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FreeStuffRockz 11-26-2008 08:26 AM

Is this dangerous?
I do not know anything about beam so I will post pix so you can see what I am talking about.
Who would I need to contact about a crack in the beams in my living room?
I just want to know if it's gonna fall on my head lol

Square Eye 11-26-2008 03:32 PM

Well, It's not good
That beam has been compromised by the crack and split but from here, I have no idea what kind of load you have on it. You might pull a string under it and check the deflection. If the beam is sagged substantially in that area, I'd replace it

inspectorD 11-26-2008 04:28 PM

It is actually 2 pieces of wood there. Looks like 2 pieces nailed together and the one broke. You could probably support the load and change the one which is broken.
You will need to do something, or it is only a matter of time before they both fail.
Let us know what you find out from a local contractor you have "look"at it for free because they want the work.;)
It happens to me all the time, just part of helpin folks out.:)

FreeStuffRockz 11-26-2008 06:25 PM

Thanks guys
Great advice, I will call one after the holiday.
Yep there are two beams. One is at least cracked half way through.
I am pretty worried because it seems to be getting worse. :eek:
What kind of cost do you think I may be looking at?
I'm almost afraid to ask lol.
Thanks guys

FreeStuffRockz 12-04-2008 11:51 AM

I have talked to a few people.
1. First one guy said I can have it wrapped & add extra support to the sides & it should be fine.

2. Then another said I can have a metal box made to bolt the top together to support it.

3. Then just today met a local contractor who said CALL YOUR INSURANCE ASAP! He even said that I might think about putting a 2x4 under a post to further support the beam until I get some thing done because it in fact is carrying the whole roof in this part of the house. He said they used cedar & it is to soft a wood for that load. He said request an engineer to look at it as well.
Okay for fear of sounding like I am as dumb as a box of rocks..... :o
But to have your ideas as well.....What do you guys think? :D

glennjanie 12-04-2008 03:03 PM

Hello Rockz:
The beam appears to be double #2 2 X 10s. I would repalce it with double 2 X 12s and insist on #1 lumber this time. Each board has a mill stamp on it telling the grade and several other things.
I'm a little confused; is the beam supporting studs that support the roof? Picture #3 looks like that is the case. If that is the case, I would put the new beam in at the roof line rather than using studs. Once the new beam is in place, the old one can be taken out along with the studs.

FreeStuffRockz 12-04-2008 04:27 PM

yes I believe the studs on top are going up to the roof -coming down to the beam is the only support for the the roof. There are two seperate beams this one is cracked the other is not so far? They both are two beams nailed together with the studs on top. This is a pic of one of two main supports in this room that is 22'x23' sized is this enough or done correctly?

So you think I should have them moved up closer to the roof? Just trying to understand how it should be done. I will add a few more pictures so you can see it clearer & it is a good sized crack do you have any ideas how I could keep track of the rate it is cracking? I am stumped on that one. Hmmm? :confused:
The contractor is coming by again in the morning to see what he can do maybe even replace the bad half of this beam he said? Would that work or is it a bandaid that will have to be fixed yet again later?

inspectorD 12-05-2008 05:33 AM

Well, Glenn had a good idea
Unfortunatly...Those beams need to stay where they are. You have a hip roof and there is only one way to support a beam, it needs to rest on a bearing point, which in your case is the wall it is on.
Yes an engineer would be the best way to know exactly what you need to tell a contractor. At this point it will tend to be on the overbuilt side when you are finished. Any engineer with that span will go for Laminated veneered lumber( LVL) or a sandwiched steel plate between the wood.
I can see deflection already in that beam, but it could be due to the crack.
It will cost around $500 for an engineer to do the calculations, that would be my suggestion if you want to keep the wide open space.
If you want to go the less expensive route, put in a post and make sure it transfers the weight to the foundation or a footing under the home.
Thanks for the pictures, they helped alot.:)

FreeStuffRockz 12-05-2008 09:40 AM

Thank you so much!
Wow you have confirmed everything the contractor said right down to the Laminated veneered lumber type fix which is what he suggested I do to fix it as well to keep the open feel. Thank you it is hard to have a level of confidence in people sometimes you have confirmed my faith in his advice.

He said for a temporary fix he would use a 2x4 on the floor to support a post attached under the beam just through Christmas because of my concerns about the rate at which the crack is widening until I get it fixed.

Is it true there is no way to prove what caused the crack? I do not know what happened or why it cracked. Just wondering? I know we had a very bad storm last July & the winds were really bad with hail as well. It was so bad it broke a tree at the back of the house & broke a sky lite too. I was just wondering if straight line high winds could cause this?

Thanks again for all your help I really appreciate your time.

inspectorD 12-05-2008 03:02 PM

Absolutely. High winds pull up on the roof and settle it back down, they also cause deflection and can crack wood.
Ever seen damage from a tornado?:eek:
Anytime you have something which is at it's maximum, and aged, it is only a matter of time before you get a failure.
The wood is always moving, loosening weak spots and fasteners.
Glad to hear the contractor is on the ball. The local lumber yard will probably size the beam you need.
Good luck.

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