adverse health effects, it is reasonable to assume that the risk to the general public is negligible."

    .http://creosotecouncil.org/pdf/EPARenewalApproval.pdf
    .


    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Everyone is entitled to their undeducated views. I had no idea what creosote was until it was too late. This is a simple attmept to save others the pain my family has been caused. I have spent all of my time since this happened trying to educate others. I am not looking for pity (though I thank you for your well wishes) the point of this Billy is to not put an unsuspecting family in a toxic situation. Anyway, hopefully this sheds some light on the beginning question! Thanks!


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Cresote can be used under special circumstances like a emergency back-up. Verizon just settled with line-man association to quit using and replace any poles that has creosote oozing.

    I don't think there has been any definitive studies that prove what causes what......yet

    CCA and creosote is two different things.
    I'm pretty sure Verizon never installed a single telephone pole, but that doesn't mean they aren't being sued (as we all know).
    I have to say, I am very succeptable to creosote, it burns the crap out of my skin. I imagine the ones at the "plant" that aren't affected are the ones that are "left". Doesn't affect my Dad at all.
    Maybe we should all start a class action lawsuit against the railroads and power companies! Last time I looked they were still using it on power poles and RR ties!
    Everybody in the US can become millionaires!!


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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    Dan,

    The High Road or Logic of feeding on someones fear and phobias in hopes of Cashing In " Mold is Gold ! " is not for me.


    " Since those who work daily with creosote show no statistically significant evidence of adverse health effects, it is reasonable to assume that the risk to the general public is negligible."

    .http://creosotecouncil.org/pdf/EPARenewalApproval.pdf
    .

    Hey Billy....what would you expect the Creosote Council to say? Of course it's harmless!


    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that coal tar creosote is probably carcinogenic to humans, based on adequate animal evidence and limited human evidence. It is instructive to note that the animal testing relied upon by IARC involved the continuous application of creosote to the shaved skin of rodents. After weeks of creosote application, the animals developed cancerous skin lesions and in one test, lesions of the lung. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has stated that coal tar creosote is a probable human carcinogen based on both human and animal studies.[6] As such, the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a permissible exposure limit of 0.2 milligrams of coal tar creosote per cubic meter of air (0.2 mg/m3) in the workplace during an 8-hour day, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that spills or accidental releases into the environment of one pound (0.454 kg) or more of creosote be reported to them.[7]


    You can brush your teeth with it Billy! Enjoy!

    Dan Cullen
    www.domicileconsulting.com
    Chicago IL

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    I suggest you check, Wikipedia for some details and local codes before you give up on this home. Coal tar Creosote is a "probable carcinogen" not a proven one. According to Wikipedia, studies todate show no increased risk of cancer for those who work in industries that use coal tar creosote. This banker could be wrong.
    From Wikipedia;--"Another form of creosote is coal tar creosote. Coal tar creosote is the most widely used wood preservative in the world. It is a thick, oily liquid typically amber to black in colour. The American Wood Preservers' Association states that creosote "shall be a distillate derived entirely from tars produced from the carbonization of bituminous coal." Coal tar used for certain applications may be a mixture of coal tar distillate and coal tar. See, AWPA Standards
    The prevailing use of creosote is to preserve wooden utilities/telephone poles, railroad cross ties, switch ties, and bridge timbers from decay. Due to its carcinogenic character, the European Union has regulated the quality of creosote for the EU market [1] and requires that the sale of creosote be limited to professional users.[2][3] The United States Environmental Protection Agency regulates the use of coal tar creosote as a wood preservative under the provisions of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.[4]"


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Thompson View Post
    Maybe we should all start a class action lawsuit against the railroads and power companies! Last time I looked they were still using it on power poles and RR ties!
    Everybody in the US can become millionaires!!
    You're comparing an outdoor, industrial use of a product with an indoor residential use. When a product is used outdoors there is plenty of dilution air to prevent levels of airborne gases from reaching dangerous levels, but in an enclosed space, especially a home, the is often not enough dilution air and contaminant levels can quickly exceed safe levels.

    We haven't even addressed the fire hazard of creosote soaked timber. Has anyone ever seen a telephone burn? Even in a driving downpour a burning telephone pole will burn like a torch. So how can anyone call old creosoted utility poles safe for residential construction?


