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Lally Columns: What You Should and Should Not Use - Boston, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

We run in to some very interesting “solutions “ for lally columns.

Lally columns are the support systems that are underneath the floors that hold the floor up and keep them even and balanced. We see all kinds of poorly designed lally columns all over Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire that home inspectors don’t like. There are five that are common.

We often see axels from cars used as lally columns. Yesterday I saw a cast iron sewer pipe acting as one. Since we are in New England and we have a lot of old housing stock it is not unusual to see tree trunks, some still have the bark on them. If you look carefully you’ll see the pinholes from the powder house beetles that have eaten away at them. The fourth thing that we see are bricks or cinder blocks stacked on each other acting as a beam. Over time, because of the humidity in the basement, the mortar wears down and they don’t have the same strength. We also see pieces of wood, like 2 x 4’s, used to hold up the floor above.

A proper lally column is supposed to have a footing which is a piece of concrete that spreads out the pressure of the column sitting on it. The lally column itself should be made of steel and filled with concrete. On top of that, there should be a thick piece of steel with a cup welded onto it for the lally columns to go into. That piece of steel should be attached to the beam above.

Before you think of listing your house, get rid of sub-par lally columns before they become a problem in selling.

For more information, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.


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