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DawnMarie 06-14-2010 10:19 AM

Deck - Header Joist Repair w/ pics
2 Attachment(s)
We were mowing recently and noticed that the header joist on the main/second level of our 3 level deck has pulled out of the first two floor joists. Two pictures are attached. One looking down the header joist and a close up of the warped board showing how the nails have pulled out. (In the close up, the other joists you see are above this header, and are the floor joists for the 3rd level of the deck.)

Because it's a 3 level deck this header joist runs behind and through other things on the 1st level of the deck so its impossible to just take it off and replace it. Any ideas on how this can be repaired without literally tearing apart half of the deck, which in that case would more likely mean just replacing the whole thing at great expense? In spite of the header joist pulling out like it did, the floor joists that come out from the house have remained straight. I don't know what caused this to happen. One would think that the weight of the deck would have kept the board from warping. Thoughts would be much appreciated.

P.S. The closeup just shows where the header joist has pulled out of the first 2 floor joists (rim + 1). By the time you get to the 3rd joist (just out of the top of the picture frame) it is once again firmly attached to the joists for the rest of the length of the deck. It's just these 2 at the end that have pulled out when the board warped(?) The entire deck is about 24 feet wide (along the back of the house) and it is about 10-14 feet off the ground depending on the level of the deck you're talking about, and the way the yard slopes.

Scuba_Dave 06-14-2010 01:07 PM

You need to push it back together - might need a clamp, some screws
Or some 2x blocking against the ground or another joist may work
Then install joist hangers...even on the one securely attached

Yoyizit 06-14-2010 02:27 PM

I'd use 2 ea. of something like this for each joist
suited for an exterior application.
End grain doesn't hold well with just an ordinary nail or screw.

If it works so you get the structural strength but you can't close the gap over several days of tightening fill the gap with wood pieces cut to size.

Gary in WA 06-14-2010 08:25 PM

Hangers are mainly for support and shear laterally. These would be better, with short Simpson screws as listed: To hold the stacked joists together, use flat strapping, installed at a diagonal.

You really need solid wood blocking over all bearing beams, as per code to prevent rotation of the joists.

Be safe, Gary

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