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unsupported splice in beam


kkinser's Avatar
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01-04-07, 05:56 PM   #1  
unsupported splice in beam

The floors in my 30 year old house sagged a little when I bought it, but after ripping out carpeting throught the house and putting in hardwood and tile, it seemed to get worse. My first solution was to just ignore the problem (!) but after a while I grabbed a flashlight and looked in the crawl space. I found that the main beam has a splice with nothing supporting it (in between the two stacks of concrete blocks that the rest of the ~30' beam is supported by). It is clearly dipping down at that point, which quite nicely corresponds to the sagging in the floors above.

So, what is the best solution? (I have about 24" clearance under the house so pouring a footing seems impractical.) I thought I could just jack up the beam and put in a lally column or two. Should I span the splice with a couple of 2x12's for additional support?

 
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chandler's Avatar
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01-05-07, 03:02 PM   #2  
Proper support is always necessary at a splice. I believe in your situation you should jack up the area, sandwich the joist with at least 4' of 2x12, and bolt the sandwich together with carriage bolts at several locations, probably 8. Not seeing what you are seeing, although I have been in the 24" situation before, you may be left with the least favorable choice of digging as much as you can in the area setting a cap block then 8" block until you get to within an inch of the joist, rejacking it slightly and installing shims to fill the gap, let it down. Ideally, you would want to dig and pour a footing.

 
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01-05-07, 03:58 PM   #3  
Good Problem. I'm thinking.

 
NHBuilder's Avatar
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01-06-07, 08:15 AM   #4  
Any way you can share a photo of the situation? Creating a 2x12 sandwich splice is a good start, depending on the span I might want to see you increase the length to 6'. (sorry if i disagree with the other post, I'm a licensed structural engineer and I tend to be conservative). You may also want to seriously consider digging a footing and pouring some concrete in there. If you simply put down blocks they too may settle over time and get you back to the same situation.

 
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01-06-07, 08:31 AM   #5  
I have a couple of questions. How big is the sag (how big an area does it cover) ? How deep is the sag ? You might need a 6' or longer level to establish this. What is over the sag ? Hardwood flooring or tile ? If tile, what kind of tile (stone or vinyl)? Do your floor joists run perpendicular with the beam ? Let me know.

 
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01-06-07, 03:07 PM   #6  
From what I gather, it seems the splice has got everyone thinking "stronger splice." Why not just put some blocks down on either side of the splice? Jack up the beam to level and apply shims accordingly. No big deal.....

 
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01-07-07, 12:02 PM   #7  
My interpretation of the OP was limited vertical space (24") and a difficult, if not impossible situation of pouring a footing. Measure across your shoulders; if it is more than 24", you will feel quite claustrophobic in such an area where you can't turn over. I think a support at the offending area is ideal, but a poorly applied support is like no support, thus the addition of the splicing.

 
bigjax's Avatar
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01-28-07, 05:25 AM   #8  
support

Posted By: kkinser The floors in my 30 year old house sagged a little when I bought it, but after ripping out carpeting throught the house and putting in hardwood and tile, it seemed to get worse. My first solution was to just ignore the problem (!) but after a while I grabbed a flashlight and looked in the crawl space. I found that the main beam has a splice with nothing supporting it (in between the two stacks of concrete blocks that the rest of the ~30' beam is supported by). It is clearly dipping down at that point, which quite nicely corresponds to the sagging in the floors above.

So, what is the best solution? (I have about 24" clearance under the house so pouring a footing seems impractical.) I thought I could just jack up the beam and put in a lally column or two. Should I span the splice with a couple of 2x12's for additional support?
2ft deep is a tight situation granted but propper support is the only way to correct your problem once an for all meaning do what ever it takes get in there and get your self a hole dug for a propper footing , you don`t have to brake any speed records , just do it at a comfortable pace. Mix your concrete out side and drag it in with some one helping you(adding rebar to the footing will only increase it`s strength) .Once you have that poured let it set up for several days . While that is taking place set up a string along the bottom of the beam pulled tight over a block at each end that is nailed to the beam this way you can see how much it has to be lifted.Next get a measurement for your supporting post that will carry the load in that spot , ( lolly column).
Lay support plates(2) on footing and measure up from the top of those to the already jacked up beam and cut your post using a sawsall .When all is said and done you will be worry free and proud that you did it yourself....good luck

 
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01-29-07, 09:20 AM   #9  
A footing is the way to go

Have to agree with bigjax on this one. You need a footing and then a support column. Yes it will be difficult, but not impossible to dig the hole, haul out or spread out the dirt and then haul in the concrete.

You will then have a solid surface to jack the beam back to level and put in a splice and support column.

 
kkinser's Avatar
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04-20-07, 10:00 AM   #10  
Sorry for the delay in acknowedging the help on this. It took me a while to get going with jacking, but I am now moving the beam slowly to level. About 1/4" a week to correct a 1-3/4" sag -- so I am really in no rush. The floor above is mostly hardwood, some tile in the kitchen and bathroom at one end of the house. Still a little bit to go, but all seems fine.

I am going to splice it between the two existing piers (about 10') rather than messing with a new pier. The bottle jack and lolly columns are on temporary blocks right now. I've got the weight distributed with steel plates on the top and bottom of each lift point.

I'll post again when finished.

 
Mephistopheles's Avatar
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05-04-07, 09:16 PM   #11  
dig a hole hmm depending on your local code, here it is 14x14x6" deep pour a pad, set a (min 8") concrete pier on it(wet) level it, let it sit for 7 days. jack the girder ends up (don't forget to bring some blocks for beneath your jacks if the soil is damp, otherwise the jacks will just sink), measure your height for post, cut post (4x6 at least), set post and shim if necessary, fasten with either galvanized nails or ss screws. you won't need to install 10' lumber, just 24" of 2x over the area most likely.

If i had a dollar for every goofy splice job that i've seen split........

settin a pier is actually pretty simple, and 24" is ALOT of room, I often work in 12" of clearance. this can be done in just 2 trips under the house, alot faster and better than 20 trips.

BTW what is the size of the "main beam" is it just a 4x6 or an actual beam as in lam or I ?


Last edited by Mephistopheles; 05-04-07 at 09:20 PM. Reason: addition
 
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