Is this dangerous?

Discussion in 'Flooring' started by FreeStuffRockz, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Nov 26, 2008 #1

    FreeStuffRockz

    FreeStuffRockz

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    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

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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  2. Nov 26, 2008 #2

    Square Eye

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    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
     
  3. Nov 26, 2008 #3

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    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.:)
     
  4. Nov 27, 2008 #4

    FreeStuffRockz

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    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
     
  5. Dec 4, 2008 #5

    FreeStuffRockz

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    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..... :eek:
    But to have your ideas as well.....What do you guys think? :D
     
  6. Dec 4, 2008 #6

    glennjanie

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    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.
    Glenn
     
  7. Dec 4, 2008 #7

    FreeStuffRockz

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    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:

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    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?
     
  8. Dec 5, 2008 #8

    inspectorD

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    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.:)
     
  9. Dec 5, 2008 #9

    FreeStuffRockz

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    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.
     
  10. Dec 5, 2008 #10

    inspectorD

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    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.
     
  11. Dec 6, 2008 #11

    FreeStuffRockz

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    On man duane1982 that's really bad!
    I am def going to pay the $500 for an engineer
    I think it is well worth that because it is very important it is fix right the first time.
    fantastic advice thank you so much :D
     
  12. Jan 4, 2009 #12

    FreeStuffRockz

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    Ok the contractor has told me that I should put a small partition wall about 2-3 foot in between the windows for added support. My problem is I have two big windows: see pix. My front door & the two windows are on that wall & I am afraid that it will not look good at all to put up a small wall there? Do you guys have any other ideas that I could use to make this look right if I do put a wall there? Maybe put in a small coat closet, built in book shelves there or something that has some reasoning behind it to make the room look better? I am planning on either new carpet or hardwood floors to match the rest of the house. I really need ideas here I don't want to make this room look bad it is the main focal point of this house. The room is like 23 x 21 any ideas from you builders out there would be greatly appreciated.

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  13. Jan 4, 2009 #13

    inspectorD

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    Support for what? To catch the beam? For racking or movement of the building?
     
  14. Jan 4, 2009 #14

    FreeStuffRockz

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    The contractor says even after the new beam is in ( $3200.00- 5 days of work ) I may need to put in a small support wall under the beam. He said that side is cut so the beam will sit on the wall & it is not the full beam over the wall because of the angle it has to be cut? I do not know anything about roof support at all so all I can do is go by what he tells me? I said well I would rather put a small office/library room in as apposed to just a small 3 foot wall sticking out there floating with no purpose. He said I can not add a wall there unless there is a steam SP? wall under the house? Does that sounds right? :confused:
    The 2-2x4's are the temporary support under the beam until I get it done.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  15. Jan 4, 2009 #15

    inspectorD

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    Not being there I can not for sure give you definite answers. But the contractor can have an angle cut on the wood and still have it will carry the weight. What did the engineer suggest as the maximum angle you can have? Also, I don't see why you cannot have a post against the wall about 6 inches out down to the foundation.This will help with the depth of the angle. We do this all the time at roof intersections. Depending on how thick your wall is, 10 inches? if you have a 2x4 wall, there is about 6 inches left. There is no need for a stem wall in the basement. A post in a wall you build 12 inches out would cover that. The most you would need is a footing in the floor.
    You could also open the existing wall up to accomodate the beam being installed lowerso it does not even interfer with the roof, why did he not think of that? Is he afraid to cut the top plates? it is done all the time. Get some more advice over there looking at it.An engineer is best. The contractor sounds as though he is covering all the bases, but there are alternative solutions he may not be thinking about to hear what the customer wants.:)
    Having it work out for everyone is the best solution.
     
  16. Jan 4, 2009 #16

    FreeStuffRockz

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    great advice I will definitely get a second opinion on this.
    BTW I have a crawlspace & no basement under my house.
    He said the engineer suggested the 2-3 foot wall. I don't think I should settle on this guy doing the job he seems to be a bit unsure of himself? :eek:

    I had three other opinions so far on what I should do only two are contractors:

    1. Had one person tell me I could just replace the one beam that is failing & it would be cheaper & hold just fine do you think that is true?

    2. I had yet another person tell me I could just re-enforce the beam with a Steele plate & it would hold fine.

    3. The insurance adjuster said that it is a sister system & the other beam should hold just fine & I shouldn't worry to much about it. (This one seems ridiculous to me other wise why have 2 beams if only one is needed?) The rate it was cracking I would say that is really bad advice.

    Thank you for all your help I really appreciate it.
     
  17. Jan 4, 2009 #17

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Again , I'm not there seeing everything. But a post will work against the wall instead of a 2-3 foot wall.
    The steel plate idea is ridiculous, it will not work in my opinion. You already have wind issues, you don't need other ones.
    Get your own engineer. make some calls and see who makes you feel comfortable, and comes up with your solution. There are so many different things that can be done ,you do not need a wall. There are brackets which can be fabricated, which would be as much as installing a wall and finishing it.
    The crawl space is not an issue unless you have no acess. You can always install a pier to hold this beam wherever you want. You could install an 8x8 or bigger post where your temporary one is, it would look massive and be a conversation piece and still make it look good.
    Look around.;)
     
  18. Jan 4, 2009 #18

    FreeStuffRockz

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    ok great thanks for all your help I really do appreciate it. :)
     
  19. Jan 5, 2009 #19

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    I still think just letting it into the existing wall by lowering the beam would be cheapest to do. Remove the beam, cut the wall down to make it fit under the rafters, done. Why has no one suggested it?
    Good luck.:)
     
  20. Jan 5, 2009 #20

    FreeStuffRockz

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    That is a great question. If it was done that way would a temporary wall still have to be built? Do they have any other way of dong it like say a jack system or anything like that? I don't know anything about it. He told me if would take 5 days to build a temporary wall & install the fabricated beam. I am calling around today to get new estimates too.By the way the beam is 7' 9" from the floor. I think you have a great idea that would work well & saving me money is always a good thing lol :D
     

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