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Structural Remediation – Ceiling Joist Repair

Day #152

August 8, 2020 – Back at the cottage for the weekend. I changed it up a bit and did some long needed structural remediation. After taking down the living room ceiling it became apparent that we have a situation. The ceiling joists have slowly pulled away from center beam. The loss of bearing on the joist end is not good considering that the joists hold up the finished ceiling.

Several years ago, when in the attic for the water heater installation, I noticed this condition on a couple of joists by the bathroom. I did not realize the full extent until now.

The image below shows the large gaps that have developed between the end of the ceiling joists and supporting beam. You can see, these joists are notched out and bear on a ledger strip that is in turn fastened to the bottom of the beam.

Joist Shrinkage
Large gaps at the ceiling joist ends require structural remediation.

This style of framing is not correct for this type of structure. The ceiling joists are not continuous from one side of the cottage to the other. Any load on the gable roof above, i.e. snow, pushes down on the roof. This causes the side walls to push out and the joists to pull away from the center beam. Thankfully, the side walls are still plumb on both sides of the cottage so, it is my assumption that these joists have dried out and shrunk over the years. It’s amazing, in all this time we have not suffered a collapse!

To remediate, I added metal strapping from joist to joist across the bottom of the beam. My hope is to prevent further movement or separation.

Metal Strap
Structural remediation – Metal strap added to retard further movement.

To restore full bearing I cut and bolted on new joist ends (image below).

Structural Remediation
Reinforcement added to joist end to reestablish full bearing.

I completed this structural remediation for each of the six ceiling joists.

Structural Remediation
Structural remediation – Joist End Bearing Repair

Tomorrow I’ll be continuing the installation of the roof insulation in the new kitchen.