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Old 05-07-2008, 06:41 PM  
yuna
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Default crack in load bearing post & more

Hi everyone. I have this post in my basement with cracks in it that I would like some opinion on. Does it look like something I should be concerned about? I've asked my inspector about it two years ago when I bought the house and he didn't think it was a major problem. But I would like to get a second opinion.

here is the top portion of the post:

bottom portion of the same post:


The cross beam (sorry, I don't know if I'm using the right terms) that sits horizontally on this post also looks similarly fractured. What could this implicate?



The floor directly above this doesn't have a very discernible sag in it. However, my floors in the second floor is very noticeable slanted. I bought this house 2 + years ago and I've noticed that the all the bedroom doors on the second floor have become difficult to open and close. I also have a guess that this may be more directly related to having a few studs removed on the first floor (directly below where the floor sags in the second floor) to make room for a sliding door. This makes me nervous.

here is a picture:

the ladder is propped up against the sliding door where 2-3 studs have been removed. Above that, you can see a few exposed floor joists. They look like they are floating??



I'd appreciate any advice anyone can give me. Thanks.



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Old 05-07-2008, 06:55 PM  
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My opinion has no structural knowledge, but it looks like old lumber, guessing this house was built 80+ years ago? You might take a level to the floor and see how much you have to raise the one end, this will give you an idea of how much sag you have. does the second story floor above the door go past the other side of that wall a ways? I'm guessing it does, and the builder just planned on not having the ends of the floor joists supported, Cantelievered floor I think they call it.

Others on here will give you better advice welcome to a good community.



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Old 05-07-2008, 07:19 PM  
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Thanks for the welcome. You are absolutely correct. This is an old old house. It was built in 1910 and has endured some unfortunate makeovers through the years.

The floor does extend to the other end of the house which is about 21 ft in length. I'd be so relieved to know for sure that the floor is cantelievered. Thanks for the hope!

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Old 05-08-2008, 05:47 AM  
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Hello. Glad to help out.
The cracks in the beam and post are from shrinkage. They really are not of to much concern , unless they go the other way.
Check the beam and post for damage with a big screwdriver. Poke away and see if there is any peat damage. This will be powdery and come apart easily.
The cantilever is a little over sized. A small wall under the area would work best to distribute the load from above. A post may crack the floor below if there is no footing underneath that area.
If you are concerned further, you can call the local building official and they will come out to give you some pointers. Good luck and let us know if we can be more help.

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Old 05-08-2008, 09:34 AM  
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First off - We are only looking a pictures - Anything anyone says must be considered suspect. We aren't on site.

Is that sliding door a pocket door? The floor joists are cantilevered over the wall in which the slider was installed as I can tell from the pictures.

OK - So some studs were removed from what shouldn't be a load bearing wall from the looks of it at first glance from pictures. I say that because there appears to be a beam over the door. That would indicate that its not necessarily a load bearing wall. On the other hand there are floor joists perpendicular to that beam which indicates it may be load bearing. So, which is it? Dunno from here. I suspect it IS a load bearing wall but the beam is acting as a header above the door. So far so good. What I cant see is how that beam is supported. Your second floor sag could be caused by improper support of the beam over the door. There is likely a lot of weight above the door due to the cantilevered floor on top of it. The beam may also be too small now that the studs are gone.

As for the "cracks" in the posts and beams - Thats normal and is called checking. Its likely been there since just after the wood was milled. Only concern is if the cracks are new or growing.

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Old 05-08-2008, 12:16 PM  
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Welcome Yuna:
From my view, there needs to be a double beam that is as big as the space between the door header and the floor joists (maybe a double 2 X 12). There would need to be a temporary beam near the wall on both sides of the wall to pick the floor joists up to level. Then the double beam could be placed in the void to hold the floor joists permanently. The double beam will need at least 2 'cripple' studs to support each end (or you could use a 4 X 4 post on each end). Then, you will need to go to the basement and make sure the first floor is fully supported under the posts.

It is a major undertaking that will require a lot of planning and careful procedure; we sure don't want the whole thing comming down on you. A good object lesson could be learned from watching the movie Under the Tuscan Sky.
Glenn

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Old 05-08-2008, 02:48 PM  
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Well, the post seems solid other than the cracks. I didn't see any powdery stuff when I poked around with a screwdriver. This is good.

The idea of replacing the sliding door nook with a wall sounds good to me. I think I will see about having that put in. I wish I could do it myself. I do have a good book on framing but this is probably out of my league.

Thanks so much for your advice!

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Old 05-08-2008, 03:03 PM  
yuna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handyguys View Post
First off - We are only looking a pictures - Anything anyone says must be considered suspect. We aren't on site.

Is that sliding door a pocket door? The floor joists are cantilevered over the wall in which the slider was installed as I can tell from the pictures.

OK - So some studs were removed from what shouldn't be a load bearing wall from the looks of it at first glance from pictures. I say that because there appears to be a beam over the door. That would indicate that its not necessarily a load bearing wall. On the other hand there are floor joists perpendicular to that beam which indicates it may be load bearing. So, which is it? Dunno from here. I suspect it IS a load bearing wall but the beam is acting as a header above the door. So far so good. What I cant see is how that beam is supported. Your second floor sag could be caused by improper support of the beam over the door. There is likely a lot of weight above the door due to the cantilevered floor on top of it. The beam may also be too small now that the studs are gone.

As for the "cracks" in the posts and beams - Thats normal and is called checking. Its likely been there since just after the wood was milled. Only concern is if the cracks are new or growing.
Yes, it is a pocket door. It slides right into the wall cavity.

My guess is also that the door area bears some weight because the dip in the floor upstairs is most severe in that area.

I am relieved to hear about the post. I am going to sleep a little better tonight. Thanks so much for your input.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:17 PM  
yuna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennjanie View Post
Welcome Yuna:
From my view, there needs to be a double beam that is as big as the space between the door header and the floor joists (maybe a double 2 X 12). There would need to be a temporary beam near the wall on both sides of the wall to pick the floor joists up to level. Then the double beam could be placed in the void to hold the floor joists permanently. The double beam will need at least 2 'cripple' studs to support each end (or you could use a 4 X 4 post on each end). Then, you will need to go to the basement and make sure the first floor is fully supported under the posts.

It is a major undertaking that will require a lot of planning and careful procedure; we sure don't want the whole thing comming down on you. A good object lesson could be learned from watching the movie Under the Tuscan Sky.
Glenn
Thanks for the welcome, Glenn. I wish I knew about this community earlier. You guys are so great! That does sound like a major undertaking, yet so tempting since you've laid out a sketch of what needs to be done for me so nicely. I will watch that movie though before I try to do anything. And if I do decide to take it upon myself, I'll make sure I do my research


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