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Old 07-24-2011, 10:16 AM   #1
jzw
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weight bearing beam compromised


hi there, i am having a serious issue now... i bought a 82 year old tudor house, beautiful home with very sound structure. i had several contractors in yesterday to install recessed lights in the living room as it is a bit dark and my kids are scared of that room. they tried to fish a wire down to the basement of which the ceiling is all covered by plaster. They broke a small area (3*3) on the basement celing to exposed wood and started drilling upwards thru what they thought was subfloor. They used a at least foot long drill bit. Drilled 4 holes, couldn't get thru. Went upstairs, started drilling downward from inside of a wall cavitity and again after 3 or 4 holes, the drill bit didn't show up on the other side even though it was totally in the wood. They told me that the wood piece was too thick and was looking for even longer bit. i said wait and went down stairs and from another session of the basement where i can see the framing a bit, i found out these are 2*10 or 2*16s (two together) and weight bearing as other joists are attached to it 1 foot apart when this beam is at least 5 ft apart from another weight bearing beam. Now I am really scared. Apparently 7 or 8 holes have been drilled on it in a small area and i'd imagine they totally destroyed the integrity of this beam. Right now, it don't see any issue yet. But i am afraid that it might give after we move in with heavy furniture. My question is:

1. what can i do to fix it (adding another piece of 2*10 or 2*16 next to the two and nail them together)? it is pretty hard as the ceiling is all plastered.
2. is there any kind of reparing thing I can inject into the holes from those i can see in the basement ceiling (the wall upstairs is already patched) and then hardes into a strong structure that would fill the holes and also provide structural support.

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Old 07-24-2011, 11:02 AM   #2
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weight bearing beam compromised


That's a shame.

I know of no structural product that you could inject into a wooden joist or beam to re-establish structural integrity in such a scenario. Repairs to weakened joists and beams involve inspecting what you have, assessing the damage, and applying a proper repair (usually sistering additional elements to the existing elements). And in order to accomplish all of that, you need the area exposed.

My advice on how to address the issue properly: you should find a qualified person to look at it.

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Old 07-24-2011, 11:36 AM   #3
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weight bearing beam compromised


Unfortunately the contractor drilled vertically into the beam, and from the sounds of it penetrated at least to the center of the beam from both sides. Based on the number of holes drilled, it is likely that the beam strength has been reduced substantially. Assuming these were licensed contractors with insurance, not some friends of yours working free, I would say it is the responsibility of the contractor to fully restore the integrity of the beam, which could mean removing the beam and replacing it with a new one. Big job. Sistering another beam in place is also a possible strategy, also not easy if access is a problem. But their screwup should not become your problem.

Of course, they probably lack the skill to fix it, after all they lacked the skill to avoid the problem. So you may want to discuss hiring a competent contractor to fix the problem, at the expense of the wiring contractors. Sounds messy. Injecting epoxy or other material is not a proven, acceptable technique so far as I am aware, and in the end if such a technique were employed, I would be concerned about who would warranty the work, and for how long.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:23 PM   #4
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weight bearing beam compromised


Quote:
Originally Posted by jzw View Post
hi there, i am having a serious issue now... i bought a 82 year old tudor house, beautiful home with very sound structure. i had several contractors in yesterday to install recessed lights in the living room as it is a bit dark and my kids are scared of that room. they tried to fish a wire down to the basement of which the ceiling is all covered by plaster. They broke a small area (3*3) on the basement celing to exposed wood and started drilling upwards thru what they thought was subfloor. They used a at least foot long drill bit. Drilled 4 holes, couldn't get thru. Went upstairs, started drilling downward from inside of a wall cavitity and again after 3 or 4 holes, the drill bit didn't show up on the other side even though it was totally in the wood. They told me that the wood piece was too thick and was looking for even longer bit. i said wait and went down stairs and from another session of the basement where i can see the framing a bit, i found out these are 2*10 or 2*16s (two together) and weight bearing as other joists are attached to it 1 foot apart when this beam is at least 5 ft apart from another weight bearing beam. Now I am really scared. Apparently 7 or 8 holes have been drilled on it in a small area and i'd imagine they totally destroyed the integrity of this beam. Right now, it don't see any issue yet. But i am afraid that it might give after we move in with heavy furniture. My question is:

1. what can i do to fix it (adding another piece of 2*10 or 2*16 next to the two and nail them together)? it is pretty hard as the ceiling is all plastered.
2. is there any kind of reparing thing I can inject into the holes from those i can see in the basement ceiling (the wall upstairs is already patched) and then hardes into a strong structure that would fill the holes and also provide structural support.
No one here can possibly fix your problem without seeing your house. You need to have a architect or engineer come in and look at what you have. This is the only way it can be addressed.
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