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Concerete support beam chipped and has wood in it?

Concerete support beam chipped and has wood in it?

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  #1  
Old 05-22-13, 07:54 PM
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Concerete support beam chipped and has wood in it?

Hi, I have a basement below the garage and we have a concrete support beam believed to have steel reinforcement in it. The house was build in the 40s and the bean was poured (we see wood imprints on the side). Now a piece of it was patched and i knocked on it and it sounded hollow, a slight hit revealed this wood underneath in the beam. I did not know there was wood in there. when we bought the house we had an engineer look at the beam and he said there was roughly 1/8th of an inch sagging.

I sent him an email with the picture but thought i would show you guys.

 

Last edited by chandler; 05-23-13 at 03:23 AM. Reason: Remove unneeded comment
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Old 05-22-13, 08:43 PM
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when we bought the house we had an engineer look at the beam...
Is this person a structural engineer. Did you pay him or her to evaluate your souse? Did you receive a written report from him or her before you bought the house?
 
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Old 05-23-13, 03:19 AM
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Yes, we did. The wooden part was not visible at the time though.
 
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Old 05-23-13, 03:24 AM
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Can you give us something besides a macro shot of the beam in question?
 
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Old 05-23-13, 08:31 AM
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Yes,

Here are three pictures. A close-up picture, a somewhat wider picture and a picture of that area of the basement.




(damn, it was a lot cleaner back then)

 

Last edited by BelgianBillie; 05-23-13 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 05-23-13, 05:13 PM
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I remember seeing this when you were looking at the house!

Let us know what the engineer says.
 
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Old 05-24-13, 03:21 AM
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The engineer says its weird but he has not stopped by again.

We did not see the piece of wood in the first inspection because it was patched over.
 
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Old 05-24-13, 03:32 AM
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Can you drill through the wood, say with a 1/4" bit? No harm will come of it, but it will tell you if this wood was just left after forming or if it was attached to smooth out the bottom of the pour so it would accept the stucco type coating.
 
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Old 05-30-13, 12:22 AM
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Some adventurous contractor who decided to test the limits by encasing a wooden beam in concrete, 70+ years ago. Not a good idea, as it compromises the ability of both the wood and concrete to safely carry applied loads.

Best solution, to avoid the "when will it completely fail?" question, is to replace the entire beam with a new structural steel or reinforced concrete member. Can do it at the same time you address the ceiling issues you asked about several months ago (assuming you haven't dealt with those yet). Doing more exploratory work may tell a more complete story, such as the wood being a nailer surface of a perfectly adequate steel beam on the other side of it. Do you own a masonry drill bit?
 
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