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  • Increasing The Strength of Timber Beams or Joists

    There are many reasons why a timber beam or joist needs to be strengthened as it is no longer strong enough for the purpose it was installed for. For example, if you are changing the structure to an alternative usage, such as by creating a mezzanine floor or carrying out a loft conversion. In addition, some beams or joists in older properties may have weakened over time due to rot and woodworm, plus it is not unknown for the original joists included in older floors to simply not be up to the job!

    There are many occasions where beams need to be strengthened but it will work out considerably cheaper to upgrade the existing beam rather than to replace it. Particularly with conservation work, where keeping the integrity of the original building materials is a requirement of any building work.

    This type of project is too complex for all but the most experienced DIY enthusiast and has important structural and safety considerations, with important structural calculations required, so it is best to seek the advice of experts for any beam strengthening, timber repair, or joist reinforcement jobs. use the “Post a Job” form on the website and local joiners and timber specialists will be happy to offer completely free, no obligation advice and quotations for the project.

    The most common method of repairing and strengthening timber beams and joists involves cutting a slot along the length and bonding in a reinforcing steel bar using a special epoxy grout. This is similar to using rebar in concrete and is known in the trade as a modified flitch and can double the strength of a typical timber. Typical signs of weakened or sub standard joists include excessive bending, bowing and warping of timber beams and flooring as they are overloaded. Also timber joists can simply break, crack or split due to overloading and decay; or you can experience complete cross grain breakage across a defect like a knot. All of these common problems can be rectified using this same flitch technique.

    When hiring a tradesman or building company to carry out this work for you, it is imperative you ensure that they have the required knowledge and experience to complete the project safely in accordance with current building regulations. In addition, you should always check that they carry sufficient insurance coverage should things go wrong! You should always check references when employing tradesman, but it is especially important when you are considering safety related structural work on timber beams and joists.

    Last updated by MyJobQuote on 24th February 2016.

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