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I'm looking for info on wood basement foundations

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  • I'm looking for info on wood basement foundations

    Went to look at a home a few days ago that had a wood foundation.
    How long would it last?
    As this is a foreclosed property there is no paperwork.
    What should be looked at?
    What is the lifespan?
    If there was a problem would your homeowners insurance cover it?

    Thanks for any info.

  • #2
    Re: I'm looking for info on wood basement foundations

    a few were put in around here back in the mid 1970's and early 80's, the claim was they would last as long as a masonry unit, I do not have first hand knowledge of them as I have not worked on the houses, but they are still standing, if that means any thing,

    I would guess if they were properly water proofed they would last a long time, if they were not in direct earth contact,

    I have about 5 miles of barbed wire fence on my place, and my dad would bring home a pickup load of posts every so often and so many were sold as life time posts, it is amazing how many of those so called life time posts have rotted off and have been replaced over the years, (they do not seem to guarantee fence posts as life time any more) at least I have not found them as late,

    I will give that RR ties (I have some used RR ties that are stamped in the 30's) and power poles do very well, so if the treatment was of the higher quality it will most likely last a good length of time,

    I still do not like to see wood in contact with the soil tho, that is my opinion,

    (in our area the major area of decay is the top 6" of the soils surface) usually that is where the posts rot, some soil microbe starts to eat the wood, with the wet and dry cycle, the top of the post will be good and if one digs the bottom up it will look good normally,

    I wish I could tell you more about the basement but I would say inspect it well for any decay and if it is starting keep away,
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    • #3
      Re: I'm looking for info on wood basement foundations

      Wood foundations, just like concrete blocks, poured concrete, or anything else are only as good as the installation. I have one in my own home (20 yrs. old) and no problems. I recently helped a friend with an addition and when the wood foundation was exposed, it was like the day it was put in. (1976) I, personally have never seen one that has a problem, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been one. Things to look for are the size of the studs, the spacing of the studs, any sign of leakage, the straightness of the walls, the anchors used to hold the joist to the top of the walls, and overall general condition.