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therealex 10-29-2010 11:09 AM

Repair split beam under floor
I wish I knew about this forum when I first bought my house!

Today's nightmare: we had a wood burning stove put in five years ago. They built a brick wall behind it, about 6' x 6', and didn't anchor it to the wall. It's now tilting away from the wall with about a 2" space at the top.

I went into the basement, and saw that one of the beams (16' long) was cracked in the middle, right under the brick wall. It's hanging about 1" lower in the middle than at the ends, which I guess explains the wall tilt - it's sinking!

A friend suggested I get a 4x4 post, put it on a hydraulic car jack, and carefully raise it up a bit at a time (maybe 1/8" inch a week) until it's back where it should be, then bolt the brick wall to the house wall with anchors. Then reinforce the beam with a 8' section of beam on either side (might not have room for that, but at least one side), then put Lally columns under the beam every couple of feet for a total of four or five columns. Then remove the 4x4, and that would do it.

Before I get started, how does all this sound? Anything wrong with the general plan? Also, there's some plumbing in the way, so I'll probably have to use something more slender than a 4x4. I was thinking of using a couple of 2x4 studs, with a piece of 2x10 on either end - that would allow me to go around the two pieces of plumbing that are in the way.

Thanks, in advance, for your help!

guest 10-29-2010 12:07 PM

Is it actually a beam or just a floor joist?

ENGINEER10 10-29-2010 01:29 PM

It sounds like a good plan.

The brick wall may need repointing at the joints after all else is done.

therealex 10-29-2010 09:03 PM


Originally Posted by guest (Post 524902)
Is it actually a beam or just a floor joist?

My ignorance was showing - it's a joist, not a beam. Will that make a difference in the load bearing capabilities even if I double (or triple) it up?

guest 10-29-2010 09:29 PM

No, just that a joist is not quite as serious as a beam. I have sistered joists before or replaced them. The last post seems to think your plan is o.k., so good luck!

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