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We have a fairly new home (2007). I noticed a strange issue that has to be fixed. The pictures below show 3 stacked 2x4's holding up a laminated beam; the 2x4's are bowing out. This is the only stack that is bowing out because the nail holding it to the concrete has come out. I need some advice on how to proceed before trying my idea.

My thoughts are to get a 1/2" concrete anchor to attach it to the wall. But do I need to jack up the beam?

a busy cat

a busy cat

Edit: I measured 105.5" on both ends of the beam to the floor. a busy cat

  • Can you add a picture of where it meets the beam? – Mr_V Jul 18 '16 at 18:21
  • Thanks for the reply. I added a picture where the 2x4 meets the beam. – JMooney Jul 19 '16 at 1:42
  • Well, shoot. Most of the weight is on the sill plate anyway. You could probably replace the post with a suitably-sized steel hanger, too. – isherwood Jul 19 '16 at 2:55
  • I sure hope that beam is in a beam pocket in the concrete and not cut out around the wall. !!! – shirlock homes Jul 19 '16 at 10:19
  • You're scaring me with all the exclamation points @shirlockhomes. This could explain all the 2x4's. – JMooney Jul 19 '16 at 13:38
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It is a little hard to tell from the pics, but I think I see that the 4X6 made of 2X4's has bowed slightly and I see what appears to be a single nail a little over halfway up pulled out of the concrete. This may have been caused by the wood drying and warping a bit and pulling out the only nail. I do not believe it is load related. Be sure all three 2X4's are secured together by long screws, timber ties or the like. Assuming you can push the stack back against the wall using brute force, or some kind of mechanical leverage, you can resecure the stack to the wall by using a few TapCons put in at about a 35 degree angle or carefully dig or drill out a bit of the center 2X4 so that you can fit the muzzle of a Ramset in about an inch and shoot a few long nails with a #4, brown charge every 18 to 24 inches on both sides. Of course you could use a bracket around the stack and use tapcons or ramset to hold the stack against the wall. You may have to fabricate a bracket, but that would not be that difficult.

  • With my 'brute' force I can move the 2x4s but not make them touch the wall. I'll go with the tapcon method as I don't own a nail gun. – JMooney Jul 19 '16 at 1:46
  • I see you have a jack in the pics. If you get clever with a brace secured to the horizontal beam and contacting the vertical stack at a 45 degree angle,, you could use the jack to push on the bottom of that 45 degree brace and move the stack against the wall. – shirlock homes Jul 19 '16 at 10:18
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That's possibly just humidity warpage and not due to load stress. That nail wasn't intended as a structural component. It probably just held the post up until there was something on it. At any rate, no, you don't need to jack up the beam. That amount of bend results in approximately 0.0" of settling in the beam.

I'd watch it and see if it moves any more. If you're worried, run some concrete anchors in. The problem is that you can't drill for typical expansion anchors since the lumber is in the way. You'll need to use something with concrete-ready threads.

Another option would be a steel U-strap bolted directly to the concrete.

  • Unless you have measurable drop, cracking or bowing upstairs or similar, I agree with isherwood. Homes tend to move quite a bit, even new ones. I expected a 2-3" bow by the question description. – BrownRedHawk Jul 18 '16 at 19:00
  • Thanks for the reply. I added a picture where the 2x4 meets the beam. Both sides of the beam are equal distance to the floor. This must be from humidity. – JMooney Jul 19 '16 at 1:44
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If it were my home I would definitely use a 1/2" anchor in the center of the post. There is no need to jack it up, since when you tighten the nut and washer on the anchor it will have a lot of leverage to lift it if it is needed. I would also use a tie plate to fasten the beam to the top of the post. Or pair of them. For ten dollars, don't fret over it and get it done. It may be drying... but then when boards dry they get shorter and reduce the load so the post should have a tendency to loosen up, not get more pressure on it if the warpage is due to drying. Also, there is an air space between a couple of the 2x4 indicating they are not properly laminated together. The anchor will help that. And on that note, again, laminating three boards together tends to minimize warpage as the stresses in each board is different and can have a tendency to counteract and negate warpage in the other boards. Sooooo, the warpage is likely from settling. Also, again, stuff tends to settle more, not less, as time goes on, so any defect you are seeing now will only get worse, never better. I would not wait until it starts to show signs of damaging finished work in other areas of the house.

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