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Old 08-19-2008, 02:57 PM   #1
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old house, dip in floor


Hi, HELP! I have a 95 year old house and this spring after drought last summer the floor on the first floor of the house has been settling into a pronounced dip in the middle. I just realized today that the load bearing wall is not directly above the main beam in the basement. Also found a cracked joist at the dipped area. What to do?

Thanks for any suggestions. The rest of the house is in great shape.

Val

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Old 08-19-2008, 05:14 PM   #2
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old house, dip in floor


old homes have a lot of charm and character. I my self live in one that's over 110 years old. you said you went through a drought last spring. was the cellar damp and humid before the drought. this could be the reason why the floor beam cracked. old lumber no moisture makes them brittle. bring the humidity back and the floor tightens up. this is one possibility. another could be from the water table falling from the drought. I have seen old homes this age with locust's posts under the girders and resting on a boulder buried in the ground. I would have to say the center girder dropped because of the water table. string a line along the girder and see if there is a sag in the middle. also could you post a picture of the cracked floor joist. these are only suggestions that I have come across with working on numerous circa age homes. BOB

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Old 08-19-2008, 05:55 PM   #3
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old house, dip in floor


Thanks, Bob

Bad drought and I couldn't reach much of the foundation to water it because of porches, etc. Heavy rains this spring, the basement leaked in several (instead of a few) places but I have a drain in the middle. The beam is slightly twisted in the middle. I would say by about 30%. straight on both ends. sitting on 3 very large concrete pillars. It was sistered at the twist before and I'm not sure how much the twist has increased or even if it did (everyone is telling me it was probably already there) but that's where the floor is dipped now. I had an "expert in old homes" come in and he removed the old, shorter sister beam, added another one and put three hurricane straps from beam to joists. He came back today because I told him I saw this cracked joist near the center of the house. He wants to sister on both sides of it and I'll need an electician and HVAC guys in. I'm leaking money here and he's telling me even then, it won't help the dip that's already there and maybe it'll get worse. He swears the twist won't change now but there has to be a tipping point?! Many of the boards all over the house have what I think of as "stress cracks" through them. I am really concerned about the integrity of my biggest investment and my home.

What do you think/
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:59 PM   #4
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old house, dip in floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by valhutch View Post
Thanks, Bob

Bad drought and I couldn't reach much of the foundation to water it because of porches, etc. Heavy rains this spring, the basement leaked in several (instead of a few) places but I have a drain in the middle. The beam is slightly twisted in the middle. I would say by about 30%. straight on both ends. sitting on 3 very large concrete pillars. It was sistered at the twist before and I'm not sure how much the twist has increased or even if it did (everyone is telling me it was probably already there) but that's where the floor is dipped now. I had an "expert in old homes" come in and he removed the old, shorter sister beam, added another one and put three hurricane straps from beam to joists. He came back today because I told him I saw this cracked joist near the center of the house. He wants to sister on both sides of it and I'll need an electician and HVAC guys in. I'm leaking money here and he's telling me even then, it won't help the dip that's already there and maybe it'll get worse. He swears the twist won't change now but there has to be a tipping point?! Many of the boards all over the house have what I think of as "stress cracks" through them. I am really concerned about the integrity of my biggest investment and my home.

What do you think/
Like I said earlier old homes have a lot of character. What is the span on the floor joist of that room, what size. a lot of the old homes did not a bide by building codes, because they didn,t exist. most likely your floor has sagged over time plus being framed with under sized beams. where that cracked floor joist is located made that area sink even more.
Is your floor framing 24"oc?
also you stated you had water come into the cellar and was diverted to a drain. what is the drain hooked up to and was it located near the posts under the girder. Could you post a picture of the girder and cracked floor joist, I would like to see where the electrician and HAVC contractors come in. BOB

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Old 08-20-2008, 06:49 AM   #5
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old house, dip in floor


Val,

I'd be concerned with all the damage today and what is yet to come. You need to get some support under that load bearing wall and bring it back up to the previous level.

I'm not sure I understand if this is a vertical or horizonal beam that's twisted.

If you could post a photo that would help everyone get a better understanding of exactally what your up against.

I've done 4 - 100+ yr old homes now and all have had a similar issue. But those were caused by settling over the years. You have a different problem here. I hate to say it but once the process starts your seeing the beginning not the end of the problems. To much movement, to quickly.

Richard
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:39 PM   #6
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Is it unusual that the main load bearing wall is about a foot to the right of the main beam in the basement that runs front to back of the house?
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:07 PM   #7
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No its not uncommon, were you able to get any pictures for my above post, i would like to see what is going on with your girder that's making it twist. And the crack in the floor joist. Thanks BOB

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