Foundation Support and Beam Issues

Wood Beam Deterioration

Tip- Go into basement or crawl space. You may be able to view some of the following issues from a crawl space hatch.  If you cannot or do not want to enter the crawl space, you may miss an important issue or warning sign. Start by looking at the main support beam or beams. They commonly are made of wood, engineered wood, and metal I-Beams. Verify the ends have proper bearing on the foundation. Look for deterioration, crushing, rusting of the beam, and structural damage to the foundation beneath it. Next view the length of the beam; looking for sagging, flexing, cracking, and deterioration. Beams should not be notched out at any point. Examine the vertical support columns. They can be made out of wood, steel, blocks, and bricks. Verify they are properly secured at the top and bottom and look for any crushing of material. The bottom of columns tend to deteriorate and lose there load bearing capabilities, which could allow beam and joist sagging. Examine the base or footing area of the column looking for crushed or sinking material. Columns should be vertical.   A slight slant can be acceptable, but should have continued observation for and additional movement. If you see bowing, that can be an indicator the weight load is beyond the column’s capacity.  Issues with beams and columns can have serious effects on the rest of the structure and should be assessed by a licensed structural engineer.

Base of Column Deteriorated
Column Not Vertical
Brick Column Cracked and Crushed at Top
Brick Column Deteriorated
Column Crushing Base Support