Main Beam Support Post


Old 11-20-06, 07:30 AM
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Question Main Beam Support Post

I am in the process of buying a new (1980) home and there are a few minor issues as there is with any older home. Here's the deal. There is a main steel I-beam that runs under the middle of the house with a steel support post. The kind with the screw jack with the little plate on top. When the inspector was going through the home he noticed that the post wasn't even attached to the main beam and the little plate that goes between the screw and the beam was missing.

There are no cracks in any wall, no sagging floor, really no sign that the post is missing and causing any problems. But I figure that it is a good idea to reattach it to the beam. My question is, how tight should tight does the screw have to be without moving the floor etc. I've never had any experience with this one...
Any thoughts?
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Old 11-20-06, 08:51 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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That is a really strange situation you have there. I am wondering what the span (without center support) of the beam is and what is the spec on the I-beam?
Also, if you pull a string line on the beam from end of end, at the top of the beam can you see a measureable deflection?

I am not a structural engineer, I'm an ME. You need to contact a structual engineer and have this situation looked at for a professional evaluation. I'm just so curious as to how this could happen?

Did the builder "forget" to secure the column? Did the designer/engineer do a load calculation and decide the column was not necessary? It's just a crazy thing.

Generally I-beams in house construction require column supports to reduce deflection and the resulting "bouncy" feeling in the floor above them, not for failure. But as I said, "generally."

If you go upstairs mid-span over the beam and gently bounce up and down do you notice a lot of bounce in the floor?

Like I said, call an expert and have them take care if it and check it out. Too weird.

- Mark
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