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  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Old school support

    This single family home was built in 47. It was army crawl only in the crawl space and I could only reach one of these. Felt like there may be concrete in this. Any thoughts.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Old school support

    Visit Krawlgear.com. That thing has saved my knees and legs, and cut my time in the crawlspaces.


  3. #3
    Paul Johnston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old school support

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    This single family home was built in 47. It was army crawl only in the crawl space and I could only reach one of these. Felt like there may be concrete in this. Any thoughts.
    If it has been there since 47 what ever it is full of is working. I am surprised the wood is still on it.


  4. #4
    Bruce Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old school support

    I would hope there is concrete in these. Allot of weight on it. Been there since 1947. So I would say it has worked.
    Bruce


  5. #5
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old school support

    They used them for forms for the concrete. Maybe they even treated the wood with some old nasty termite treatment and the ground around it. Must have if none of them have been eaten.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Old school support

    Felt like there may be concrete in this.

    I doubt it is filled with anything, except air.
    If it had been filled with concrete I would expect to see residue on the beam from filling it.
    Of course they could have filled it, let the concrete set, and then set it in place, but I think that is unlikely.


    Any thoughts.

    I suspect the bucket was put in when repairs were done.
    Black plastic drain pipe, discarded galv pipe on the ground, and looks like some of the joist may be scabbed.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old school support

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Felt like there may be concrete in this.

    I doubt it is filled with anything, except air.
    If it had been filled with concrete I would expect to see residue on the beam from filling it.
    Of course they could have filled it, let the concrete set, and then set it in place, but I think that is unlikely.


    Any thoughts.

    I suspect the bucket was put in when repairs were done.
    Black plastic drain pipe, discarded galv pipe on the ground, and looks like some of the joist may be scabbed.
    So, you think they were put in after the fact? Also....filled with air? Don't you think they would have collapsed a long time ago bearing all the weight of the home?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Old school support

    So, you think they were put in after the fact?

    Yes.
    I think it is unlikely that the bucket was put there when the house was built. I think it is much more likely to have been put there later, while doing repairs.


    Also....filled with air?

    Filled with air or concrete, makes little or no difference, still wrong.


    Don't you think they would have collapsed a long time ago bearing all the weight of the home?


    Just how much IS it really supporting.
    It may not be supporting any weight.
    The concrete pad was wet when the bucket was put there, and it's not like the pad is a solid footing.
    So any weight on it at that time just pushed it into the wet concrete.
    The house may of not settled any or very little since the bucket was placed into the wet concrete.

    But again, even if the bucket is filled with concrete and the bucket is supporting weight, it's still wrong.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  9. #9
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Old school support

    No termites in these parts


  10. #10
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    Cool Re: Old school support

    Rick, I am betting on just the opposite.I don't think it would have been possible to maneuver these barrels under the structure after the fact and I see no evidence that they were split to be placed around something that was existing already. I think this is original to the structure. I believe that this is just the ingenious use of existing material (staved barrels, which would have been plentiful in that era) to create forms for the foundation pilings. I would bet that the remainder of the staved barrels that we cannot see are buried in a hole larger than themselves and that they were filled with concrete, along with the hole around them. Therefore the majority of the barrel would be encased in concrete and not in contact with the earth. In addition, if these were used whiskey or wine barrels they have significant alcohol saturation that may have helped to preserve them. Just my thoughts, I could be wrong.


  11. #11
    Mark Howe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old school support

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    This single family home was built in 47. It was army crawl only in the crawl space and I could only reach one of these. Felt like there may be concrete in this. Any thoughts.
    I think that they are nail kegs that have been filled. I have seen this several times and it has always been original (and pretty ingenious and thrifty too), and always been filled with portland cement. The ones that I have seen didn't have any issues. It is essentialy a solid pier. Interestingly, the examples that I witnessed were all from war time or shortly after the war ended. Material shortages likely drove the creative use of discarded material.

    Rick, why is it wrong, what problems will it cause and what would you recommend?

    Tim


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Old school support

    Rick, why is it wrong, what problems will it cause ...

