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Old 01-02-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


Happy New Year!

Been tryin to sort out may latest in the 100 year old frame house I am renovating in brooklyn for the past 4 years.

Every since the week of hurricane and earthquake my house has been shaken by the buses that pass by 1-6 x per hour. It is in limited areas and is a crash or smack type sound more than creak.

Upon removing the new ( just screwed to wall ) sheetrock applied in the spring to add the 2" rigid foam insulation between the posts I discovered what is likely causing the sound. The 4 ( maybe more need to check the next piece of sheet rock ) posts at the front corner of the building have all separated from the top corner beam on the side of the house. There is about a 1/4" gap. Some nail completely out. Other areas this sound occurs I suspect the same.

History and condition:

there was a fire way before my time, the front joists ( rafters ) that carry the roof are charred. They are sistered in a 6' area only the entire span in 22'.

there has been lots of water damage over the years from various entry points

the nails are old and rusty and pop in half on one hit quite often

the house is built on silt, manmade in the 1800s ( ? ) land. 1 blk from bay

-my solution?

--structural screws added to where the separation is occurring I am afraid nails will split the charred wood ( I removed a drop ceiling and a lot of the charred wood just splits with one nail ) if so what about ( over nailing a stud ), do I use the nail holes?

--sister the posts so the new ones reach the beam

-add bracing, the building has diagonal posts but no bracing ( lath did that in old days I am guessing ). Will the rigid foam do just as good a job or better if I fit it tight?

The sound is slowly getting worse...

What do you guys think? Is that reasonable?

ps my last post was so helpful, many different views, I learned a lot, awesome forum! I have not made any changes yet...
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Last edited by belle18; 01-02-2012 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:59 AM   #2
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


It looks like the beam above those studs doesn't need any help from the studs to hold whatever load it is holding. You need someone knowledgeable to look at the place, those pictures don't tell enough.

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Old 01-03-2012, 01:03 AM   #3
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


Yeah - they only seem to serve the purpose of wall-support for your skin (drywall for you - plaster back then) rather than - well - anything else. They're obviously not designed to be load-bearing seeing as how they're angled and crossbraced into eachother.

Puzzling - old home construction . . . nails on a chalkboard.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


I know, it is really hard to see from these pics. Thanks for looking.

What about snow load and holding the building together? It is the exterior wall.

So cross bracing is not structural or am I incorrect in calling this cross bracing? I thought it was for lateral stability?

Then my idea to screw them together makes sense? What about over nailing?

Sorry for so many questions. The shaking is quite severe at times waking me from a deep sleep. I am concerned but your responses help!

belle18
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:45 AM   #5
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


If the spacing is new then there will be other signs such as spaces in your siding especially in the same area outside. If this is a new problem I would be checking my foundation to be sure it is still intact and still supporting all structural members. To me if your house is shaking badly there has to be some foundation concerns, such as maybe the foundation dropping lower than your ceils in one or more places. There could be floor joists pulled loose or a beam dropped, there is no way to know unless someone inspects it.

If you don't know what to look for or if you can't get to the foundation it may be in your best interest to have someone who is experienced take a look. It is not normal for a home to shake and rumble as you have described.

You have one consolation, there are steel nails in your home instead of iron.

This could be just minor or this could be major, but what ever it is it needs to be addressed by someone who can give you some experienced answers and soon.

Going back and looking at the pictures closely that is not new, as the color of the wood is all the same. If that was a new separation the wood would have a newer color where the ends of the uprights had covered the beam. You really need to check your foundation and floor system.
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Last edited by BigJim; 01-03-2012 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:49 AM   #6
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


Your are correct those diaganals where installed to keep the house from swaying side to side.
I'd bet you have ballon framing so in effect the walls are two or more storys high, with that old wooden siding there was almost nothing to stop the house from moving side to side.
With a modern house there would have been plywood or OSB used as sheathing to stop the house from racking.
With the wood burn that bad and the old nails rusting off there's no support any more.
Not going to be a cheap fix.
If it was my job I would remove the siding in that area and replace the old timbers. You would just have to buy rough cut lumber so you could match what's there.
To 100% fix the whole house all the siding would have to come off and sheathing added over the whole wall, Tyvek, then you could install any type siding you wanted to. By dong this it would stop all the air leaks coming through the old siding. This is not going to get any better by waiting, once one corner goes the others will start racking.
Has this house ever had the wiring upgraded? If not then you could remove the old plaster, rewire and insulate and apply the sheathing on the inside with drywall over it one the outside walls. You would just have to add jam extention to the windows and door frames.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:10 AM   #7
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


The gaps I see are more or less typical of an old house that has had plenty of time to shrink and settle. If you have new and sudden settling, you should have large gaps in the wood siding and drywall. It's very likely the screws would have torn through the drywall. Is the header pulled loose from the corner post? The angled stud is sway bracing. If the gaps are a concern, back the nails out and drive some shims into the space and refasten. You can run a metal strap across the bracing stud to make it more effective. I certainly would not tear out framing unless it has been weakened by rot or the fire damage was extensive.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:48 AM   #8
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


Maintenance 6,

that is fantastic advice for my current concerns, thank you. It will hold down the fort until I can have time to address the entire situation. At some point I will have an engineer for some building I want to do and he can address. the issue. I will just leave the new sheet rock screwed on with no compound. No the rotten fire damaged section is on the other front corner, this is charred but not burned.

