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Steel or Wood Posts in the basement???

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Re: Steel or Wood Posts in the basement???

Postby Leslie Ap » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:26 pm

Max, I saw a program on TV where they guy wrapped the bottom of a wooden post (don't know what that material was- looked similar to house wrap, but I think the specific material isn't THAT important). Point was, he said he never lets wood and concrete touch, because if the concrete is damp, it'll wick straight into the wood. Interesting point, I though. Not sure if it's really a huge issue. Our wooden posts are on about 85 years old, sitting on concrete, not rotten. Just food for thought.
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Re: Steel or Wood Posts in the basement???

Postby Sombreuil_Mongrel » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:42 pm

Hi,
I'd be just as concerned with the footing underneath the post (point load) as the post itself. It's not likely you would have any load greater than what a pressure-treated yellow pine 6x6 could handle, but you need to make sure the footer that it sits on is adequate. Since burrowing critters have been at work, I'd check out if it has been undermined, as that will defeat the footer's purpose.
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Re: Steel or Wood Posts in the basement???

Postby maxfax » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:54 pm

The footer is proving to be the most intersting part.. Critters have been diligently digging around in there for years... SO far I've dug down about 2 feet and the ground is still rather loose and soft.. I had expected to hit clay since most of the surrouding ground is clay, but not yet.. At least there's no signs of springs ot streams running though there..

I suspect this is the same reason why the east chimney has a huge crack and chunk falling out at the base.. The side of the wish bone towards the north wall has sunk several inches.. Appears as though that issue has been addressed before, found some rather hard mortar in there.. It's rather odd since none of the exterior walls exibit any signs of sinking ot settling.. Maybe that;s why they picked that particular spot to build, easy digging..
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Re: Steel or Wood Posts in the basement???

Postby Texas_Ranger » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:34 pm

Yup, I was recommended to put a layer of tar paper or similar material between wood and concrete or masonry to prevent rot.
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Re: Steel or Wood Posts in the basement???

Postby maxfax » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:13 pm

That was gonna be my next question, what to use between the post and concrete.. WHat about some sort of sealer, either on the end of the post, or on the concrete?? Maybe something like good ole tar??? Or am I over thinking this?

Still working on what to do about a solid footing... If only I could fit a mini excavator in the basement door....
The idea of a single pier is kinda shot unless I hit some solid ground.. It's already starting to look like I'm digging a grave down there.. The idea now (I think) is to go for more of a larger pad instead of a pier.. It was suggested that I should just do the entire basement floor when I'm pouring, but I'd like to hold off on the rest of the basement floor until I can get some dirt dug out and some stone hauled in and left to settle.. Adn get that east chimney fixed.. But the post needed addressed PDQ..
At least with the temporary supports I feel a little better about bouncing around the floors upstairs.. I finally got the 2 remaining interior doors removed and stashed away...
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Re: Steel or Wood Posts in the basement???

Postby Sombreuil_Mongrel » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:48 pm

Hi,
it's best to set a 1/2" foundation (J) bolt in the footer exactly where the post's center shall hit, and use a post base anchor like the type linked to. This metal bracket gives you the ability for a bit of adjustment to align the post, and keeps it above the moisture-attracting concrete.
http://www.strongtie.com/products/categ ... bases.html
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Re: Steel or Wood Posts in the basement???

Postby maxfax » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:58 am

Ahh thanks for that link.. Now I know what dad was talking about... When I mentioned about setting the post on concrete he kept muttering about something that'll take care of that.. Now for some solid footing.. I have a fellow stopping in over the weekend to have a look.. Upon talking wiht him over the phone he didn;t feel that poruing the entire floor at this point was neither necessary or the best idea... I think what we may be looking at doing is using a trapzoidal pier.. When everythign is said and done at some point the top of the pier will only protrude through the floor a few inches... I guess I'll know more tomorrow...
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