Any ways to mitigate splitting this ledger board?

Old 06-23-24, 03:58 PM
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Question Any ways to mitigate splitting this ledger board?

Hi everyone, hope your weekend is going well. The home deck projects keeps sprawling into new challenges. Due to original construction having the slider door at a short distance above the foundation sill plate, the ledger on the old deck hung lower than it should and meant lag screws could only be used on the top portion of the board to still hit the rim board on the house. The previous builder used 3/8" lags with 16" on center spacing.

Pictures below of the new ledger board I'm adding using Simpson 5" SDWS structural screws with 8" on center spacing (2 in between each joist that is 16" apart). Joist span is about 12' and Simpson instructions said 10" or less gap between ledger screws.

My concern is: I didn't have much room to do a nice "w" pattern and am worried the board will split. I did pre-drill the holes to try to mitigate that. Should I mount an additional 2x8 into the concrete foundation right underneath this ledger for double support using tapcons? Or am I overthinking it and this will at least be stronger than what was there before?

Thanks for your time.

Old 06-23-24, 04:38 PM
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new ledger board I'm adding
To replace the old one or on top of the old one ?

Not sure what those screws are but a ledger typically will have washers on the fasteners so as not to split the wood.
Old 06-23-24, 05:10 PM
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Usually 1/2" lag screws or through bolting is the minimum. You can add screws in addition to but you still must comply with the minimum requirement.
Old 06-23-24, 05:18 PM
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The screws are supposed to alternate top and bottom (no closer than 2" to the edges) to make the best use of the natural strength of the board, with half on one side of the heartwood and half on the other.. The hazard of putting fasteners on only the top half would be that the board "might" be more likely to split, possibly along your line of fasteners... due to the location of the weight distribution on the joist hangers.

Your old ledger apparently lasted as long as it did... and your new one will likely be just fine, assuming you fasten it solidly to the framing. But you are right, lagging another ledger to the foundation would take all the guesswork out of it.
Old 06-23-24, 06:16 PM
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Thanks everyone, appreciate the replies. Some more info:

PJmax, correct, this is the new ledger to replace old rotted out one.

The screws being used (SDWS22500DB) are code compliant from what I understand, similar to ledgerloks, and have a washer built into the head. They look skinny but they're supposedly heat treated in a way that makes them strong enough to replace typical lag bolts.

Is there such a thing as a steel plate or straps that I should consider adding to the ledger board itself to reduce splitting chance? If not, I'm still leaning toward the idea of bolting a 2nd ledger board directly below it into the concrete foundation.

Last edited by FieldNotes; 06-23-24 at 06:23 PM. Reason: Added context.
Old 06-23-24, 08:00 PM
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Drill a hole in the ledger before installing the screw. The hole should not be any larger than the smooth part of the screw. This should reduce splitting.

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 06-25-24 at 03:13 PM.
FieldNotes voted this post useful.
Old 06-25-24, 08:14 AM
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Thanks, followed your advice on drilling.

I guess in a way the joist hangers themselves are kind of like metal brackets to help keep the wood together to an extent (almost acting like mending plates). I'm going to hang it and then probably add the 2nd ledger into concrete for peace of mind.

Once again, appreciate everyone's feedback!

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