CMU columns - load bearing under a beam - hollow (not reinforced)

Had a house built in 1983, large crawlspace with a 2X beam running the length of the house in the middle supported by about five CMU columns. Typically I see the columns reinforced (filled in with mortar and rebar) and the tops of the columns are smooth (almost like a chimney crown). This house all of the columns were hollow/dry stacked. What do you guys think? See pics.

PS I am aware of the many other problems and will be writing up poor vapor barrier installation, efflorescence and water intrusion through the wall, insulation falling out / backwards / missing, pest problems, etc.

Typically the columns are reinforced and filled with concrete but they are not dry stacked. One can see the mortar.

That would be a question for a Structural Engineer although you can make a recommendation if YOU feel they are inadequate.

I mean, the house is almost 40 years old, no?

Edit: Ian, welcome to our forum. Enjoy!


Thanks Larry. Yeah they are not dry stacked, they did have some mortar between like you said. I just don’t want to be an alarmist as, like you said, its a 40 year old house and has been fine but at the same time its definitely not the norm for what i’ve seen. Thanks for the input. And thanks for the welcome, I have used this forum for years to look up info and finally decided to make a post myself :slight_smile:

This is just me, but if I allowed a builder to use scored units as piers, I’d have told him to fill them.

Edit: Scratch that. Those piers are 7 units high. They should have been filled.

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Great thanks for your input. I am leaning toward writing it up as should have been filled / reinforced (supporting the entire length of the house / main beam)

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The rule in my area is anything higher than 4 units has to be filled. 4 units and shorter can be hollow, 5 and up have to be filled.

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There is a lot to be said for it’s been that way for 40 years.

Todd, I agree. I did note multiple areas in the floor above where it was sloped or bowed, not sure if it is due to poor crowing of the joists or possibly some movement on the beam.

That would be easy to discern by eyeballing down the bottom of the joist or beam to see if they are crowned or sagged, etc. :smile:

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Just my take but I would be more concerned about the beam not being in the middle of the block and putting more weight on one side. But, 40 years is good enough for me to only make a very brief reference, if at all