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Re: Lally column rust

Subject: Re: Lally column rust
From: Steven Trovato <>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 11:22:24 -0400
Hello.  Thank you all for your comments.  Sorry I haven't gotten back to 
you all sooner.

Trevor, A structural column is quite different from a basketball 
pole.  Also, the rust is occurring strictly from the outside.  It is not 
perforated at all so the inside should be quite well protected.  Your 
caution is well taken, though, and that is why I am not just ignoring the 

George, your approach is pretty much what I'm going to do.  I'm not sure 
about the drilling part, but as a start, I will clean it up and try to make 
some measurements.  The flakes aren't adding any strength anyway, so 
cleaning it up will give me a much better picture of the situation.

Paul, I have used a borescope for other things, like looking inside 
engines.  The one I had would require a bigger hole than I'm willing to 
drill.  And also, I think the inside will look pristine.  It's only the 
outside that's been exposed to water, salt, etc.  BTW, Webster says a 
borescope is for looking in engines.  An endoscope is for looking in 
rectums.  :-)

Dick, I thought I would be able to tell if it is cement filled by tapping, 
but my ear is not sufficiently tuned to make the determination.  Maybe if I 
had a known hollow one and a known filled one to practice on first.

Allen, you are a braver man than I am.  I'm glad your house is still 
standing, but I wouldn't try removing a column without being very sure of 
myself.  I hope you got some good, expert advice first.  In my case, there 
is a steel I beam with a column at each end.  As much as I would love to 
eliminate this pole, it is the only thing holding up one end of the I beam.

And to those who suggested that I just slip in another one to replace this 
one, let me give you some more information.  The house was built by pouring 
footings around the perimeter, and piers where the poles are.  The poles 
were put in place, and at some point after that, the floor was poured.  The 
bottom of the pole is embedded in the slab.  There is no way to "slip it 
out".  I would have to cut out a section of the slab.

Again, thank you all for your assistance.  I will try to post a follow-up 
when I learn more.

-Steve Trovato

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