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Old 01-20-2010, 09:49 AM
 
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I recently bought a single family house that was built around 1920. During renovations, my contractor pointed out that the 2nd floor saggs about 1 3/4" towards the center. The floor joists are 2x6, 16" on center, spaning a 16 foot width with a wood plank sub-floor. Everyone I've spoken to said that for the age of the house, a 1 3/4" sagg is nothing to be concerned about. I know to fixing it would be very costly. I'm wondering if it will continue to sagg further and cause more problems in the future. Does anyone have any advice about this?
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,755 posts, read 27,321,510 times
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2x6s are undersized for that span, which is why it has sagged. During that period, the second floor was often bedrooms that contained only a bed, chamberpot, clothes chest and dresser. The load on the floor was small enough that it wasn't as much of an issue. If you load the floor with heavy furniture, lots of clothes or books, (especially towards the center of the span) then you will be stressing the floor.

How did the contractor suggest that it might be fixed? I am hoping that the 2x6s are 16" OC and braced?
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
2x6s are undersized for that span
Not necessarily so- With today's lumber, most definitely!
But for 1920, probably with true 2" X 6" hem-fir or oak lumber it was acceptable. I say hem-fir or oak because the OP's other posts suggest the NE part of the country.
After ninety years a lot can happen- as you suggested. But dead loads and live loads haven't really changed that much over the years-
But I do find it rather odd that a house of that age would have an open span of that size. Which tends to make me believe that somewhere along it's history that something was altered (a wall removed) without taking into consideration the potential danger it created.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:20 PM
bay
 
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we have similar experience, but it's first floor. Only the floor on kitchen side is sagging around 1/4 inches to the center of house. Since we took out all floors, my husband had contract to level it by sistering those 2*10 joints. It cost around 700 to level it, and additional costs for subfloor and new flooring.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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While doing demo, there's evidence that at one point the second floor was a separate apartment because the middle room has evidence of gas and water pipes. Could it have been the weight of the the appliances that casued the floor to sag? Under the area on the first floor is a dining room and living room and ther houses in the immediate area are the same style. Those have pretty open dining and living rooms also, so I don't think there any structural wall removed.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,838 posts, read 21,956,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoSo View Post
While doing demo, there's evidence that at one point the second floor was a separate apartment because the middle room has evidence of gas and water pipes. Could it have been the weight of the the appliances that caused the floor to sag? Under the area on the first floor is a dining room and living room and there houses in the immediate area are the same style. Those have pretty open dining and living rooms also, so I don't think there any structural wall removed.
That is entirely possible-
But, I think it is probably something else- the joists have been compromised from drilling holes through them for the plumbing.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Yeah KB, stronger wood would have made a difference. 16' is still a long span, but I can see why it would be attempted.

I'm not suggesting the OP try this, but it has been something that I've thought about fooling around with...

On a sagging joist like that, I would love to bolt strong metal saddles at both ends, then a strip of 1/4" steel on the underside. Heat the steel up for maximum expansion using some sort of electric resistance heating rig - or maybe even attach to a welder output? - that won't kill the temper, then bolt the ends to the saddles while it is still hot. The steel will contract as it cools, trying to force the beam into a straighter (and shorter) line, lifting the floor over time. Obviously there would have to be some seriously strong cross-bracing as well to keep it from skewing left or right, and multiple bolts and glue on the saddles.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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If I leave it as is, will it get worse once I start living in it?
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,838 posts, read 21,956,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoSo View Post
If I leave it as is, will it get worse once I start living in it?
Yes, no, maybe.?
It would really be hard to speculate. My advise- fix it. You know it's there, you know there is a potential for further deterioration, and walking on floors out that much gets you sea-sick.
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