Rotting Beam Under Slab Foundation


Old 10-05-14, 01:39 PM
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Rotting Beam Under Slab Foundation

My wife and I just bought our first home in the Houston area. Upon doing a little digging (literally, and for an unrelated issue) we found a rotting beam under the garage slab foundation. There is only one beam along the foundation that we can see and it is about 6x6x8. We are concerned because the beam is disintegrating and do not know its purpose or how/whether it needs to be repaired. Any advice as to how to address this problem would be greatly appreciated.

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Thank you very much.
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Old 10-05-14, 09:56 PM
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Placing large wood members in direct ground contact is not normal, nor is it likely to pass permit inspections. There's a chance a previous owner added the garage to the house on his own, without getting a permit, and creatively made up for a short load of slab concrete by fudging in a timber or two. Could have been fooled into thinking that preservative pressure treated means it will last forever--wrong!

You would do well to investigate the rotting beam a bit more thoroughly. As in drill/chisel/chop through a small area of it, horizontally, to determine what's immediately on the other side of it. If you find thickened solid slab concrete, then your main concern should be to completely remove the beam and replace it with CIP concrete, all while supporting the exterior wall above it. But if you find more rotting wood, you have more extensive foundation repair in your future. Have a local foundation repair specialist take a look at it (under the guise of giving you an estimate for repairing/replacing it). He may have some ideas as to why it's there in the first place, and may have come across something similar in the past that he's worked up an efficient method of correcting.
Old 10-05-14, 10:28 PM
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How old is this building?
Just a guess, it was an old post and beam constructed garage and someone just pored a new slab right over the old wood.
Which is going to do nothing but rot out any of the unpressure treated wood it touches.
Seen it several times.
Old 10-06-14, 04:42 AM
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Of course, in secondary order, that hole with the conduit/DWV running down in it is certainly not conducive to water proofing the basement (if you have one....I note Texas). You've obviously had settling of the concrete, which may need addressing. You'll find out once you do your exploratory surgery.

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