Temporary column on cement floor

Temporary column on cement floor

Temporary adjustable columns like this are intended for temporary use. They are not at all strong enough to be used as permanent columns. Even if the columns were strong enough the loads imposed upon the column are being directed to just a few square inches of cement floor that is something like 4″ thick. Proper footings for columns like this should be about 24″ x 24″ and are usually about 12″ thick. There is no need to take out the calculator and do fancy math. The cement floor can not dissipate the weight being imposed upon the column because the cement is about 1/3 the thickness it should be and is a very small percentage of the size that it must be in order to dissipate the weight onto the soil below the floor. Often columns like this are installed by amateurs who do not understand structures nor fully understand the implications of what they are doing or why. What worries experienced home inspectors is not the poor quality amateur workmanship we can see it is what is hidden in the walls. Inside the walls is not likely to be any better than what is very visible. In fact most people do their best work where it is visible. A person installing the wrong type column without the necessary and required footings most likely took other short cuts and did other things they were not supposed to do either. What are the odds it gets better when finishes are removed? Slim? None? 5%? Corrective actions by qualified contractors are necessary to cure the existing hazard and to avoid further movement of the floor, wall and ceiling structures.

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