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Wood Piles

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Jim Persing wrote:

"I have been asked to provide some general information regarding
wood piles used at a water front (fresh water) house regarding estimated
life, inspection, verification, etc.  Does anybody know of a good
or source that I could use?"

When I used to inspect bridges in Iowa, wood piling life was a pretty
predictable thing.  After about 15 years, they would develop a white
ring aound their base.  The wood would look checked and bleached out.

6 years after this, they were mush.  Not 4, not 8; 6 years.

This was borne out on dozens of bridges in northern and central Iowa.
They were all inspected on a 2 year cycle, so we had pretty good

I assume that other regions would have a similar scenario; the timing
will be adjusted by average temperature (especially whether and for how
long it freezes in the winter) and average humidity, etc.  Check with a
County Engineer in the area of your project; ask him about records on
his older wood bridges.

Mike Hemstad, P.E.
St. Paul, Minnesota