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Inspector1

Guidelines for log floor joists

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Is there a guidelines for log floor joist in the basement. Its been there 100 years so far.

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None that I have seen. Pretty much whatever has worked for 100 years will keep on working until somebody screws with it. With log joist you need to really look at their ends, this is where they rot.

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Given that it's lasted for 100 years so far, I think you should note down the species of tree, the diameter of the logs, and the methods of installation. That would be a good guideline.

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Check carefully for pocket rot. It is very common and often missed if you do not probe the ends of the joists where they enter the foundation walls. Old timber joists are wide and shallow. If there is much damage or deterioration that reduces the depth the strength decreases significantly. Expect quite a bit of deflection. I see them often and often they are fine (except the pocket rot). When they are too weak sistering on both sides or reducing the span by adding a center beam or stud wall are options.

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The joists in the picture aren't set in pockets - they're bearing on sill timbers. "Pocket rot" is not the correct term for deterioration where the joists enter the foundation. I remember the guy in SE PA that abducted the term and applied it to the common condition in old stone homes. Pocket rot is a specific fungus that causes damage in timbers leaving small voids.

If the logs are hewn on top down to the heartwood and the bearing ends are too, there's rarely an issue.

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Agree with Bill,

Pocket rot is a fungus. It's present in a lot of milled wood and is benign in nature. Any rot occurring to the ends of a log or beam set in concrete could be any of hundreds of forms of wood rot but it is only wood rot occurring where those members rest in pockets in the foundation - it is not "pocket rot"

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The joists in the picture aren't set in pockets - they're bearing on sill timbers. "Pocket rot" is not the correct term for deterioration where the joists enter the foundation. I remember the guy in SE PA that abducted the term and applied it to the common condition in old stone homes. Pocket rot is a specific fungus that causes damage in timbers leaving small voids.

If the logs are hewn on top down to the heartwood and the bearing ends are too, there's rarely an issue.

I had not looked at the photos. Pocket rot may not be the correct term, but it is widely used. I don't use the term in reports, but do tend to use it at times in conversation. I disagree about deterioration at bearing ends rarely being an issue when timber are hewn down to hardwood. I find it quite often.

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I had not looked at the photos. Pocket rot may not be the correct term, but it is widely used.

It's only used by members of PAABI and whoever those members trained. You will not find the term used incorrectly anywhere else.
I disagree about deterioration at bearing ends rarely being an issue when timber are hewn down to hardwood. I find it quite often.
Sure, the deterioration is common when the hewn log ends are set INTO the foundation. That's not the case we're commenting on here, based on the pics in the OP.

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