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Concrete foundations damaged by the fire may be unsafe for rebuilding

Some property owners indicated on their Private Property Debris Removal questionnaire that they’d like to keep their concrete foundation. If you’re one of those property owners, a Debris Management Task Force (DMTF) representative will reach out to you before crews clean your property — they can help you make an informed decision on foundation removal.

Damaged by fire

Concrete is non-flammable and offers fire protective qualities for preventing the spread of fire. However, concrete loses most of its structural strength characteristics when exposed to extreme heat from a long burning fire. The longer concrete is exposed, the more damage it sustains.

The average house fire burns at about 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit. When temperatures reach above 750 degrees, concrete strength drops by 50-60% and is considered fully damaged. That’s why concrete footings, slabs and foundation systems in fire-destroyed buildings are typically deemed unsafe to rebuild on.

DMTF crews will perform an on-site evaluation to determine whether your foundation is safe. The typical cost for foundation removal is $27,009.33 (estimate based on a standard 2,000 square foot home). Crews may remove your damaged foundation upon request with no upfront cost.

Before you rebuild

Before you can rebuild, concrete foundations must meet local building code requirements, which vary by city or county. Repaired and new concrete foundations are subject to the same requirements. In some instances, the local city or county building department may require an Oregon-licensed structural or geotechnical engineer to inspect and sign off before issuing a building permit.

Check with your county’s building department for wildfire recovery building and planning resources:



Wildfire waste and debris removal

The State of Oregon is working with federal, state and local partners to remove hazardous waste, and ash and debris from the 2020 Oregon wildfires safely, efficiently, and as quickly as possible. The Oregon Departments of Transportation, Environmental Quality and Emergency Management are leading the effort, with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assistance.

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