Once the floors we removed from the back section of the house we realized that there were some structural issues that needed to be addressed. We knew that the beam supporting the second story floor joists was not sufficient. The beam was way under sized and you could see a substantial sag and consequently the floor of the second story was sinking in the center of the room.
You can see in the photos above just how small the major support beam was. At this point we had already set multiple temporary posts to make it safe while we addressed the underlying problem. In the end we ended up raising raising the center by 6 inches. In addition when we removed the floor in the back corner of the kitchen we realized that there were big problems with the first story floor joists as well. Over time the original timber joists had rotted away. They were supposed to be mortised into to the mud sill and they no longer were. We had to remove all of the timber joists in the back portion of the house so that we reframe the floors. We have since repurposed the beams in another way which you will see in a future post.
I have done a little photoshopping to the images below to better explain the “situation”.
In the photo above you can see the undersized beam circled in red holding up the second story. The small post holding up the beam is circled in green. The kitchen cabinets are where the original joist had rotted away. At first glance you might think that putting a new larger beam in and larger post would remedy the problem. We found out this was not the case after taking away all of the layers of flooring.
The second photo shows what was holding up the post; circled in green. The post is just visible in the left corner of the photo. Instead of that post sitting on the main girder that was in great shape and went the length of the room, it sat on the dinky little beam circled in purple. It would have been bad enough if the situation stopped there; however, that purple beam was being held up by the little scrap of wood pointed out by the red arrow. You can’t see it in this photo but the yellow arrow is pointing to the end of the beam. The beams end should have been attached to the mud sill… it was not. That beam was not connected to anything, thus the second story was basically being held up by a scrap of wood.
While we had the floor joists removed, we took the time to dig out more of a crawl space for the basement. This will allow for better plumbing access in the future.
The good news is we have since fixed all of these issues and can now confidently move ahead knowing that our floors and ceilings are properly supported.
The start of our dirt pile. Unfortunately we didn’t find any buried treasure, just a poor petrified ratty ; )