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  1. #1
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    Cool Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    Found this in the crawlspace of a townhome yesterday. I was kinda of surprised because the place appears to be only 12-13 years old, much to new for a beam/column replacement. I know this doesn't look right. Any opinions.

    Also the telepost is supporting the furnace above in the utility closet.

    Also for only the second time, saw a horizontal crack at the foundation wall.

    Thanks,

    Sean

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    Sorry gentlemen,

    Here's the additional photo with the telepost.

    Sean

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    I'm sorry,

    Here's one more.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    Man,

    I'm brutal ok let's try this one again

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    Aside from everything else, no telescopic posts are allowed to be permanently installed:

    Adjustable Steel Columns

    Is the scrap of wood supporting the bottom of the "column" supporting the beam end cantilevered out over the footing? If so, I don't believe I've ever seen a catapult constructed just that way before...

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 08-06-2008 at 07:40 AM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    So this is what happened...
    There are ongoing heavy moisture problems in the crawl. The new beam and wolm post support set-up was installed because the old supports rotted/rusted out and were no longer supporting squat. Also the crawl freezes.
    The new set-up will rot out in a few years time, especially the beam. The wolm support is BS and should be replaced with solid posts.
    How do I know this besides experience?
    - The condition of the plastic on the floor
    - The pvc repair sleeve on the copper supply line
    - The discoloration everywhere
    Recommend:
    - provide ventilation and insulation for crawl
    - insulate copper piping
    - install proper support posts for beam
    - determine if beam is adequate for the load
    - remove the funky plastic, clean the ground, install gravel proper vapor barrier and/or cement
    - assess the foundation cracks; are they hairline from all the moisture or are they deep?
    - is that beam single or double? I don't see any bolts holding two together
    - properly attach the end of the beam to the foundation wall, not just that BS piece of wolm support; I don't see any bolts in that either
    - remove the screw jack and install permanent support
    Did you look at the downspouts outside? Are they draining next to the wall or out 6'. Figure out the moisture issue and you will be the next coming of you know who to your client.
    Just a few thoughts. Good luck

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    I saw the deteriorated steel column under the center support, but... what was the end originally bearing on ???.

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    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    Markus,

    (Did you look at the downspouts outside? Are they draining next to the wall or out 6'.)

    The townhome is on the inside of a group of townhomes without a downspout depositing directly in front of or behind the unit.

    (is that beam single or double? I don't see any bolts holding two together)

    The beam is actually triple.

    You were correct, there were no vents into the crawlspace. In addition to the horizontal crack, there were two vertical cracks in the crawlspace as well. The cracks look pretty common, not the 1/4 - 1/2" that I see with significant moisture penetration. I've done dozens of townhomes with only a handful having a crawlspace, most have a basement or are on a slab.

    There was also a sump pump with a missing check valve. The pump was unbeliveable dry and did not operate once during my 2-1/2 hours of being there (other than me operating it) despite the fact we had massive thunderstorms the night before the inspection.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    What's going to happen with that telescopic column when the wood box base beneath it (which already has moisture damage) rots away?

    Multiple areas of unprofessional and improper repairs noted to ceiling structure in crawlspace - have entire ceiling/support structure in crawlspace serviced by a professional carpenter and all repairs made as needed


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    Michael,

    I'm sorry, in looking at the pictures that I took, they all appear to be from one side of the crawlspace. I feel like such a clod for not getting at least two different perspectives. I generally take a ton of pictures, but I think I got mesmerized by the "amazing" work done in the crawlspace.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    Nick,

    I think that's a concrete filled form... I HOPE so, anyway.

    --------

    Sean,

    That's very recent work, all nice and shiny like that... in addition to all the symptoms Markus listed, the ducts right above it are badly rusted, which gives you a standard of comparison. This situation would be a red flag for me; did you check for other possible recent and likely unpermitted work, especially new kitchens and baths? Did you note to your clients that it may not have been permitted, and recommend they check?

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    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 08-06-2008 at 08:30 AM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Opinion on Beam/Column Work

    Since downspouts aren't an issue ... I doubt the condensation from all the copper pipes would provide enough moisture to do what I see.
    The sump pit is dry, so my guess would be that ground water is sitting in the dirt of the crawl and making the whole thing damp.
    Maybe they didn't put a sock around the drainpipe, maybe it's clogged up or maybe it's not even there. I'd suggest they get a camera guy in there to look into the drain pipe coming into the pit.
    I'm still wondering why the pipe froze.
    You are wearing a mask when you go into those crawls, right?
    How's the exterior grading at front and rear?
    No downspouts on the front or rear seems a bit odd also.

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    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

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