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Old 03-16-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
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OLD Florida house foundation


Was checking out a single family home in South Florida. It being a REO (foreclosed) home owned by a bank you don't have much to go on as far as history.

Most houses I have come across are concrete slab foundation, but I have never seen a house built in 1924. Well, I am not sure it's 1924. County records show an "ACTUAL YEAR BUILT" as 1924 but then an "EFFECTIVE YEAR BUILT" as 1954. Usually they are the same or 1 year apart but this is obviously an error?

So as I walked around I feel the hard wood floor feels a bit spongy springy, and some areas are not perfectly level. Typical for an older house I guess...but then I saw an area in the closet where the flooring is vinyl and peeled back a bit. I pushed it with my finger and it gave a little. I had a set of tools in my car so I took out a small screw driver and push it a little, and before I know it all 7" of shaft went all the way in. It's not hollow inside, it feels like totally rotted out wood.

I found another spot in another room, did the same, with the same results.

I guess may be in the 1920s they use wood beam foundation down here? I don't know. Due to water table being so high, there is no basement or crawl space so I can't look and see what's below. Nor will I be allowed to peel back some more of the floor to do any invasive investigation.

How would one fix a problem like that? Is it even worth the trouble?

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Old 03-16-2013, 03:12 PM   #2
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OLD Florida house foundation


Anything can be fixed if you have enough money, sounds like another dump to me.
"Water tables to high"
Bet you get under there and your going to find fungus, and very possible insect infestation.

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Old 03-16-2013, 04:41 PM   #3
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OLD Florida house foundation


more recent homes in South Florida have concrete slab on grade construction, but older homes many times were built on piers with wooden floor joists. I've actually seen some homes built with coral piers (long time ago before coral became protected).

How high is the finish floor above the adjacent ground? if it's more than 8" then you may have pier construction.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:57 PM   #4
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OLD Florida house foundation


The only way to determine how to fix a problem is to carefully determine what the problem is. Pushing a small screwdriver into a portion of one tile simply indicates that there is a problem in one location, the whole house could be rotten. The only way to determine how to fix the problem would be a thorough investigation of the entire house, which may require invasive techniques. If this is not acceptable to the owner or the bank, walk away and find another place.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:06 PM   #5
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OLD Florida house foundation


Quote:
Originally Posted by GBrackins View Post
more recent homes in South Florida have concrete slab on grade construction, but older homes many times were built on piers with wooden floor joists. I've actually seen some homes built with coral piers (long time ago before coral became protected).

How high is the finish floor above the adjacent ground? if it's more than 8" then you may have pier construction.
The finished floor has one step up and I estimate about 10-12" above grade.

I tested two spots. As I rolled the shaft of the screwdriver around (after it fully penetrated) I feel some resistance like rotted wood (springy). There is wood under the vinyl flooring which were rotted as well.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:33 AM   #6
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OLD Florida house foundation


I am not surprised to hear about a possible rotted wood floor with vinyl on top it is Florida. The vinyl will not allow the floor to dry to the interior at all and it could be that the raised foundation is not vented well enough. This might happen even (or especially if) there is FG insulation in the floor.
Check this place out closely.

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