The structural support beams and posts in a home are critical to the integrity of the home’s flooring system. It may seem obvious that these should go untouched and unmodified, but they are often in crawlspaces and harder to reach places that can be hidden from view. During our home inspections, a visual evaluation of the foundation and structural integrity is an important part of what we do. We know the tell-tale signs of structural problems, can call out these problems, and recommend a structural engineer where appropriate, who will help outline needed repairs and associated costs. This information will give you the knowledge to make informed decisions.
What type of structural support damage did our inspectors find in these pictures?
The structural support posts in the two pictures above have both been compromised. If you read our last post on plumbers damaging floor joists, then this may sound familiar. In the first image, a plumber has chipped away at a concrete support post to route a drain pipe. This was a little surprising to us that that someone would rather chip away at concrete rather than simply routing the piping around it. But regardless, this is a call for concern, as concrete posts like this are the main structural support for the flooring in the home.
The 2nd picture of the cinder block footer is one we might see on an older home. It is difficult to say why the builders did not put in real support posts, but these make-shift stacks of material are not adequate or sound. Worse yet, the wood stacked on top of the blocks is an organic material that can slowly rot away and can be a food source for mold or insects, causing further problems with the floor. Overall, this is not a good situation and not a inexpensive fix either.
Chris Scott is an ASHI certified home inspector with multiple years of experience in home inspections, blower door testing, duct leakage testing, and Boulder Rental License Inspections. Chris is also the Website Coordinator for Scott Home Inspection.