I will check the header and corner post, just need to remove the other piece of sheet rock in that corner. Good idea.

joe caption, I started adding osb to this wall on the bottom. I have 8' height of it. In the back I removed all the old siding and framing most of it and added osb and new framing. What a difference! Just painted and caulked the osb been holding up for 2 years. The new osb I stopped because it is getting water in.... supposted to be good for construction delay I used same brand and rated 1 for exterior. That is a major issue but another story.... The nails are a concern, they are the old square kind. At least half I have come across in the building pop in half easily. I am going to add new cedar siding down the road. I am going to build so I have to wait and do it all at the same time so it matches. Tyvek, adding that as well. Gonna do it right, a little at a time. Wiring, same working on removing all the old stuff. Most is complete. I used an electrician for 90% with me doing outlets, switches, and light fixture upgrades. Doing the rigid foam insulation. This is the first year the heat worked! before once below 30 the house would not get above 58. Insulation worth every penny.

jiju1943, I will check the spacing outside, very smart. I had a flood inspector, said foundation was fine, of course he worked for the insurance co... I agree with you it is not normal the shaking, it did not do it when I first bought the house 4 years ago. It's freaking me out to be honest... who is a good type person to inspect? I was thinking of an engineer consult... lots of other issues that an engineer may help point me in the right direction so I do not have to back track. The nails are the square kind. How can you tell steel or iron?

Thanks all!!

Belle18
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:53 AM   #9
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Big mistake just painting that OSB. It's going to punk up and become useless. It was never intended to be left exposed like that.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


Hey joecaption,

do you mean painting it or exposing it?

history there is I used it for the entire back and all is holding up well, warm and dry. My intention is to add tyvek and siding when I build ( all match that way ) my side wall and a porch section I used osb painted it and water is getting in from the start...

same osb as the back different lots, 2 years apart, I read the website and it is supposed to be good during construction delays. I just tarped it figured it was $12 a sheet replacing it is not as big a deal as having it out with lowes and GP. Just 10 sheets.

question, the back that is holding up, do you think I can add the tyvek over the painted osb?

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Old 01-03-2012, 08:14 PM   #11
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


Quote:
Originally Posted by belle18 View Post
Maintenance 6,

that is fantastic advice for my current concerns, thank you. It will hold down the fort until I can have time to address the entire situation. At some point I will have an engineer for some building I want to do and he can address. the issue. I will just leave the new sheet rock screwed on with no compound. No the rotten fire damaged section is on the other front corner, this is charred but not burned.

I will check the header and corner post, just need to remove the other piece of sheet rock in that corner. Good idea.

joe caption, I started adding osb to this wall on the bottom. I have 8' height of it. In the back I removed all the old siding and framing most of it and added osb and new framing. What a difference! Just painted and caulked the osb been holding up for 2 years. The new osb I stopped because it is getting water in.... supposted to be good for construction delay I used same brand and rated 1 for exterior. That is a major issue but another story.... The nails are a concern, they are the old square kind. At least half I have come across in the building pop in half easily. I am going to add new cedar siding down the road. I am going to build so I have to wait and do it all at the same time so it matches. Tyvek, adding that as well. Gonna do it right, a little at a time. Wiring, same working on removing all the old stuff. Most is complete. I used an electrician for 90% with me doing outlets, switches, and light fixture upgrades. Doing the rigid foam insulation. This is the first year the heat worked! before once below 30 the house would not get above 58. Insulation worth every penny.

jiju1943, I will check the spacing outside, very smart. I had a flood inspector, said foundation was fine, of course he worked for the insurance co... I agree with you it is not normal the shaking, it did not do it when I first bought the house 4 years ago. It's freaking me out to be honest... who is a good type person to inspect? I was thinking of an engineer consult... lots of other issues that an engineer may help point me in the right direction so I do not have to back track. The nails are the square kind. How can you tell steel or iron?

Thanks all!!

Belle18
Usually the steel nails will be round and iron nails will have a head like a concrete nail, square head. If the nails are breaking instead of bending they are likely iron but steel nails will break if allowed to rust for a long time.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:16 PM   #12
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


Only if you plan on siding it soon. Tyvek will hold up for about a month but I would not leave it open for more then that. The UV's and wind will distroy it.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:59 PM   #13
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posts pulling away from main exterior roof beam


Hey!

I found out what was wrong, why the posts were pulling away. The corner beam below was falling off the foundation because it was down to 2 half bricks at an angle. Could not see the problem was that bad until I pulled away all this nasty insulation.That repair is going poorly. Complicated...

I am posted to show the repair to my original post of posts pulling away from beams.

What do ya think? Will this still work correctly for lateral forces? The wind seems to affect it more now than the rest of the wall. Maybe because the corner post in the basement is still on the jack 1" up?

Thanks!!!

Belle18
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:44 AM   #14
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This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion.

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