Common Joist Problems

Some of the most damaging issues that any person can have with their home are joist problems. They can occur in virtually any area of the home and undermine the structural integrity of the home. For this reason, joist problems must be found quickly and repaired to ensure that further damage does not occur.

Cracked Joists

It is important to find cracked joists before they become completely broken, leading to more costly repairs. In many cases, cracked joists are discovered by accident while the homeowner is conducting a different home improvement project, which is good because generally all of the obstacles to repairing the joist have already been removed.

Repairing a cracked joist will take between one and two hours to complete using common household tools and supplies, including screws, a drill, and some wood glue.

Repairing the cracked joist can be completed in three easy steps. First, the homeowner should obtain two sturdy flat pieces of wood to brace the sides of the cracked joist and prevent the joist from cracking further.

These pieces should be cut so that they are the same width as the side of the joist that they will be attached to and long enough so that there is at least 1 inch past the cracked area of the joist to secure the screws into.

After the wooden pieces have been cut to fit the area needed, the wood pieces should be coated with a moderate layer of wood glue on one side of the wood. This side of the wooden support piece will be attached to the joist to provide a good seal and more strength to the cracked area of the joist. Some homeowners choose to use a clamp to keep the wooden support in place while they secure the screws and the glue dries.

The last step is to secure the screws through the wooden supports into the joist to prevent the wooden supports from moving. The screws should penetrate the joist to a depth of at least ½ inches to ensure that the attachment is secure. After the screws have been placed in each side of the wooden support, the joist repair is complete.

Broken Joists

Homeowners generally find a broken joist once the roof or the floor has begun to sag in a certain area and the homeowner investigates the reason for the sagging area. Broken joists can be difficult to repair based on its placement within the home and what it is supporting.

A broken joist can also be more of an issue than a joist that is simply cracked because the structural integrity of the joist has been greatly compromised.

Many individuals choose to repair broken floor joists by filling the area with a mixture of white cement and plaster of Paris, which seals the broken ends together and encases the damaged area in a strong protective shell that can support a good amount of weight. This solution is one of the best to repair a broken joist without having to replace the entire joist.

Other individuals choose to shore up the broken area of the wooden joist with wooden supports on the sides and brick or stone supports underneath. This supports the broken area of the joist so that it cannot move or shift and cause more damage to the joist. This is also a more cost effective method than having to replace the entire joist.

See Also: Floor Joists and Subflooring