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Structural wood rot in basement crawl space

Posted by mackflat (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 15, 12 at 21:19

I decided to do a bunch of insulation improvements before winter and found that our basement crawl space has some pretty serious wood rot along the edges below the concrete floor. The house is from 1982 and we have been here 1.5 years.

Our backyard is a local low spot so water tends to drain towards our house and ends up under it. I know this because I can see the water around our exposed sewage drain. Some previous owner decided a good way to solve this problem was to just leave the sewage drain cover off, which is fairly low, but obviously not low enough. We will be installing a sump pump soon.

The bad part is that some of the rotting wood is support beams for the house or wood the beams are resting on. I have posted an album at There are minor signs of settling in a few places but nothing serious yet.

There is only damage in the crawl space, the rest of the basement is slightly higher (4-6 inches) and does not have wood going below the concrete.

I'm thinking of getting 4 steel beams, putting two beside the wooden beams on the walls and replacing the two interior ones. Then sealing off the wood rot with spray foam insulation, installing a sump pump and redoing the batt insulation with better stuff.

Does this make sense to any of you construction pros out there? Or should I look into more serious fixes?

Thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Structural wood rot in basement crawl space

You need to look at regrading the yard so that water flows away from the house. Also look into gutters and downspouts and make sure they are channeling water away from the house. Then look at doing a perimeter french drain around the exterior footings of the home with a sump pump. Once you get the excess water managed, then it's time to repair what it's damaged. And NO, you do not want to encase rotten wood in foam. Call in a structural engineer to propose the correct fix to your issues and then get some quotes from some contractors to implement it. You also need to get in a landscape contractor to take care of the grading and exterior project.

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