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Installing Lally Columns Yourself? What Not To Do – Boston, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, May 18, 2017

I was referred to a woman who lives in Boston because the home inspector said there were multiple problems with lally columns and one in particular. I asked her to send me photos, which were right in her home inspection report. I couldn’t believe what I saw.

What I saw was a temporary lally column sitting on the cement floor and what was on top of the lally column in between the beam and the ceiling was what looked like a cast iron frying pan. I’ve been in the business for 15 years and I have never seen anything like that. This homeowner has taken the cake for unusual lally column structures.

Another had no footing. A footing is a solid piece of concrete that goes down about 12-14” to help support the lally columns.

The one I saw was a temporary lally column. Those are the ones with the screw jack. And being hollow they can’t handle the weight of the house. If there is a fire it is going to melt. Today’s building code says they have to be steel filled with concrete. Plus a frying pan may be nice to cook dinner, but you can’t put it on top of a lally column. What should be there is a thick piece of steel with a cup welded on and bolted to the support beam.

For more information on lally column replacement, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

Crackman Tip 20 - How Long does it take a Concrete Slab to Dry? – Providence, RI

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Frank in Providence, RI: “How long can I estimate for a new concrete slab to dry?”

Crackman: That is a very interesting question. There are a lot of factors that contribute to how long it takes concrete to dry. There are a lot of different materials in concrete and it depends on the materials used, the amount of water and temperature around that slab, and is wind there.

You want that concrete to dry as much as possible. Concrete is an expensive product to pour, and labor to apply it. So you don’t want to go on it too soon. We are not just talking about stepping on it, people drive cars and machinery on it. What you want to do is a relative humidity test which can be done on slabs. This determines how much water is in the, when it is at least 90% cure. Concrete never fully cures, there is always water or moisture in it. If you are going to drive a car or put heavy equipment on it, you should wait at least a week or more so you don’t take one step forward and two back.

For more information, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

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