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rotted main beam sistering vs replacement


ando215's Avatar
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02-23-14, 04:31 PM   #1  
rotted main beam sistering vs replacement

The main beam in my crawl space is badly rotted for the 3-4 feet closest to the wall from leaky plumbing . I figured my only option was total replacement. When I had a crawl space company come look at it the gentleman said "oh, you can probably just sister that".
I have a couple questions.
First, is there a method for telling how rotted is too rotted? The beam is crumbly/spongy to the touch and is no longer square, pulling away from the joists.
Second, if it were to be sistered, would/could the rot spread to the new beams? Should I treat the old beam with something first?
Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I want to get a second opinion if sistering is a possibility before I resort to jacking up the house.
Here are some specs-
The house is a single story wood frame
The beam is 3 2x8s, about 12 feet long with a cinder block post in the middle, sitting on the cinder block foundation.
My thought was to notch the wall on either side of the beam and put 2 2x8s on each side from wall to post and bolt it all together.
Let me know your thoughts/questions/concerns thanks a lot.

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XSleeper's Avatar
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02-23-14, 05:21 PM   #2  
Since the pier is there, you could do that. I would just replace the entire thing.

 
BridgeMan45's Avatar
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02-23-14, 09:41 PM   #3  
I'd also vote for complete beam replacement. It could probably be done more easily and less complicated than sistering. And never having to worry about the nasty, hungry organisms in the beam continuing their march across your basement, trying to consume the rest of the existing beam. And should you ever want or need to sell, it would not present a potential stumbling block to potential buyers like a sistered beam could.

 
ando215's Avatar
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02-25-14, 03:33 PM   #4  
I get that replacement is the best option, but are there any reasons why sisters wouldn't work? Would the rot eat away the whole beam sooner or later and I'd have to replace it then anyway? I can't see swapping out the whole beam saving me any time, money or headache, but I also don't want to have to fix it twice.

 
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02-25-14, 04:08 PM   #5  
Thought we already answered that.

Rot does not spread to wood that is not wet. But if the humidity in the crawl space is high then it's a possibility it could spread. We've given our opinion, Bridgeman added some good thoughts about future inspections and so it's up to you to decide. I seriously doubt that notching your wall is going to be easier than just replacing the existing beam. It's not like it's 24 feet long. 12 feet is a very workable length.

 
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