A few facts about adjustable steel columns:
- Non Compliant Paint Allowing Rust To Form: According to the IRC Section R407.2, All adjustable steel columns should be protected by rust-inhibitive paint. It says, specifically, "All surfaces (inside and outside) of steel columns shall be given a shop coat of rust-inhibitive paint, except for corrosion-resistant steel and steel treated with coatings to provide corrosion resistance." Inspectors will not be able to identify paint as rust-inhibitive, but may be able to observe the earliest stage of rust beginning to form and recommend further attention. In dry climates where rust is not as much of a problem, rust-inhibitive paint may not be necessary. Visible signs of rust constitute a potential defect. Advanced rust will weaken the post and could cause structural collapse and extensive damage.
- The post is not straight. The post should not bend anywhere along it's length or especially at its mid-point. Bent Posts indicate that the column cannot bear the weight of the house. The maximum load is affected by many factors, such as the height and diameter of the post.
- The column is not connected to the floor. An inspector can determine whether a connection between the post and the floor exists as long as this connection has not been visually obscured.
- The column is not connected to the beam. To provide proper support, the post should connect to the beam above. This connection provides additional resistance against lateral displacement.
- Too much extension: If more than 3 inches of the screw thread are exposed the post may be overextended and thus have it's load bearing capacity reduced.
- There are cracks in upstairs walls. If a post is not properly adjusted, then cracks may appear in walls. This would suggest a failure of the columns.