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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck altvater View Post

    . So how can anyone call old creosoted utility poles safe for residential construction?
    .
    There is No approved Residential Use of Creosote treated lumber.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck altvater View Post
    We haven't even addressed the fire hazard of creosote soaked timber
    Really? Seems to me I saw that addressed in a few posts.


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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Cullen View Post
    .


    You can brush your teeth with it Billy! Enjoy!
    .
    COAL TAR SHAMPOO - TOPICAL (Denorex, Pentrax, Zetar) side effects, medical uses, and drug interactions.
    .
    I go to the Dentist if I have a tooth ache.
    * small cotton ball dipped and placed into the cavity.
    ** but long out of vogue.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    I am not be a doctor or chemist, but I have spend 20 plus years in the medical/biotechnology industry (cancer center/immunology). So this is my opinion only.

    I have spent many years as a HazMat technician and performed hazardous waste management and treatment. In the industry the buzz phrase is "dilution is the solution".

    That said an acute exposure to a chemical can have very dire implications. It may be highly variable from person to person. The immune response this person is reporting is in line with an acute exposure. I would also bet that it is directly in response to off gassing of creosote.

    I did a little research on this and it seems to me the real issue is how much testing has been conducted. The term possible carcinogen says to me that it is highly likely that it is one but has not been profiled/tested completely.

    I would not put anyone I love in a place like this and to me the home should be considered a HazMat site and treated as such, no different than a meth house (would make a sweet fire though). That may be strong but because these type of chemicals tend to carcinogens. All forms of creosote are listed in the hazardous substance data banks for what ever that is worth.

    Here is a excerpt from Virginia the health dept. Now they are talking non-acute exposure in general

    Q. How can creosote affect my health?


    A.
    The majority of chemical components of creosote are aromatic and their odor is detectable by humans at very low concentrations. Most

    exposures to creosote products occur at very low levels that are not harmful. Short-term exposure to high levels of creosote products by direct
    contact with skin or by exposure to the vapors from these mixtures can cause sun sensitivity, irritation of the respiratory tract, and skin damage
    such as reddening, blistering or peeling. Animals fed large amounts of wood creosote at one time had convulsions and died, while those fed
    lower levels developed kidney and liver problems.
    There is no evidence that creosote causes birth defects in humans. However, animal studies indicate that components of creosote (such
    as PAHs) cross the placenta following maternal inhalation and at high concentrations may cause birth defects in offspring. Humans are not likely
    to be exposed to such concentrations via environmental exposure. There is no evidence that creosote causes asthma; however, it is possible
    that at high levels, it may exacerbate existing conditions.




    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post

    . In the industry the buzz phrase is "dilution is the solution".
    .
    Average life of a New Utility Pole is 25 to 30 Years.
    .
    971 Ebenezer Church Rd Gore VA 22637 - Public Property Records Search - Realtor.com®

    This home was built in 1967. ( 43 years ago. )
    Used poles add 25 years..total of 43 + 25 = 68 Years ( current age of poles. )
    .
    One's own mind can and has been known to adversely affect your Physical Health.
    * the harmful results are the same environment or mental .
    ** maybe a mix of both needs healing.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  29. #29
    Nina Hodges's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    You are actually going to say to a woman in a wheelchair, whose son has to have skin cancer cut from his legs that it is all in my head. Wow my God must differ from your sir. I feel very sorry for you sir, it is as if you hav e nothing better to do with your time. I suggest you find a hobby other than attacking others. The statments you continualy make defy all reason, and please DO NOT state thigs as fact when pertaining to my house or situation because YOU do not know the entire situation, nor are you educated enough to have a view on this at all. But by all means if you have nothing more to do with your time, feel free to continue I am well versed on dealing with ignorance.


