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Wood in a poured foundation?


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I am currently helping my friend tile his house. We came to one point that had a small bump so out came the grinder. This bump was apparently laid there to cover up this wooden stake. The stake is soaking wet, you can press on it and water comes out. Since this one we have found two more, in no discernible pattern except that they are in different rooms. The other two stakes unlike this one, have mostly rotted out from water damage. I can only assume they go all the way through the foundation and into the ground and are obtaining the moisture from there. They are about 1in square and my guess is maybe they were left behind by mistake when the foundation was poured.

Do you have any clue why these might be here, beside sloppy work or a mistake?



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As Les & Bryan said, those stakes were used to help the flatwork contractor establish the finished height of the slab. He probably just lost track of them during the pour.

You should dig them out. Use a beater chisel or even a wide screwdriver. Once the wood is out, fill the void with hydraulic cement patching compound.

If you're friend is the particularly cautious type, use a cold chisel to chip out a key in the bottom of the hole before patching it. That way the patch can't work its way upward over time and pop a tile loose.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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