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ap506 02-10-2013 08:12 PM

Main beam crack
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What do you think about this photo? Appears to be a main beam in the otherwise fine warm crawl space...

joecaption 02-10-2013 08:19 PM

Can not see a crack in that picture.
I do see where there's no foil tape on the joints on the duct work and no insulation on it. That's why it's so warm under there from the wasted heat.

ap506 02-10-2013 08:29 PM

Thanks Joe. The picture is not ideal, and the crack has not attracted inspector's attention. It's in the top right corner.

ap506 02-10-2013 08:32 PM

I am not too concerned about the energy waste because the entire house's wood structure both in the crawl space and in the attic (1955 45x35 bungalow) appears to breath well and is in a great shape, no moisture, no darken wood... I guess it's the price to pay to heat a crawl space that is unused otherwise.

Bruntson 02-10-2013 09:19 PM

The point Joecaption is trying to make is that without a clear picture of the problem area, we can not see what issues there are. Any further coments from us are only guesses.

Gary in WA 02-10-2013 11:32 PM

Is it a diagonal crack, directly over the concrete bearing pier? Send the wife down to you with a sandwich and have her hold the light while you take another picture...second thought, let her take the picture...


SeanB 02-11-2013 12:32 PM

Surely the crack is not that massive looking thing parallel to the wire above the column is it? If so I would think that would be a problem.

ap506 02-11-2013 09:55 PM

You are sharp-tongued fellows. :laughing: The picture was taken by the home inspector, so we are debating now the gravity of the issues, before going back next week-end.

Indeed, what appears to be a crack is a diagonal parallel to the wire. In addition, the supporting pier is also cracked from top left to bottom right, and appears to be missing some concrete on the right side.

joecaption 02-11-2013 10:20 PM

Without that picture face on the crack no way to even guess.

AllanJ 02-12-2013 07:22 AM

Can you build a new pier under the beam (just to the left of the existing pier as shown in the picture)?

Maintenance 6 02-12-2013 10:00 AM

Judging from the size of the beam and the location and type of crack, that had to be under an awful lot of stress. Is this a house that you own, or are looking to buy? I would think that in order to break at that point, something else had to settle significantly to place the stress on the beam.

AllanJ 02-12-2013 10:14 AM

Its the inner part of the pier (in the foreground as shown) that is under added stress (vertical compression), not the beam itself.

redman88 02-12-2013 01:37 PM

what was the inspectors comment about this photo? you said the crack didn't attract his/her attention. so what makes you think its a crack. all i see is a wire.

Maintenance 6 02-13-2013 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by AllanJ (Post 1115653)
Its the inner part of the pier (in the foreground as shown) that is under added stress (vertical compression), not the beam itself.

The title of the thread says "Main Beam Crack". For a beam that size to crack like that, it was under stress from something.

AllanJ 02-14-2013 07:59 AM

How long is the beam span from the spot pictured to the next support which may be a column in the middle of the beam or the pier at the far end of the beam left of what is shown in the picture?

Is there a knot in the wood of the beam at the crack? A knot is a weak spot in a length of wood used as a horizontal support beam.

The more weight on the middle of the beam span, the more compression stress the inner part of the pier (front left as seen) is a taking, and likely yet more stress now that the beam has cracked.

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