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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    3

    Default sagging joists...please help!!

    We recently purchased our first home; a small in-town colonial built in the mid 1930's. The home has had a ouple of additions since first constructed but my problem is with the original structure. The floor joist have sagged in the center of the house. It appears that one section the joist have actually sagged because the nails that attach them to the stair header (which is a single 2x8) have bent downward considerably. A couple of other joist seem to have split some causing them to sag between the span. Obviously this has happened over the past 70 years and not rapidly so all of the floor boards (rough cut pine) have bent to conform to the sagging.

    So finally the question, can I safely jack these joists and add lally columns and a steel stringer to carry the load?

    Should I do this slowly over time or can it be done over a few days (some of the sagging is an inch or more)?

    Should I just add additional support and live with what I have?

    I really need advice soon, I want to make things right before they get worse.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: sagging joists...please help!!

    I would sugest that you jack it up no more than "per day. I would put the steel stringer in place and put the jacks under it jack it up and install the columns. You'll need to dig a footer to set the columns.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
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    269

    Default Re: sagging joists...please help!!

    I'm not totally getting this. too little information or maybe I'm just thick but....how long are these joists and isn't there a girder under the center of them?..or isn't the span long enough to warrant one. When you say its across the house I'd asume it IS long enough to warrant a dbl or triple girder under the joists.
    Unless its just late and I'm tired or dumb or both...lol...I'd think you need a girder under the center of the joists' span. Under the new girder I'd use some 4x4's (the length to accomodate a jack over it under the girder..next to where I'd put new steel lolly columns (and naturally dig a 2'x 2'x18" footing where the mew columns go)and with the jacks under the
    4x4's slowly jack the girder/floor up.When you're home slip in your steel lolly columns
    Keep going upstairs and checking for cracked walls and windows etc etc.
    Check to see no gas lines are at jeopordy or major wiring.
    I must be tired so forgive me if I missed something.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: sagging joists...please help!!

    I think when he says stringer he is talking about a steel beam like the one refered to here http://www.tateaccessfloors.com/pdf/...ystem_60cm.pdf
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
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    269

    Default Re: sagging joists...please help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    I think when he says stringer he is talking about a steel beam like the one refered to here http://www.tateaccessfloors.com/pdf/...ystem_60cm.pdf
    Jack

    I understand the floor is sagging by the stairs/stringer but it sounds like he's saying the entire center of the floor is sagging as well which is what has me a little confused.
    It didn't sound like the joists were sitting on anything other than the plates on the foundation walls because he doesn't mention a girder. I've never seen floor joists sag across the entire center of a floor unless the span was too long with not enough support under them.
    Last edited by andybuildz; 09-13-2007 at 01:40 AM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: sagging joists...please help!!

    I've heard several times people refer to girders as stringers, they usually refer to girders or steel beams across under the floor joists that are not under bearing walls.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: sagging joists...please help!!

    Sorry for the confusion guys, let me try to clarify (PLEASE FOLLOW THE DIAGRAM BELOW). My house is approximately 20' wide (similar in size to a modern townhome). The floor joists (labeled 1-8 and A-J) run from the sides of the foundation to a wood header beam (some call a girder I guess) that is supported by a wood post and foundation walls which makes the joist 10' long, follow? The two joists in the middle (#5 & 6), supporting the second floor bearing wall, have developed horizontal cracks near the header causing sagging. A previous owner has supported these with a 4x4 and a lally column but either did not attempt to re-level the joists or they have 'settled' into the 4x4 from the weight.

    The second area of concern is where the floor joists (C thru G)running from this header and are nailed to a perpendicular joist framing around the basement stairs. It is these nailed connections that have started to sag (about 5 floor joists). All of these members are in good condition it seems as if the nails are failing. By the way, this perpendicular joist that frames the stairs and the joists are nailed to is a single board as opposed to a double joist as seem in most modern construction.



    I----1----I---A-----I
    I----2----I---B-----I
    I----3----I---C---I
    I----4----I---D---I
    I----5----I---E---I <- basement stairs
    I----6----I---F---I
    I----7----I---G---I
    I----8----I---H-----I <-foundation
    I----9----I---J-----I
    ^ ^header (girder)
    ^
    ^joists

    I hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
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    Default Re: sagging joists...please help!!

    mcbuggin... if you could post pictures of the situation that would make things easier to see. Also what size the joists are ... I'm suspecting 2x8.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,558

    Default Re: sagging joists...please help!!

    It sounds to me that you have some very serious structural problems and should get a building engineer to take a look.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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