Crack in garage header

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  #1  
Old 07-02-16, 06:56 AM
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Crack in garage header

I could really use some help from those who have faced this before, so...

To keep it short, I'll just post some quick notes:

Home (& 3-car garage) is about 12 years old.
Garage is unfinished, but I want to do a full 5/8 sheetrock finish out.
Am concerned about what looks like a "stress crack" in the double door header (or might it be just an imperfection that means nothing?)
In the full pic below, the crack is directly under where the light is.
The next 2 pics show close ups.
Note that the right end terminates at a knot and stops.
The left end also seems to terminate in a wood feature of some kind as well.
There is NO evidence at all of any bowing or drooping of the header AT ALL at this point.
I would have thought that the piece used for a header would have been "better" than what I see, that is, there are more knots and grain changes in other parts of the header than I would like to see, but there is only this one evident crack in the area I enlarged.
We only bought this home less than a year ago so I can't say for sure how long that crack has been there.

Questions:
If I were going to leave the garage unfinished, I would just leave it alone and continue to keep an eye on it, however, hanging a full ceiling of 5/8" sheetrock in the garage will add more weight for the header to support, so is this something I need to fix right now, or does it appear to be the kind of crack that is simply an imperfection in the wood itself and may even have been there when it was originally installed?

If it does need attention, and considering that even with that crack there is no bowing evident whatsoever, I was thinking that what I could do as a precaution would be to bolt on a 3/8" steel flitch plate to the inside face (only) of the header. Does that sound like a good plan?

TIA
 
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  #2  
Old 07-02-16, 07:12 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Not the pro here but the beam doesn't look like a problem.

I do have some observations though.

I see above the ceiling has what looks like a full floor above it. Is that a room ?
Here.... the garage must be completely sheetrocked, taped and at least one coat of joint compound applied for fire and fume containment.

What size are those ceiling joists and what is their span length ?
 
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Old 07-02-16, 07:17 AM
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I wouldn't worry about it. It most likely will never travel any further. You could just hammer a sister piece over it if you have any doubts or use the mending plate as you considered.
 
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Old 07-02-16, 07:31 AM
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Thanks guys, I was hoping that I worrying about nothing and you both seem to have confirmed that.

Pete, there isn't a room above, but the home inspector who looked the place over when we bought it (less than a year ago) commented that he was impressed with the garage construction because the ceiling joists are 2x8's, and he said that the garage could easily support an upstairs apartment if we wanted to finish out the upstairs. What you see is just a lot of pressed board that the previous owner put up there so that he could use almost the entire upstairs for attic storage.
There isn't enough head room for an apartment, though, but it's nice to know it was "overbuilt" a little.
It's a 20' x 30', 3-car garage with the joists spanning the 20'.
Still, that crack in the header did bother me, but I think I'll just go ahead and proceed and not worry about it for now unless someone else adds a caveat or two.
 
  #5  
Old 07-02-16, 07:43 AM
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Many homes are built with the possibility to add a room over the garage area. So I'm not surprised about the better sized joist used. I would also be willing to bet that you might have plumbing ready to accept another bath if not already there.
 
  #6  
Old 07-02-16, 10:09 AM
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It sounds to me like that 20' span of a 2x8 would be too long for a load bearing addition or floor above it.
 
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