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I’m under contract for a newly built home and noticed a rusty support post in the basement. There are some other small issues with the home too but this one has me concerned. It’s just under a year old, never lived in.

Is this a serious red flag?

enter image description here

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  • I would find that quite concerning. I would spend the $150-$300 for a qualified home inspector and insist on any problems of this scale be properly repaired before closing. You do have an inspection clause in your contract, don't you?
    – psaxton
    Jul 23, 2020 at 4:02
  • First, that’s an odd shaped beam. I’d check to see if they used the correct shaped beam. Second, if that represents 1 year of rust, you’ll have problems in 3-4 years. Third, I’d contact the Building Department and ask to see the “sign off” on the Permit and ask them to inspect it to see if it’s the wrong beam. Fourth, I’d notify contractor IN WRITING that the beam is not acceptable because of the rust and shape of the beam.
    – Lee Sam
    Jul 23, 2020 at 5:14
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    I think it is a support post or lolly column, as in the picture is taken looking down at the floor and those are control joints in the concrete floor...
    – Jack
    Jul 23, 2020 at 5:22
  • Welcome to Home Improvement. I've taken the liberty of rotating the picture, since this seems to be a post (vertical) not a beam (horizontal). If my understanding was incorrect please revert the edit (or let us know in the comments and someone will take care of it for you).
    – FreeMan
    Jul 23, 2020 at 10:45
  • psaxton - Yes, that pic was actually taken during the home inspection. The report will be issued within the next day, but seeing that rust on the post really has me concerned. Especially since this is new construction. There appear to be a few water stains on the concrete floor as well, but as the inspector mentioned, there could have been a power failure and the sump pump didn’t function for a bit. Thank you for your response!
    – Savannah17
    Jul 23, 2020 at 12:04

1 Answer 1

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Yes, it is reasonable to be concerned. However, I would not panic.

I would contact an engineer and have it inspected by a competent professional.

If it is determined that it is just surface rust you should be able to grind it off with a wire wheel and a drill, then apply a rust inhibitor primer and paint it to prevent further rust issues.

If it is a structural issue you would need to support either side of it, relieve the load and replace it with a new post that is rated for the determined load. I would most definitely hire a contractor to do this unless you have extensive experience in carpentry and framing.

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