  30. #30
    Nina Hodges's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    EPA's view on Creosote treated wood:



    4. What safety precautions should one take when handling or coming into contact with creosote?
    Creosote penetrates deeply into and remains in the pressure-treated wood for a long time. Exposure to creosote may present certain hazards. Therefore, the following precautions should be taken both when handling the treated wood and in determining where to use the treated wood. It should be noted that such exposure usually only occurs when one comes into contact with railroad ties and/or utility poles.
    USE SITE PRECAUTIONS
    • Do not use where frequent or prolonged contact with bare skin can occur.
    • Do not use in residential settings. In interiors of industrial buildings, it should be used only for industrial building components which are in ground contact and subject to decay or insect infestation and for wood block flooring in industrial settings.
    • Do not use in the interiors of farm buildings where there may be direct contact with domestic animals or livestock which may bite or lick the wood.
    • Do not use treated wood for cutting-boards or counter tops.
    • Do not use where it may come into direct or indirect contact with public drinking water.



  31. #31
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Nina Hodges View Post
    .

    I am well versed on dealing with ignorance.
    .
    Apparent.
    * how did I attack You ?
    .
    Wishing You & Yours The Best.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    I would imagine that nasty crap cut up into lumber for a home would have a serious affect on anyone even if they were not of the persuasion to have things like that bother them.

    I feel for anyone...Yes, even you Billy, that had to live with that stench.

    Breathing that stuff in for short periods about chokes me.

    I will say that some folks seem not to be bothered by anything. The simple cases of coal miners that live to be ripe, literally, old men and their wives dying at an early age from black lung just being around the dust.

    Then there was that old lady in England that was 110, or somewhere abouts, and when asked what her answer to a healthy old age she answered "A boiled onion, a whiskey and a good smoke" She had that practice since her late teens and lived around smokers and drinkers all her life.

    Some folks just cannot be around any of those nasty items. Myself, I get choked up being around an abundance of offensive smelly items including some light body odor from someone near me.

    I used to smoke off and on but quit completely a few years ago. Now when I walk by someone smoking outside a restaurant I about choke to death and the stench smells like death that I have smelled to often over the years from folks that were on their way out. If someone has been smoking and then they come to stand next to me I want to throw up. I truly believe I can smell them dying because I want to if trapped next to them.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Koser View Post
    I got a phone call from one of my agents today asking me about a listing that of hers. The house in question was built from old creosote treated utility pole materials acquired from a local utility company. I have not seen this house and do not know how extensive this material is used and where it is used but it has been reported to me that the main structure is in fact creosote treated utility pole construction. I want to go and see this thing. A finance company is now telling the owner and the agent that because the creosote is regarded as a carcinogen, the house MUST be bulldozed and that they will only finance the land portion after the house has been removed. Needless to say, the agent and current owner is very stressed about this. The agent in question was the buyer’s agent for the current owner and now she is concerned about her own liability. I have never seen a utility pole built house before and was hoping for some additional input to help answer some of her concerns. The ccreasote is a carcinogenesis is the main issue and concern here.
    The creosote is a carcinogenesis and many are allergic to the anti rot agent.
    I too am allergic and would never consider going near the place.
    WOW that is one unhappy guy once he learns his conundrum.
    He should at least feel lucky to know that his chances of getting cancer will be reduced significantly, I guess????

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  34. #34

    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Michael: First I would advise the all involved in the sale of this home to have a City inspector to evaluate this structure, second I would find out if they have some type sealer they could use to cover the creosote in case it is s hszard. third I would bow out of this inspection.


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    My house is built on top of old telephone poles, it was built in 72. I live in Mississippi in a very hilly area where most homes are built on pilings this company that built the homes in my subdivision used the telephone poles. I bought the house a little over two years ago and at the time the poles were not an issue. As far as health problems I guess I must be lucky because I have none. I have been around them all my life we actually have made raised flower beds out of them and retaing walls for our sloping yard. Not sure what the buyer needs to do but I personally would just try another finance company. Good luck!!!


