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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Pipes Reinforcement in Concrete Founation?

    In a small bungalow home built in 1916, I saw something new to me. Only a small area of the foundation was visible. There was heavy spalling. There wasn't much of any evidence of past parging.
    The spalling has exposed some underlying pipe material. It looks like 3" diameter piping standing vertically in the wall. The pipes are very rusted and deteriorated. Have any of you seen anything like this or know anything about this kind of thing?

    Unusual.jpgUnusual3.jpgUnusual2.jpg

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Massacusetts
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    Default Re: Pipes Reinforcement in Concrete Founation?

    Sorry , I could not see the pipes , I saw rusted mental but it looked flat , what tells you they are pipes ?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    North Las Vegas Nv 89081
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    37

    Default Re: Pipes Reinforcement in Concrete Founation?

    Possibly old cast iron pipe. Seen a lot of that back east. It needs replacing. Call it out for further evaluation by a qualified licensed plumber.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    NoCal
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    237

    Default Re: Pipes Reinforcement in Concrete Founation?

    I sometimes see metal pieces of various sorts embedded into old concrete --- an early attempt at reinforcement of the concrete? ...that's my guess. How did the concrete look other than the spalling? cracks?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    California
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    20

    Default Re: Pipes Reinforcement in Concrete Founation?

    Not at all unusual in a house of that time period to have various pieces of steel thrown into the foundation for informal reinforcement. Have seen it many times.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Luxemburg, Wisconsin
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    35

    Default Re: Pipes Reinforcement in Concrete Founation?

    Back on the farm we did creative concrete reinforcing with whatever scrap steel we had on the pile...... Angle iron, cable, bed ends, truck leaf springs, barbed wire and, yes, even pipe. It's still there.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Pipes Reinforcement in Concrete Founation?

    The photos don't show it well but they are definitely some type of iron pipe. They are too many in the wall for any plumbing use. The basement had been finished so, I could only see the small section in the utility room. I saw one gapped crack, about 3/16". On the exterior, I could see most of the top of the foundation, but it had a cosmetic plaster of mortar over it. The seller said that the cosmetic mortar coat had been applied several years earlier and it was in excellent condition with no cracks. However inside the house, the floor was uneven, indicating past movement, but nothing too serious. The exterior of the house had been stuccoed which was in very good condition. So, even though there had been past movement, the house appeared to be relatively stable over the last few years.

    It occurred to me that in 1916, some guy had a wagon load of iron pipe and formed up his foundation over this pipe. That would be fairly expensive for a little house, but maybe it was old or damaged pipe headed for the dump.

    The spalling is severe. I recommended further evaluation by an engineer, but I've never seen a structural engineer get too concerned about this amount of spall. If spalling is the only problem, they have always called for monitoring and maintaining proper perimeter drainage.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Pipes Reinforcement in Concrete Founation?

    Old rusty scrap would be my guess, too. I see hand-mixed concrete footings sometimes. They throw whatever they can find in there, usually stones from around the yard.

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
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    876

    Default Re: Pipes Reinforcement in Concrete Founation?

    Could be some kind of crude reinforcement. Looks almost like tin cans to me.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
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    1,842

    Default Re: Pipes Reinforcement in Concrete Founation?

    The wall with the iron piping thrown in as part of the mix ratio is heavily spalled.
    All concrete retains xx moisture but that spalled wall requires further evaluation.

    Lon, to me the reason you see the piping evenly layered/distributed is because that is how the pipes would have been added in the form.
    As the builders poured the concrete in the form they would add materials, rocks, steel beams, piping that was scap and pour more concrete over it.
    I have seen coal and shale stone in century foundations. I repaired many foundations.

    Any scape iron would not be placed in the mixer but tossed into the forms and concrete laid atop. I still see this happening today with DIY homeowners making a concrete floors for a garage etc.


    I think the concrete mix ratio in 1916 was 1-2-3 and any scrap iron/steel.

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  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    No. San Diego Co., CA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Pipes Reinforcement in Concrete Founation?

    Not that unusual for that era, as. Others have said. I once found, what was later determined to be a complete bent up bike frame, used as lintel 're-bar'.


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