Repairing cracked joists is something that many homeowners will face at some point in time as their home gets older. Often the result of some type of damage, repairing a cracked joist does not have to involve calling a professional to your home to repair the joist. With a little elbow grease and know how, it is possible for the homeowner to repair the cracked joist themselves.
The procedure for repairing cracked joists is similar for both ceiling joists and floor joists. The procedure will have to be adapted to the homeowner’s specific situation due to the varying levels of damage that can occur to the joists. For example, a joist that is slightly cracked is easier to repair than a joist that is practically broken in two.
Repairing Joists With Minimal Damage
Repairing cracked joists that are slightly cracked are generally shored up with pieces of wood that are placed to prevent stresses on the joist from cracking the joist further. The technique is only effective with joists that are cracked less than halfway through the joist because the joist still retains enough strength to support the weight. The wooden supports do not have to be of the same type of wood as the joist, they just have to be strong enough to support the joist.
For this method repairing cracked joists, you will need two pieces of lumber that are long enough to cover the cracked area of the joint and includes enough room to screw the support into the joist without touching the cracked area. You will also need some support screws, a drill, a clamp, and some wood glue or adhesive product to finish the project.
First, the wood glue or adhesive should be spread over one side of each of the wooden supports. These are the sides that will be attached to the joist over the cracked area to support the wood. They should be pressed firmly onto the sides of the joist and held into place with the clamp as the glue dries.
Inserting The Screws
While the glue is drying, screw should be inserted into the wooden support at each end of the visible side. The number of screws that will be needed will depend on the size of the wooden supports, with only one row of screws needed for each side of each support.
You may need to pre-drill holes for the screws through the wooden support and into the joist to ensure that the screw can easily secure the two pieces together.
It is very important that the screws used to secure the wooden supports to the joists are long enough to go through the wooden support and into the joist, but are not so long that they come out of the joist on the other side. In most cases, screws that can penetrate the joist to a depth of ½ inch or ¾ inch will be sufficient to secure the wooden supports to the joist.
After the wooden supports have been secured to the joist with the screws, the clamp that was holding the sections together can be removed. Over the next 24 hours, the glue will dry, strengthening the bond between the joist and the wooden supports and making the joist much stronger. Once the glue has dried and the joist has been checked for stability, the project is complete.