Crawlspace Floor Joist Repair & Replacement
The crawl space floor joist plays a vital role in the construction of your home. A floor joist is one of the horizontal supporting members that run from wall to wall, wall to beam, or beam to beam to support the main floor. It may be made of wood, steel, or concrete; but most often it is wood 2″x8″s or 2″x10″s. Floor Joists are often supported by beams and sill plates on top of the foundation, and are usually spaced every 16″ on center.
A weakened, damaged, or over spanned floor joist can have many problems that will require different repairs. The key to floor joist repair is to address the exact problem a floor is experiencing. Other companies will approach floor joist repair with a one size fits all approach, and it rarely will actually solve the problem. Warning: Be wary of any company that is talking about notching or ripping a floor joist to install them, they should be installed as their full size.
Problem: Floor Joist has wood rot or termite damage.
Solution: Depending on how severe the dry rot or termite damage is in the joist determines how much of the joist may need to be replaced or reinforced. Most often, the floor joist end that sits on the sill plate has a minor amount of damage, and the joist can be repaired by sistering a new joist that is at least 4 feet out past any rot or damage in the joist. In severe damage, a new full length floor joist must be installed.
Regardless of the repair to the rotting joist, the solution must also include either a drainage system or crawlspace encapsulation system to reduce the high moisture levels in the floor joist. Wood rot needs between 28%-30% moisture content in the wood. Repairing the rotten floor joist must include crawlspace moisture reduction techniques to prevent the rot from spreading and termites from thriving.
Problem: Floor Joists are sagging.
Solution: This may require different techniques depending on the severity of the sag in the floor joists. If the floor joists are in good condition, they can be reinforced in the middle of the floor joist with a new “helper” beam and piers. If the floor joists are deteriorating from moisture, wood rot, or termites, a new full length floor joist must be installed. In most of these cases, the new joist or beams will suffer the same problems unless the crawlspace moisture is addressed with an encapsulation system.
Problem: Floor Joists are over spanned.
Solution: This problem is often attributed with the builder installing floor joists that are longer than the load capacity they are designed to handle. The joists will require “helper” beams with support piers placed in the middle of the span to spread the load the joist is enduring. A common but improper repair by other contractors is to install more full length joists. This will not work as the joist was not designed for this load originally.
Problem: Floor is sinking between the floor joists.
Solution: Load bearing walls such as bedroom or closet walls are built offset of the floor joist below placing pressure on the subfloor and not the floor joist. This usually will occur months after a new home is built. The load bearing wall will need a new full-length floor joist installed directly under the load of the wall.
As you can see, a simple solution (post jacks) from other companies will not address all of the possible problems with floor joist repair. The Crawlspace Company has more experience at replacing joists, sistering joists, and supporting sagging floor joists than any other in our industry. We use multiple methods that restore the structural integrity of your floor system. Give The Crawlspace Company a call Today to schedule your Free Estimate from one of our Floor Repair Trained Professionals. Call 1-877-409-2837.