    For a 100 years or more, having wood in contact with the ground has not been the preferred method for supports.


    what problems will it cause...
    A 4 lane termite highway to all that other wood.


    and what would you recommend?
    Concrete, brick, stone, block, most anything except wood.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  13. #13
    Mark Howe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old school support

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Rick, why is it wrong, what problems will it cause ...

    For a 100 years or more, having wood in contact with the ground has not been the preferred method for supports.


    what problems will it cause...
    A 4 lane termite highway to all that other wood.


    and what would you recommend?
    Concrete, brick, stone, block, most anything except wood.
    Good points, but if it hasn't happened yet, why would it happen now?

    When I have seen this, the nail kegs are oily, maybe that is keeping termites from attacking it. If they dont eat nail kegs in AL, I doubt that they would eat them in Utahs dry and extremely cold climate.

    I'm not saying you are wrong at all, but I would be hesitant to 'fix' something that has been working for 63 years and shows no signs of trouble. Conditions do change and it could go south tomorrow, but that is a helluva an expensive repair to make without any indication of trouble. I'd just soak the wood with a termite treatment if it were my house.

    Good points, though.

    Tim


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Old school support

    Probably whiskey barrels ... termites start eating at the bottom, loose their sense of direction, never making it to the top.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Old school support

    I'm not saying you are wrong at all, but I would be hesitant to 'fix' something that has been working for 63 years and shows no signs of trouble.

    I said nothing about fixing anything, only that it was wrong.
    However, not to report wood in contact with the soil/ nail keg for pier might not be good.

    Good points, but if it hasn't happened yet,
    Yet.

    why would it happen now?
    Think tomorrow, next month, next year.
    When the buyer calls you and wants to know why you did not report "Wood in contact with ground". Then they tell you that termites have eaten their house.

    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 12-17-2010 at 05:53 PM.
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  16. #16
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    Post Re: Old school support

    It looks original. This would be around the time that a lot of foundations were built with CMUs made on-site, too. Noting the concrete around the base, my guess is that nail barrels were sawn in half, set on a mound of wet concrete, adjusted to height, and filled up to the top. Once set, the framing would be put in place. It appears there may be some concrete crowning at the top. These old-school guys were masters at using levels and plumb bobs - a skill that seems to have vanished. If the government wasn't telling them how to do it (code), then they did it in practical and sensible ways. The ingenuity demonstrated in those days is amazing.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Old school support

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    It looks original. This would be around the time that a lot of foundations were built with CMUs made on-site, too. Noting the concrete around the base, my guess is that nail barrels were sawn in half, set on a mound of wet concrete, adjusted to height, and filled up to the top. Once set, the framing would be put in place. It appears there may be some concrete crowning at the top. These old-school guys were masters at using levels and plumb bobs - a skill that seems to have vanished. If the government wasn't telling them how to do it (code), then they did it in practical and sensible ways. The ingenuity demonstrated in those days is amazing.
    Now, now, some will get insulted relating the laborers or craftsman with free thinking. They believe the only people that are capable of free thinking are those that did at least 4 years or more in college. So on that note they must have had an engineer friend come up with the idea for them.

    Your analysis is exactly right, by the way, as to how those half barrels were placed, leveled and filled.

    Isn't it funny that before the larger amount of folks went off to college how the populous survived without them.Simply amazing.

    Another reason to give thanks to the so many have nots this Christmas Season.

    First pic, back breaking job working hard all their life for a 1500 sq ft home. Second pic, 5000 sq ft home for 4 years of college

    Say thanks this season for the hard working men and women that gave us everything we have.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Old school support

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Another reason to give thanks to the so many have nots this Christmas Season.

    First pic, back breaking job working hard all their life for a 1500 sq ft home. Second pic, 5000 sq ft home for 4 years of college

    Say thanks this season for the hard working men and women that gave us everything we have.
    Ted, let us know which house goes repo first.

    Yes those are empty nail kegs cut in half, with a handsaw, and filled with concrete before the beams were laid up. Yes, they didn't need to jam a bunch of shims and shingles in there because they leveled the tops of the kegs first.

    The wood sits on a concrete pad, so sub termites would need to construct tunnels over the concrete to get to them, I would think.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  19. #19
    Denny Waters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old school support

    That drain line might be forming another trap.


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