Some homes will have adjustable steel columns supporting them in the basement. Sometimes. they will be used temporarily, for example in a remodel, but other times they are just used as a permanent fixture due to lack of proper support. While there are many different types of design for these devices, they usually have a hollow core. They can be extended to be just the right size for the spot where they need to be installed. These are not devices that you can install on your own, instead, you need a structural engineer to make the determination on how to install them to make sure that they will not pose a danger.
Steel columns that are rusting will need to be replaced, since the rust can affect the structural integrity of the column. They are covered by a paint that protects them from rust, but when scratched this will not work. The columns also need to be level, and not lean more than 1 inch over the full extended length.
Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL