Steel beam that supports house in basement


Old 10-06-14, 08:26 AM
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Steel beam that supports house in basement

Hi All,

I recently notice that the steel beam in my basement that supports my house is ever so slightly "slanted" in the pocket (see pic), and there is a crack next to it. It seems to be plumbly supporting the house, and we have had no issues as far as sloping or slanting floors. I just don't like that it's not "perfectly" straight.

The crack has always been there, and has not gotten bigger in 3 years. When I bought the house, we had 2 home inspectors check this issue - and they both said it was no issue whatsoever, and that in 80% of home you will likely find a crack somewhere in the foundation due to settling. They said it is not worrisome at all, and if I am concerned to fill it with epoxy.

Does anyone have any insight on if I should truly be concerned or forget about it?
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Old 10-06-14, 08:37 AM
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While I would make a point to keep an eye on it, I wouldn't be overly concerned especially since there hasn't been any change in the last 3 yrs. Any moisture ever come thru the crack?
Old 10-06-14, 10:34 AM
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No moisture has ever come in through the crack. The basement is always as dry as a bone.

Thanks for the feedback!
Old 10-06-14, 11:27 AM
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It looks like it's cemented into place, and if so, where is it going to go? The poured foundation is going to crack someplace due to expansion and contraction... just like a long sidewalk or driveway would if it didn't have any cuts made in it. Looks like it cracked at the weakest point, which was the corner that was originally notched out for the beam. As long as it's not opening up or shifting I don't see a problem. Weatherproofing the outside of the crack would be the only possible issue, IMO.
Old 10-06-14, 06:37 PM
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I wouldn't worry about crooked steel, as it was probably installed that way. Without measuring it, your "slanted" steel beam appears to be within standard rolling mill tolerances. For W-beams up to 12" deep, the AISC allows flanges to be out-of-square by a total of 1/4". Meaning if the top flange supporting your house's joists is in a horizontal plane, the bottom flange can have a corner kicked up by 1/4". If the beam was an S-section (couldn't tell for sure from the photo, but not likely), the maximum allowable tolerance is somewhat less, being computed at 1/32" per inch of flange width--meaning a 6"-wide flange would be 6/32, or 3/16" total.

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