I've never seen this...

This is the under side of the garage.
Obvious moisture intrusion, efflorescence and rusted columns.
I am going to recommend a structural engineer evaluate and discuss proper support methods.
Any other observations? Ideas?



Do you mean this is the underside of the garage slab?


This is the garage, that a yahoo converted the attic space above to a master bedroom and bath with a jetted tub without adding any structural support (no permits a given) or a gameroom with pooltable, bar, refer, 72" flatscreen and 10 drunkin buddies???

This is the underside of a garage slab.

With temporary supports scattered about not designed to support such a structure; refer it to a SE and be done with it.


A suspended concrete garage floor slab is a probably one of the most technically difficult designs, from an engineering standpoint, you will find in a residential structure. In my opinion no home inspector regardless of experience or educational background, including engineers like myself, should ever may any comment on these other than referring to a structural engineer for detailed analysis. Even if the owner has a set of sealed engineering drawings DO NOT make any comment on the condition or adequacy of a suspended garage slab. A set of design plans is no guarantee the contractor built the slab according to the design. Minor changes in the steel placement and concrete strength can have a significant impact on the slabs load carrying capacity. In the ideal situation the engineer that designed the slab was also hired to verify the construction, if so the owner should have that documentation. If I sound a little harsh its because this is one item that failure could result in death or serious injury.

I agree Randy, I have built structural slabs like this before, and if this one is in need of adjustable columns like we see, there is definitely something wrong with the way it was constructed or designed.
A PE for evaluation should be high priority. This is no laughing matter, someone could get killed.

I’m glad I found this thread.
I was having some reservations about a very similar situation I encountered last night.
46yr old house.
The suspended two car garage floor appeared to have sloppy form work, no floor drains, inadequate support, cracks and spalling from (salty - from snow melt) water seeping through whatever crack it could find.
The steel beam had significant rust, and the support columns either had failing footings, or the floor had heaved up around them. It was tough to tell.
There were signs of a lot of previous water entry, and if you stomped on the basement slab it sounded hollow as a drum.
I was gonna refer it to a PE anyway, but I just wanted to see if anyone had experienced the same.
Some pics:

I would certainly recommend a Structural Engineer on that one.
A close look at the original design and the condition of the structural capacity of the floor system needs examination.

Salt water seepage through those cracks are rusting out the reinforcement, if any, and could be a problem.

I would express my concerns structurally on this one. :slight_smile:

The buyer has decided to look for another property based on my report.
The agent thanked me for the strong wording in my report, and said they’d call when they find another house.

Thanks for the feedback.

Good job Andrew. I always say…“let the cards fall where they may”. When you do the right and “sound” thing, you are always rewarded with more work.


Yes I agree with all comments here and would make the same judgement call. Structural Engineer.

Great advice Randy!