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shovelshort 03-22-2006 09:26 PM

I-beam support posts
I am finishing by basement and noticed one of my support posts was coming out of the concrete floor at a terrible angle. I checked it with a level and sure enough it was way out of plum. This support post is one of two helping an I-beam that runs the entire length of my two story home.

I decided I would fix this before it gets covered up by my remodeling. I can't imagine that an angled post is giving the best support to the I-beam. I broke out the concrete around the post and found a small plate (or lip you might say) on the bottom of the post and a large threaded bar leading out of the bottom and going straight down into the bed of gravel.

(Because I only broke out around the post about 3 inches of concrete I can't really dig the gravel out to get a good look at what is below.)

What am I looking at here? I was able to angle the post out from under the I-beam (must not be doing much) and tried to turn it to see if it would go up and down on this threaded bar. Nothing. I placed the post back in place. My question is am I going to be able to move this post over or not? Is it perhaps sunk into the footer even deeper than what I am seeing? or is it setting on top of a footer? What is the norm? Where can I see pictures of different styles of support posts so I can get a better idea of what is farther below and not visible to me at this time? Any help would be appreciated.

By the way, my home is about 6 years old and I have nail pops all over the place. (We did suffer through the ice storm last Christmas that caused us to lose our heat for 5 days. Temp got down to about 40 degrees.) We have also noticed that the entire house slopes from the outer edge to the middle of the house. Not enough to effect doors or window but I can't keep my filing cabinet's doors closed.

inspectorD 03-23-2006 06:07 AM

Welcolm Shortshovel.
I dont have much time this morning so I need a few more questions answered before I post a closer to correct answer.
When you say sloped do you mean the walls or the floors?I'm guessing floors?
When you take the column out is there more bounce in the floor?
Where are the nail pops mostly, on the interior walls or the exterior walls?
These posts you are talking about are screw type, Are they grey?
If so they are most likely only a temporary post desighned to crank up the house as it setlles. Sounds like no one came back to change them outat the end of the year.

These are No good in a fire!!
Keep digging to see if there is a footer.
Post me back with your answers and anything else,

Glad to help.


CraigFL 03-23-2006 06:49 AM

If these are the kind of posts I used to seeing, they are set up with a screw jack on one of the ends to "level" the beam. Usually, the post has a no-threaded hole in it and does NOT turn, only the screw jack against it. The post should be sitting on a footing. It sounds like they poured the concrete floor over the jacking mechanism so releveling the beam will be a little less easy now. If you check the floor level and decide to re-level the beam, you will need to set up a post and floor jack next to the existing posts. I've done this before and it's important to only jack a little bit at a time, put a steel shim plate between the beam and the post top and then leave it sit for a long time to stabilize. If you don't, you may end up with cracking. I jacked up a beam about 1" over a period of about two months.

shovelshort 03-23-2006 09:45 AM

Answers for inspectorD
Floors slope.

Both posts are grey with no above the floor (visible) leveling screws.

I'm at the station today so I'm not able to check any floor rebound with the post out right now. There is a decent floor squeak in this area that I just attributed to poor subfloor contact. There is also about 5 floor joists run side by side transversely to the I-beam in this area.

I guess I never really noticed but all the nail pops seem to be on the outside walls with just a few on any interior walls.

I'm thinking from your post that I should probably be getting in touch with my builder and bring up structural warranty issues.

I should also add that after my first year walk through I made the builder tear up the concrete basement floor on one side (the side with this leaning post) and repour it because of numerous cracks and you could actually feel floor rebound in this area. Turns out that the gravel actually settled down below the slab and left a decent void space between the two.

I think I answered everything you had and yes I know these are firefighter killers.

inspectorD 03-23-2006 09:13 PM

Good Idea
Sounds like settlement issues.Get the builder back.
As for the nail pops, those are on the outside wall because of temperature differentials. Hot to cold. The interior is a controled climate.
These are common not the builders fault. Touch them up and repaint, that should take care of it.

Keep us in the loop!!


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