The interior walls had dropped away from the ceiling about a half inch
in the middle of the floor, so I went to check the condition of the
floor support.The center of the floor is supported by 3 2x8s (or maybe
2x10s). The main floor joist in the center (the one that all the other
perpendicular joists butt into) is made up of two seperate sections
that meet in the middle. As you can see in this video/picture, the
person who was paid to do this decided that it would be ok to only
support one of the two ends where these sections come together. meaning
that the end of one half of the floor is simply hanging in mid air,
and, as you can see, it has dropped over time, likely contributing to
the noticible separation of the interior walls from the ceiling.
The easiest thing to do is sister another 2X4 stud next to the
existing one. Hammer it in and it will bring up the floor, or use a
jack to raise the floor while you put in the stud.
That is the correct way to do it. Also if you look at the bent nails under
the sagging support beam you will see that there used to be a stud under the
end. It is apparent that it has been removed by someone. Was that someone
The 2 other 2x supports shouldn't need to be raised any more than the
hair that it will take to pull them out and replace them. The only part
of the floor that will need to be raised to any degree is the
center-most part, which will just be brought back to level, plus the
hair I need to slip the new support in to place.
In your OP you said: "The interior walls had dropped away from the
ceiling about a half inch in the middle of the floor"
If there is anything inside these interior walls, which perhaps have
settled over time, then a rapid jacking of the support to raise
everything 1/2" could cause problems.
I've never had to jack up a support beam in the center of a house, but
I've read that any more than an 1/8" a day is asking for trouble.
I do know that when I helped "straighten" a barn, what looked like the
simple and easy jacking of a beam turned out not to be. Even though
it look as if jacking the end of the beam would just lift it back to
level, it turn out that more than just the beam wanted to move. Things
that had taken many years to settle weren't going to just go right
back to their starting point just because we leveled the beam that had
lost it support and started the problem.
I'm not preaching the doom and gloom that this site seems to be but
the general concept that a house is not a single solid unit that will
just fall back into place is what I mean.
I'm not sure why, but your post didn't show up in my reader, directly
I don't mind a little preachin, as I haven't actually jacked a floor up
by myself before, and I'm in no hurry or desire to make mistakes.
Do you think it woulf be of any value to raise that center part of the
floor to level over the course of several days, or even weeks?
As the 2 outer supports would simply be replaced, I could do those
immediately and be done with it.
But what If I took a screw jack to that dropping part of the main beam
and only raised it a little bit, say a millimeter, once a day? Would
that help to minimise any potential damage by allowing the house time to
resettle as I go?
Nobody else asked, so I will- is your roof trusses or stick framed? Are
the doors on the inside walls sticking? No doubt you have floor
problems, but if the doors are square, you also may have roof lifting
problems. Sometimes, in changing weather, trusses get a bow to them, and
raise up in the middle.
It's a truss roof.
There are 3 doors in that area, and the one closest to the center of the
floor *is* starting to jam up noticeably in one of the upper corners.
I'll try to remember to climb up in the attic sometime soon and check
things out with a level.
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