I just purchased a fix-r-upper lake house on Livengston. The house is 1800sq ft on stilts 35-40 yr. old. 800sq ft on top and 800sq ft on bottom. Stilts are made of 12×12 qty 12. The old owners poured a slab underneath and built out the bottom about 10 years ago. A few of the stilts are starting to rot under the dirt. The house has not moved, yet. I want to do something to stop the rot before it gets bad. Thinking of digging around the outer stilts and putting a bunch of concrete in. Should I do something else or just leave it alone until the house moves?
Thanks for all you do.
Tom: Really can’t do much to save them, but what you need to do is stick something in there, I know you love that answer Charlie, but you take a big long screwdriver …
Charlie: You stick your finger in there.
Tom: … Stick it around in there, and if it only goes in an inch and you have a 12 x 12 post, it’s going to be another 2 decades maybe, or even more before that thing ever becomes dangerous for you because there’s so much still there and around the outer edges where it meets the dirt, and it gets wet and dry, wet and dry. It’s going to rot around the outer edges, but you still have a lot of mass in there, so I don’t think you have a problem. If you stick it all the way through, then you have a problem and then you have to replace them. You don’t just pour concrete on them, that’s just going to make them rot even quicker.
Charlie: Well. OK. You’re serious, take a screwdriver and stick it in.
Tom: Yeah, and you’ll find it’ll probably go in about an inch, inch and a quarter, and if it’s 12 x 12, you still have a good 10 inches of post there that it’s going to take a long time to rot, so enjoy the house and fix it up.