Correcting a Problem with an I Beam


The main I beam pictured above was inspected during a recent home inspection I conducted in Parker, Colorado. It had to be repaired under the supervision of a qualified structural engineer. During the initial construction of the home, this beam, which spans most of the basement area, was installed over metal posts like the one pictured above. During the process, the posts were not all installed exactly vertical (or plumb as it is called) and over time, the beam began to twist. This can become very damaging to the beam and floor joists it supports, and if left unrepaired, can even become dangerous as the structure could become unstable. The remedy involved installing the straps, or turnbuckles, that you see and attaching them to floor joists to pull the beam back into place. Posts were then installed correctly with the beam in the correct position and attached as normal. This eliminated the twisting issue and placed the load of the house over the beam as it was initially intended.
It is important to note that many structural problems to foundations, posts, beams floors or trusses can be remedied with modern techniques, and that the fact that a home has had a problem like this, does not mean that it is not sound. Having a qualified engineer and contractor involved in a repair is essential.