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[OP]
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Jun 11, 2010
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Load Bearing?

Can anyone give me a hand on whether any of these beams are load bearing?

1+2 go together
3+4 go together
5 is on it's own

I'd like to remove the stairs to get access to the foundation to parge and waterproof, but it's nailed into beams in pics 1-4. Similarly, I'd like to remove the wood where the concrete doorway is but I'm not sure if it's load bearing as well.

Any recommendations on who would be best to talk to about this?
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  • 2.JPG
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  • 5.JPG
7 replies
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1+2 lol no, someone probably put that up because the upper floor was sinking a bit*
3+4 holds up the stairs landing*
5 i wouldn't touch that unless you plan on replacing it with a steel structure*

* i'm no structural engineer, also assume you're talking about the posts and not beams, the beams obviously are
Last edited by shabby on Feb 11th, 2018 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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1 - don't remove anything if you have any doubts. If you don't know what you're doing, hire an engineer.
2 - a beam is a horizontal structural member whereas a post is vertical. Your question asks about beams not posts.
3 - those joists (the horizontal lumber holding up the floor) do carry a load to a beam (the large 2x12 that runs parallel to the stairs) which in turn carries a significant floor load to the double beam that is supported by the foundation. Curiously, where that double beam ties into the foundation is in the middle of a window opening in a foundation and that is a weak spot. There must be another post nearby that isn't in the pictures. Anyway, that just seems to be an odd place to put a window unless the people who poured the foundation didn't know about the stairway opening.
4 - those stairs do not appear to be adding any structural support to the floor above but I would refrain from removing anything that looks like a post. That being said, I really doubt that those 2x4 "posts" are helping with any load bearing.
5 - don't remove the wood door frame unless it is rotted and then only do so if you know how to support the lintel (the top part) while you replace the frame. While it may not be "load bearing", it will help prevent collapse of the concrete foundation above the door.
6 - I don't know why you need access to the interior of your foundation wall to parge and waterproof.
[OP]
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shabby wrote: 1+2 lol no, someone probably put that up because the upper floor was sinking a bit*
3+4 holds up the stairs landing*
5 i wouldn't touch that unless you plan on replacing it with a steel structure*

* i'm no structural engineer, also assume you're talking about the posts and not beams, the beams obviously are
Thank you for the reply ! I am definitely talking about the 2x4 beams, as far as I was concerned the beams weren't load bearing and if it was meant to be I should put in a 4x4 at least with a sill that's tapcon'd into the slab or something. The horizontal joists I'm definitely not touching, I'm wondering if it's worth pulling the drywall and adding a joist hanger there to prevent further settling?

3+4 good point, I figured that's what it was doing, it's not a very good piece of wood though so I may grab a spare 4x4 and jack to hold it up while I replace the beam coming down?
CaptSmethwick wrote: 1 - don't remove anything if you have any doubts. If you don't know what you're doing, hire an engineer.
2 - a beam is a horizontal structural member whereas a post is vertical. Your question asks about beams not posts.
3 - those joists (the horizontal lumber holding up the floor) do carry a load to a beam (the large 2x12 that runs parallel to the stairs) which in turn carries a significant floor load to the double beam that is supported by the foundation. Curiously, where that double beam ties into the foundation is in the middle of a window opening in a foundation and that is a weak spot. There must be another post nearby that isn't in the pictures. Anyway, that just seems to be an odd place to put a window unless the people who poured the foundation didn't know about the stairway opening.
4 - those stairs do not appear to be adding any structural support to the floor above but I would refrain from removing anything that looks like a post. That being said, I really doubt that those 2x4 "posts" are helping with any load bearing.
5 - don't remove the wood door frame unless it is rotted and then only do so if you know how to support the lintel (the top part) while you replace the frame. While it may not be "load bearing", it will help prevent collapse of the concrete foundation above the door.
6 - I don't know why you need access to the interior of your foundation wall to parge and waterproof.
Good point on #4, I wanted to potentially beef it up to a 4x4 since the current post doesn't feel that solid. For #6, the foundation is about 70 years old, it's been waterproofed on one side, but that side had some moisture issues i'm sure for a number of years as seen by the efflorescence near the stairs. I'm using wire brushes and a shopvac to clean the loose stones off, and parging with a waterproof parging just as added stability before installing rigid foam. I'm sure I'm going overboard, but do me while i'm at the concrete I'd rather do more than I need to before sealing everything up.


I guess my question for you both is I noticed #5 leaks on really rainy days. We had a flash flood warning this summer in Ottawa, which is when I noticed a slow drip in that spot. I was hoping to remove it, spray foam in cracks (if any), and then reform a block with a concrete mold. Probably best left to professionals though? Thank you both for your help :)
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barqers wrote: I guess my question for you both is I noticed #5 leaks on really rainy days. We had a flash flood warning this summer in Ottawa, which is when I noticed a slow drip in that spot. I was hoping to remove it, spray foam in cracks (if any), and then reform a block with a concrete mold. Probably best left to professionals though? Thank you both for your help :)
Is this a cold room? What's above it? I would rather seal it from the outside than from the inside, and don't use any spary foam for cracks, either hydraulic cement or some kind of caulking on the outside.
[OP]
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shabby wrote: Is this a cold room? What's above it? I would rather seal it from the outside than from the inside, and don't use any spary foam for cracks, either hydraulic cement or some kind of caulking on the outside.
Yeah it's a cold room, it's right below the front stairs I believe, which are also made of concrete, and the doorway for the cold room I believe is right below the front door.

I notice that the cold room entry leaks under heavy rainfall, and I also get the front entry hardwood looking damp as well (which has ruined it). Problem was I searched all last summer and cannot for the life of me find the source of the water. No downspouts anywhere, there's an awning in front of the front door too.
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Any walls/brick around the concrete? That's probably where the water is getting through, when its pouring see where the water is draining in that area. I had the exact same issue, there was a small gap between the concrete pad and the side of the house, filled it with some caulking and it fixed the issue.
[OP]
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Jun 11, 2010
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ottawa
shabby wrote: Any walls/brick around the concrete? That's probably where the water is getting through, when its pouring see where the water is draining in that area. I had the exact same issue, there was a small gap between the concrete pad and the side of the house, filled it with some caulking and it fixed the issue.
The one time I wish it was pouring rain outside lol. Will give this a shot next time it rains.When the snow melts I do not get this issue, so it must be coming from higher up than ground level.

While I'm at it throwing questions everywhere, if I were to insulate the basement with rigid foam, I'm wondering what the best way is then to seal off the concrete behind these wood posts, maybe try and yank some plastic vapour barrier through?

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