Sagging Floor Joist

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Old 03-23-15, 02:33 PM
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Sagging Floor Joist

I'm about to put my house on the market and am concerned that it will not pass inspection because of a slightly compromised floor joist (water-damaged). I have a 4x4 temporary support beam underneath with two metal adjustable jack posts, which does the trick, but I'm concerned this won't pass inspection. It's a one-story home with 3ft crawlspace underneath, so there is no way to easily get a piece of new lumber down there. The only way I can see getting a 16 ft joist down there is by removing one of the crawlspace vents, but they are secured to the foundation wall so I'd rather not do that if I can avoid it. Complicating things further is the joist has plumbing on both sides, so some of the pipes may need to be moved over. Suggestions (hopefully other than cut the foundation vent and install a new joist)? I suppose cutting out the existing vent wouldn't be a big deal, as long as I could do it without damaging the concrete facing and get a new one in there.
 
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Old 03-23-15, 04:40 PM
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Suppose you replaced the jack posts with posts with concrete footings? Can you get in there to dig 3'? Actually, they are supposed to be 3' but who's going to know if they are half that?
 
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Old 03-24-15, 04:41 AM
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A footer shouldn't need to be that deep in virigina. The depth is usually determined by the depth of the frost line ... and the ground under the house away from the foundation wall is less apt to freeze than the rest so cheating on the footer might not be as bad as you'd think.
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Old 03-24-15, 07:49 AM
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Do you have any pictures of the current situation as well as inside and outside or your foundation vents?

Pretty standard to slide your new joists through the a vent opening. The plumbing will be the greater issue as the joists are usually rolled up into place and sistered to the damaged one. This is so you can get the full length up onto the center beam and then pull it back some to also capture the foundation on the outer wall for complete support. A sisitered joist is not a red flag and shows that there was a problem and that it was corrected. Leaving the jacks on one damaged beam will look like a homeowner fix and get the ears up on the inspector. He may scrutinize everything else from that point on.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 08:58 AM
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No way I am going to pour footers. It is just too confined of a space. I would rather redo the plumbing if need be (most of it is drain lines, so easy-peasy) and sister the the joist. Kind of worried about popping floor tiles and backsplash tiles above, so it's probably best to notch the new joist on both ends so it is simply reinforcing the damaged joist at it's lowest point rather than trying to raise everything back up to where it used to be.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 10:24 AM
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It shouldn't be a big deal to mix up some concrete and bring it under the house with a 5 gallon bucket.
Sistering the joist is best but I'd want to raise the sag as much as I felt comfortable.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 10:38 AM
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3ft. crawl space is more than many have so part of me says suck it up. Nobody likes working in crawl spaces but it can be done. A children's plastic snow sled or masonry mixing tray works great for transporting tools & materials as you can drag it behind or shove it in front of you and make fewer trips. I also like to bring in good lighting. Not only does it make working easier it also improves my mood (but I still always have a flashlight on me for emergency exit).

I would sister the floor joist. With what you have above I would proceed slowly. Re-route plumbing and wiring out of the way. PEX and shark bite fittings can temporarily re-route the plumbing. Then build nice temporary footers and use a hydraulic bottle jack to raise the joist about 1/8" then install cribbing and move down the joist bringing it up gently. Let it set for a few days or a week and come back and jack it up another 1/8" and repeat until you get where it needs to be or very slightly above. Then install your sister joist and slowly let the weight back down like you took it up.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 10:47 AM
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The wiring and water supply lines are in the walls, not the crawlspace, so I'm good there. I may need to re-route some drain lines, but I can't say for sure. Is there any reason why I couldn't just trim the ends of the new joist to make it fit with the floor in its current location, rather than continuing to jack it up gradually? I'll have measure exactly how far it is sagging, then make a call I suppose. I don't think it's too bad.

For sistering: liquid nails and 3" deck screws sufficient?
 
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Old 03-24-15, 10:49 AM
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It doesn't take a lot more effort to do it right. Easier to fix it right and never think about it again than answer why it wasn't done right later.
 
 

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