I have an house built in 1880. The basement has a dirt floor. Supporting the house are 8x8 wooden posts. I was told by the inspector when be bought the house that it was some really strong wood and that it would probably last another 100 years. I do not remember the type of wood.
I have hired a contractor to pour concrete so that the basement is more readily usable. He is planning to put drain tile in, and crushed stone and a vapor barrier. From everything I have learned recently it looks like he knows what he is doing.
My problem is that when I was removing a (rotting) wooden platform from the basement, I found that one of the wooden supports had 5-6 inches of concrete built around it. During the wood removal it got hit by a 2x4 and shattered and I am happy that it happened. Where the concrete was the wood was totally rotted away, the the point that I could push the post and it would move. So it was obviously supporting no weight. The bottom 5-6 inches of the post are useless.
1) How should I fix this? Can I just cut off the bottom 6 inched of the wood and have an adjustable metal support inserted? (Assuming there is such a thing)
2) I take it that surrounding the wood with concrete is a bad things. What should my contractor be doing to ensure that this problem does not happen with the other support posts?
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