Should I be concerned? Main beam notched/drilled

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Old 08-05-11, 08:16 AM
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Should I be concerned? Main beam notched/drilled

Currently demoing our basement with intent to aggressively update the home's infrastructure - plumbing, electrical, even duct work to be redone as long as we've got the access in the basement.

So the other day I found this little beauty:


At first it didn't register - so you can imagine my horror when I found THIS:


Not only did they vertically notch the triple laminate beam (2x10s), they also bored a hole through it's center. (Never mind that they COULD have run the electric through a non-load-bearing wall not 1 foot further down the beam...

So - question - IS this damage enough to pose a structural risk, and if so, how can I repair it?

I was thinking about temporarily supporting the beam on either side of the damage and patching it, but I'm not sure that would carry load as well. Should I just tack in load transfer plates on either side of the beam to reinforce the damaged area? I'd *like* to avoid that because I had planned to build a box around this beam (decorative) and keep it fairly narrow but I want to do what's best for the structure, first and foremost.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 08-05-11, 08:25 AM
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I should add - the wall beneath the beam is not staying - we plan to reconfigure the basement completely and the beam will be supported only by the two steel columns once we're done.
 
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Old 08-05-11, 11:17 AM
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If this is the only one of the 3 2x10's that is damaged I would remove the wiring then fill the drilled hole with epoxy glue. Then I would put four 3 inch screws on each side of the cut. Fill the cut with wood putty if you wish. Then continue on with your plans.
Since you did not state the length of the triple beam I cannot be sure you can remove the wall and still have the support you need. You need to look at a chart to see how far a span the beam can support. Google floor beam span chart to find one.
 

Last edited by badeyeben; 08-05-11 at 11:19 AM. Reason: added last paragraph
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Old 08-08-11, 05:51 AM
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Thanks, I like the epoxy glue idea.

Not worried about the support otherwise - the beam is original to the 1940 home and has two columns supporting it - and I need to check but I think they're 12's not 10's as well.
 
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Old 08-08-11, 02:55 PM
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As Ben stated, not knowing the length of the beam, we can't give structural advice. I do believe, however, I would run carriage bolts (two or more per side) through the beam members as opposed to screws. I think there may be more stress at this point than at any point along the length, and you really need to tie the damaged beam back into the others securely. NOT that the screws won't hold, I just like to err on the side of "it ain't gonna bend".
 
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Old 08-09-11, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
As Ben stated, not knowing the length of the beam, we can't give structural advice. I do believe, however, I would run carriage bolts (two or more per side) through the beam members as opposed to screws. I think there may be more stress at this point than at any point along the length, and you really need to tie the damaged beam back into the others securely. NOT that the screws won't hold, I just like to err on the side of "it ain't gonna bend".
I'm with you on this. I like the idea as well - only concern here is, I would like to box the beam in a nice finished pine when all is said and done. Do you foresee an issue if I countersink the head and the nut of the bolt into the beam so that they aren't exposed, forcing me to widen the finish work?
 
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Old 08-13-11, 08:12 AM
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I agree with chandler re carriage bolts vs. screws. Countersink the nut and washer side only. You can ease the back side of your decorative pine to deal with the carriage bolt heads. Sometimes you can tighten them so that the head 'crushes' the beam face and is flush.
 
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Old 08-30-11, 02:30 PM
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Think steel plate or fabricated formed sheet metal. Consider what you see tying together trusses. Some really wimpy gauge fabrications. You could probably screw on a u-channel, especially one with a ribbed end that will be incredibly strong. Stronger than epoxy. This site seems under-informed on the strength of fabricated steel.

Just look at a site like this: Joist Chooser | Metwood Store

Note the bent over angle of the metal on top? Well, that adds incredible strength to the assembly and does not take up much room. How much? Well, for some of these fabrications it is hard to calculate so you need have the particular company test. For instance, adding a bead to the fabrication with the angle would increase the strength even more. Need to check with individual manufacturers.
 
 

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