Splitting House Support Beam

Old 11-24-00, 06:38 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

The support beam(cedar 8" x8") of our 50 year old house is splitting or just plain separating(cracking). Is there anything on the market that can be applied to treat the beam? Is it just drying out? Does one eventually have to replace the beam?(Major, major project. Any help would be appreciated.
Old 11-25-00, 01:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 154
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts

The exterior of a timber dries quicker than the center. This uneven drying will cause splits, called checks to occur in the timber. Checking should not be a concern in normal cases. Wood will continue to take on & release moisture. What is a concern is, unless you have never noticed these checks before, that after 50 years the beam is well seasoned and no major checking should be happening. You should have someone in the know, (an engineer) have a look to determine if these are stress related cracks. Then they can recommend the remedy
Old 11-25-00, 02:46 AM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,999
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts

Allen is right about the checking. If however they are in fact cracks that are really splitting the beam in half, there is one siple thing you can do. Get some square washers. They are about 3"x3" with a 3/8" hole in the center. About 1/4" metal. You can make them from 1/4" plate steel or have them cut for you. Drill a 3/8" hole in the center of them, and also through your beam with a bit. Put a square washer of each side of the beam and tighten very tight. You can put them about one every 4 feet.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: