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Old 07-23-2008, 02:34 PM   #1
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Removing sag from wooden beam


I have to replace a 4x6 wooden beam which spans 19+ feet. It was installed on the flat ( 6" side horizontal) and has sagged 1 1/8" at the centerpoint. My thought is to use a steel I-beam, channel, or flitch plate to help carry the load. The wooden beam bears on stone columns and partially carries about 19' of roof load. I say partially because there is a parallel wall<4' away which catches the ceiling joists and perhaps some of the rafter load. As it is behind a rock facade, I cannot be sure of the joist size nor whether they cantilever out
to the beam.
Another option is to use an angle iron, say 4x4x1/2" x20'. I would remove the wood, insert the steel, cut the wooden beam to allow space for the steel and reinsert the wood.
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:22 PM   #2
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Removing sag from wooden beam


Steel is probably the only option if you want a 4" deep member to span 19'. 4x wood will not do it without deflecting too much. Depending on the tributary load, I doubt it can be done with dimensional lumber. 4" steel beams will likely not be sufficient either if there is floor load or roof load on it, so midpoint support may be required. If headroom isn't an issue, deeper LVL's could be used. The beam could also be upset into the floor system that it carries. I've seen I-beams cut to the shape of an upside down T, and installed in a slot cut into the floor joist to preserve headroom. Engineering and permits are always required for work such as this.

There are a lot of factors that go into sizing a beam in a house, and its size cannot be accurately determined online. You really need to contact a structural engineer who can come to your house and determine all the loads that the beam carries. Then they'll specify the new beam.

Anything you get from an online forum is a guess.

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Old 07-23-2008, 04:28 PM   #3
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Removing sag from wooden beam


I agree, too many variables when sizing beams. definitley consult with an engineer.
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:49 PM   #4
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Removing sag from wooden beam


Money well spent for an engineers opinion here, but my speculation is that even a 4 " deep wide flange beam will have more deflection than is acceptable.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:15 AM   #5
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Removing sag from wooden beam


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
....There are a lot of factors that go into sizing a beam in a house, and its size cannot be accurately determined online. You really need to contact a structural engineer who can come to your house and determine all the loads that the beam carries. Then they'll specify the new beam.

Anything you get from an online forum is a guess.
Well said, and be prepared to explain this again, many times over, on this site.
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