Sunken deck beam -- what to do?

Here's the situation. Five feet away from the house I have a beam made of two 2x10's held up by 4x4's resting on concrete which is 36 inches deep.
Ten feet out there's a second beam -- just what the local building code asked for -- well they asked for the first to be no less than 6 feet from the house and the second no less than 12.
The joists rests on these two beams -- or that was the intention. One end of the joists are attached to the house, the other ende overhange the outer bean by about 20 inches.
Anyway, apparently the soil 5 feet from the house had not settled very well because in the last 6 years since the house and deck were built, the concrete caisons for the first beam have sunk about 5 to 8 inches. At first I kept putting shims in to keep it in contact with the joists but not that is increasingly difficult since there's now enough spring in the deck that the shims work there way loose and out.
So I plan to remove the decking, remove the beam. pout more concrete over the exitsing concrete. then rebuild the beam underneath, then putblack plastic down to let the rain/snow water drain off and then put the decking back.
Is this the best thing to do?
Or should I build a whole new beam six feet out from the house -- will that 1 exter foot make a lot of difference?
Thanks in advance.
-------------------------------------------------------------- "There's 3 types of people in the world: those that can count and those that can't." Tom Mullis, EE Professor at Univ of Colorado, Boulder.
"There's two types of peple in the world: those that believe there's two types of people in the world and those that don't." -- Don't recall who said this. ---------------------------------------------------------------
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Maybe I'm missing something but it seems like a lot of extra work. Why remove the decking and the beam and new concrete? Old concrete has already done it's settling. Why not just temporarily jack up beam and replace the 4x4s with longer ones?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The cement top is below the ground. I thought there might be rotting problems.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You didn't say where you live, But here in MN, that 36" footing wouldn't be to code.
I'd say the first thing to find out is why that footing sank so much?? It's hard to say if your footing is actually done settling, so if you lift the deck and put in a longer 4x4, who's to say this won't settle too? I'm kind of anal about things, but I'd find out what your local codes say about the depth, then perhaps dig a new footing directly next to that one and re-pour.
Just my two cents :)
Whatever you do, you don't need to remove the decking/beam to do the work. And you probably don't have to bother with the plastic, unless you're having runoff and leakage problems as well?
Tim

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I live in Colorado. 36" inches deep is code.
The reason it's settling is that the excavation for the house left the soild out to about 5 feet softer. It has settled as I mentioned because the house was new when I built the house and the deck.
How can I get under it without removing the decking. It's only about 12 inched high and crawling underneath seems like a difficult way to do it.
The plastic is to keep the water from causing additional settling.
I appreciate your two cents. Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ah ok.. a deck low to the ground :)
Well, I'd go with what the general concensus has been here: K.I.S.S ;)
I'd jack the deck up and either:
1. pour in some more concrete up the point where the original post was OR 2. (simpler)put in a new, longer, treated post
Tim

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If I am reading you right, I think you are asking to do much more work than you need. Simply jack the deck to proper level, using screw posts, or a garage floor jack with a solid timber held upright. Then raise the deck another half inch above level.
Now, get yourself a treated 6X6 or 8X8 if you need 8 inches. Make this about 4 feet long or a little more, and taper the ends for appearance if you wish. Place that beam on top of your post and lower the deck on to this beam. Then securely attach this beam to both the post and the deck joists, ising pieces of angle iron or flat steel with holes drilled in them and lag bolts into the wood. Use steel that is at least 1/4" thick.
Basically, this is a shim, but it wont fall out if securely attached. This sure beats tearing the whole deck apart and pouring concrete and stuff.
For the record, a good hydraulic floor jack WILL lift a deck. I had a collapsed garage when I bought my property, and I jacked the whole garage roof back up, 9 feet in the air using just one of those jacks and lots of steel and wooden posts. Then I build new walls under the roof. Just lift slowly and be sure your upright posts are secure. When I lifted that garage roof, I nailed scrap 2x4s next to the posts so they could not tip or slide off.
Mark
You might want to make the deck slightly higher than level to allow for further settling.
On 16 May 2005 06:15:09 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.