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Old 02-18-2010, 10:06 AM   #1
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Water leak from support beam in garage


Hello,

I just bought my first house. I live in NH and we just had a lot of snow, and as it melted yesterday to my dismay I found about a 25 gallon puddle sitting in the middle of my garage. (poured concrete foundation).

The source appears to be the cylindrical support beam in the middle, it has LOT of corrosion at the bottom indicative of previous water issues (which my inspector missed), you can actually peel off flakes of metal the rust is so bad.

What is the best way to fix this? Is there anything I can do temporarily until I can get it fixed correctly? Relatively new to most home DIY stuff...

Thanks for looking!

Gary

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Old 02-18-2010, 10:51 AM   #2
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Water leak from support beam in garage


well, there is no reason a beam should be a source of water so I would suggest you find where the water is actually coming from.

If the lower portion of the post is subject to salt and water regularly (such as melt off from road snow and salt) rusting near the bottom is not unusual.

So, you need to determine if the water is running down the post from somewhere else or it simply collected around the base of the post after leaking in from another area. If the floor around the post just happens to be the lowest point in the garage, any leaks will simply flow to that point and set.


Try to find the actual source of the water.

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Old 02-18-2010, 10:59 AM   #3
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Water leak from support beam in garage


Hi Nap, Thanks for replying.

It's definitely not coming from another area. One warm day (with snow on the ground) a little snow melted I noticed a small puddle (thought nothing of it then) that expanded from the beam insertion point in the concrete with no other visible sources.

The outside of the post is always dry, but the whole beam is corroded from top to botom, the bottom with the most corrosion. So, if it's not possible for it to be coming from the bottom directly, it must be coming down the inside of the beam and up through the bottom?
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:00 AM   #4
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Water leak from support beam in garage


"Try to find the actual source of the water."
This is not only the best suggestion---it is a must!
The metal post should be inspected for structural integrity and probable replacement. David
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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Water leak from support beam in garage


well, it is possible it would be welling up from the ground but fairly unusual.

what sets on top of the post? Have you looked and felt around the top of it to see if water is tracking down to the post from somewhere?


If the water is coming up from the ground, I would have some serious concerns.

can you possible take some pictures of this?


and depending on how bad the corrosion is, you might need to put some temporary supports in place to prevent damage to the garage. If the post is bad enough, it just would not have the strength to support (presumably) the roof.

Last edited by nap; 02-18-2010 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:14 PM   #6
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Water leak from support beam in garage


here are some pictures, doesn't it look like the bottom is the source? If I do start looking to hire a professional to fix this, what type of person should I be looking to hire for this type of thing??
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Water leak from support beam in garage-img_0658-medium-.jpg   Water leak from support beam in garage-img_0659-medium-.jpg   Water leak from support beam in garage-img_0660-medium-.jpg  
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:59 AM   #7
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Water leak from support beam in garage


what is at the top. What I would look for is if there is anyway for water to run into the post.
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:16 AM   #8
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Water leak from support beam in garage


the other thing I would do is to dry the floor with towels and even something like a fan or hair dryer. Get it as dry as you can. Then, build a dam around the pole so no water can run across the floor to get to it.

then, tie a towel around the pole to see if any water is running down the outside of the pole.


like i said in my last post; try to determine if there is any way for water to run down from elsewhere onto the post.


let us know the results
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:45 AM   #9
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Water leak from support beam in garage


Since there is no question about replacing the post, remove it. Of course provisions must be made before removal to support the load. I would fabricate one or two temporary supports, close to the existing beam, that would carry the load without interference of removal.
Check to see if a permanent support post can be placed next to this questionable support and that might be a better approach.
It appears to be impossible to determine the source of water without removal.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:55 AM   #10
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Water leak from support beam in garage


25gals? thats a lot, if its not coming from the bottom you have bigger prob than a rusty post. that post looks bad and is holding up some loads, i would suggest at the very least a pt 4x6 to each side while you have this looked at. you are going to need to cut the concrete out at post and unless you have capabilities you need a pro
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:53 PM   #11
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Water leak from support beam in garage


Cant see the top,but it looks like a vent pipe or something like that
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:56 PM   #12
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Water leak from support beam in garage


Is the pole concrete filled?
What is over the garage?
Does the ceiling around the pole top show any signs of water?
Is the bottom of the pole the only part that is wet?
Can you take exterior pictures of the sides and back of the house?
How is the grading next to and behind the house?

You might try drilling a 1/4" hole about 24" away from the pole, through the slab to see if water percs up through the hole.
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:57 PM   #13
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Water leak from support beam in garage


vent pipe?

could you have water running down from a roof leak?
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:57 PM   #14
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Water leak from support beam in garage


I'll grab a picture of the top tonight. I have felt around the top whenever it is wet, and didn't feel any moisture. I think its like welling up from the ground or something.

I will also implement your idea with the dam and tying the towel tonight after work.

Thanks for the input Giles. I don't know what I would need to do to put up those supports. Is there certain specialty I should be lookign for to hire someone to check this out? Would it be like a general handy man or something like that?

If I were to do this myself, what do I need for supports? How do I mount it? what materials etc? I'm a total newbie to this stuff, but very willing to learn and try things.

Thanks for input tpolk. What would I use to cut the concrete? is that somethign I can rent at lowes/home depot?
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:07 PM   #15
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Water leak from support beam in garage


cutting the concrete would be a partner saw

or some other brand but you will want to move the vehicles out of the garage and cover everything you do not want covered with concrete dust.

Basically you can use simple 4X4's as temporary supports. If/when you remove the steel post, I would set a 4X4 on both sides of the current post about 2 feet away. That will give you some room to work and plenty of room to dig out for and pour a footer (lump of concrete to support the force of the post)


is there a lot of water or wet land around your home? Do you have a basement? If so, does it have a sump pump and maybe even a french drain installed to remove ground water that leaches in?

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