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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by jennifer gates View Post
    My house is built on top of old telephone poles, it was built in 72. I live in Mississippi in a very hilly area where most homes are built on pilings this company that built the homes in my subdivision used the telephone poles. I bought the house a little over two years ago and at the time the poles were not an issue. As far as health problems I guess I must be lucky because I have none. I have been around them all my life we actually have made raised flower beds out of them and retaing walls for our sloping yard. Not sure what the buyer needs to do but I personally would just try another finance company. Good luck!!!
    This home IS MADE OF TELEPHONE POLE.
    Yours is on telephone poles.
    There is a big difference.
    Your should have no health concerns.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
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  37. #37
    jennifer gates's Avatar
    jennifer gates Guest

    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    This home IS MADE OF TELEPHONE POLE.
    Yours is on telephone poles.
    There is a big difference.
    Your should have no health concerns.
    Maybe I should have been more specific they are creosote telephone/utility poles and the raised flower/garden beds are made from creosote cross tie's (the wood that train tracks are laid on) as well as the retaining walls in my yard to help with erosion. Not saying they are safe at all just saying there used fairly often around here and have been for many years.


  38. #38
    Nina Hodges's Avatar
    Nina Hodges Guest

    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    You can't really compare a home made inside and out from exposed poles to one with a foundation and outdoor flower beds made of it. But glad that your family has not been adversly affected by it.


  39. #39
    jennifer gates's Avatar
    jennifer gates Guest

    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Nina Hodges View Post
    You can't really compare a home made inside and out from exposed poles to one with a foundation and outdoor flower beds made of it. But glad that your family has not been adversly affected by it.
    I didn't reply to the post to compare health problems my only intention was to state that they are used quit often here as pilings he said he had never seen it


  40. #40
    Jeff Finley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolland Pruner View Post
    Michael: First I would advise the all involved in the sale of this home to have a City inspector to evaluate this structure, second I would find out if they have some type sealer they could use to cover the creosote in case it is s hszard. third I would bow out of this inspection.
    Don't be surprised if the City Inspector doesn't want anything to do with this problem. One with any sense would realize this is outside their normal duties and capabilities and tell you that a special inspector needs to be called in.

    I wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole (no pun intended).


  41. #41
    Ak Brian's Avatar
    Ak Brian Guest

    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    I'm not an inspector, but I know a little about utility poles. I would not "assume" they are creosote treated. There are several different chemicals and treatment processes used to lengthen the life of a utility pole. If these really are utility poles, then there will be a "brand", either stamped into the wood, or on a ~2" round metal disk located either 10 or 14 feet from the original butt of the pole. There also may be another brand on the top and the butt of the pole. There is an industry standard for these brands. The brand will have a code which will include the following information;

    The pole producer
    The year and sometimes the month the pole was produced.
    The species of the pole.
    The specific treatment process.
    The height and strength class of the pole.

    Some poles, such as old ceder poles, were not treated, or were only treated for the bottom ten feet of the pole. It may be a regional thing, but most poles are not creosote treated, but are treated with Pentachlorophenol instead (code "P"). Again the particular treatment process will be coded into the brand. If you can find some brands, you should be able to decode them with the help of Google, as there is an industry standard.

    Hope this helps.


  42. #42
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    the home owner and real estate person needs to do their own due dilligence and find out if this is really an issue and see what can be done about it. Not everyone is going to be affected by it. Not every finance and insurance company is going to have an issue with it. Yes some like Nina and her family are hit hard and sorry to hear about it, but it depends on the people who buy and what affects them is the real issue. they might have to reduce the price of the house to get rid of it because of this problem, but they have to do research before they pass it on to someone else as not everyone is going to be affected. Some people have alergys but not everyone does and life goes on. don't buy what you can't handle or live where it is going to kill you, you have to be aware of what your buying and if it scares you walk away. there are lots of houses on the market. This house sale seems to be one that is going to be hurt by the facts of what it is made of. It's appeal is going to limit who is willing to buy it. hopefull the soil is not affected by it.


  43. #43
    Joao Vieira's Avatar
    Joao Vieira Guest

    Default Re: Utility Pole Built House

    @ Jeff Finley
    Don't be surprised if the City Inspector doesn't want anything to do with this problem. One with any sense would realize this is outside their normal duties and capabilities and tell you that a special inspector needs to be called in.
    I would advise to call an expert with environmental/ air contamination issues and would request air analysis to check for active emissions for this stuff.

    If there is a problem for the people involved, enclose the columns or framing members and get a signed agreement so this won't hunt you down down the road.

    I remember back in the days when we used motor oil to protect wood framing and wood fences. The hotter the better . Oil comes from the ground so ....


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