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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Mount Pleasant, SC
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    Default Black Joists - Really Black?

    Any thoughts to why they're so dark?

    It's not sooty. It's not wet...

    All still very solid and supportive - home over 60 years old.

    Sprayed with something??

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Charlotte NC Licensed in NC and SC
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    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    I have seen a few houses like that, I think it was treated with creosote when it was new or shortly thereafter.

    Bruce King, B.A. King Home Inspections, LLC
    www.BAKingHomeInspections.com
    Certified Master Inspector, Independent Inspectorwww.IndependentInspectors.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    Hey Bruce...

    That's what I told Realtor it looked like - in small areas it looked like tar on it (The sappy areas I thought)...

    You can see it some of the pics how it 'leached' into the wood slat flooring a tad in areas.

    oh yeah, No sign of any WDI anywhere btw!

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  4. #4
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Question Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    What was the ventilation like under this home?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    Creosote! Oh and by the way they stopped using it for several good reasons... ;

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    Creosote, Asbestos, and Lead.
    Oh my!

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    5,005

    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    Creosote odour would be detectable.

    No vapour barrier, thermal bridging, floor is warmer and joists colder therefore attracting dirt, and possibly dormant mould/staining.

    Water vapour coming up out of concrete floor of basement and through concrete block.

    Don't think the joists were sprayed, there is no overspray on subfloor.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
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    4,086

    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    Pigmented wood stain (ebony, walnut, etc.) Poorly applied. Note the blocking has been stained too.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Pigmented wood stain (ebony, walnut, etc.) Poorly applied. Note the blocking has been stained too.
    H.G. I have to give you kudos for the most improbable answer.

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 07-25-2012 at 06:46 AM. Reason: spe;lling

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    H.G. I have to give you kudos for the most improbable answer.
    Maybe they are not stained Ebony or Walnut, but really are Ebony or Walnut.
    Or, maybe they are timbers from a sunken ship.
    Sitting on the bottom of lake Superior for hundreds of years would have darkened them.
    The high moisture and mineral content could cause bleeding into the adjoining wood.

    Either way, those have got be be some valuable floor joist.

    Hope that helps

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    A coating of some kind appears to have been applied, this much we can say. A brush was used, not spray.

    There is no mistaking the smell of creosote. Unless you were wearing noseplugs down there, it probably is not creosote. At least, I wouldn't say without proof.

    It could be some kind of coal tar preservative.

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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    state of jefferson
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    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    could be copper green if no creosote aroma.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    NY Finger Lakes Area
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    206

    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    ..........decking not as old as framing?


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Rolla, MO
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    That is a termite treatment used long ago.

    Randy Mayo, P.E.
    Residential Engineering & Inspection Services
    http://www.rlmengineers.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Franklin, NY
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce King View Post
    I have seen a few houses like that, I think it was treated with creosote when it was new or shortly thereafter.
    Ditto, looks like creosote, WDI treatment prior to floor decking installation = preventative measure

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  16. #16
    Rod Corwin's Avatar
    Rod Corwin Guest

    Default Re: Black Joists - Really Black?

    Have to agree framed, treated, then decked.


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