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thelowendHz
03-31-2015, 07:35 AM
Hi folks,

My wife and I are in the process of buying our first home. During the home inspection of the basement, one of the issues that came up is that the solid wood Main beam has some dry rot/insect damage where it sits in the wall. Previous owner's fix was to bolt a vertical piece of lumber where the rot is (against the wall) and then cover the rot with some sort of foam.

Our home inspector told us that the proper way to repair the beam is to cut out the rotted section up to the first pylon/vertical support (sorry if I'm not using correct terminology) and replace just that section. And just to be clear, I'm referring to a metal pylon that is about 3-4 feet away from the wall and is attached to the main beam. We asked the seller to make this repair, but instead of doing what we asked the contractor they hired replaced the piece of lumber with another metal pylon and left the rotted section in.

We've been arguing with the seller about this point (it's a banked owned property so we're actually arguing with the listing agency). Allegedly they are being told that the repair we are asking for will damage the structural integrity of the house. Our home inspector says that the pylon they installed can't be a permanent solution unless we know for a fact that the basement floor has a certain depth, which we can't know, so we can't use their method. Others have told us that we actually need the entire beam replaced and not just that one section.

So what say you? Does anyone have similar experiences they can share? I'm attaching pictures that our home inspector took at the time the issues was discovered.

2770

HayZee518
04-01-2015, 01:40 AM
The broken beam section should be replaced. But as the inspector said, the integrity of the rest of the house would be at stake. Those columns you refer to as "pylons" should called "lally columns or floor jacks. The latter are adjustable and can jack up a house. Now for the floor. where there is a jack or a lally column, normally is a one foot by one foot by two foot footing of concrete is preferred. Your second problem is where the floor joists fasten into the carrying beam. The beam may be notched to accept a tang of the joist which may be a 2X10. Replacing the beam will mean sistering the joists to rest in a joist hanger fastened to the main beam. you just can't do that without jacking up the load on the joists on both sides of the beam before removing it.

thelowendHz
04-01-2015, 07:15 AM
The broken beam section should be replaced. But as the inspector said, the integrity of the rest of the house would be at stake. Those columns you refer to as "pylons" should called "lally columns or floor jacks. The latter are adjustable and can jack up a house. Now for the floor. where there is a jack or a lally column, normally is a one foot by one foot by two foot footing of concrete is preferred. Your second problem is where the floor joists fasten into the carrying beam. The beam may be notched to accept a tang of the joist which may be a 2X10. Replacing the beam will mean sistering the joists to rest in a joist hanger fastened to the main beam. you just can't do that without jacking up the load on the joists on both sides of the beam before removing it.

Thank you for replying.

As things stand, the contractor the seller hired removed that 4x4 in the picture and put in a lally column in its place. He claims the footing is up to code.

However, we of course don't want to have a main beam with rot on it so we're trying to convince the seller to do the work we want - jack up the floor, cut the beam up to the first pre-existing lally column, and replace that section. I talked to the contractor myself and he actually gave the seller a quote to do that work but I think the seller opted for the cheaper option.

Thank you for affirming our understanding of what should be done. I don't think they'll fix it the way we want them to, but we know people that can so I guess we'll just do it ourselves.