Crack in the Wall , Too!

(Shawn Rowe) #1

I came across a two year old townhouse where the master bedroom (on second floor) has a 2’ diagonal crack from the door. The door is “out of square”. This area had been patched at one time and has separated at least a foot from the last patch. It is unknown when the patch was done. Two key notes (1) the floor joist probably runs parallel to the wall (2) there may have been some water intrusion (from the iced up a/c) at one time.

Also, there are no other signs of settlement to speak of. No other cracks, no busted baseboards, no tight windows, nothing visible from below (1st floor)

My question is… should there be a double up joist under the wall. I don’t believe this to be a load bearing wall.

Would this warrant structural evaluation?

Picture 021 sdmall (Small).jpg

(Jay Moge) #2

Shawn, it's hard to tell from a pic. but in most cases the cracks in dry wall will point to the problem, literaly. it sounds like a problem with the joist(s) below. if it was from above you'd likely see a crack that is popping out rather than seperated in this case. (from what i can see anyway). it could also be a case in wich the door was forced shut and actualy caused the crack. but were it's happened before, i dought it. plain and simple is not all cracks, but a little more intense looking and i bet you find one or more other thing to "point" you in the right direction.

(ccoombs) #3

It is a common practice in my area to provide a double joist below this type of wall.

Is it a truss roof? The trusses might be sitting on the top plates and creating a bearing wall. This is also a very common problem.

(Jay Moge) #4

i found this after chasing a couple “superficial” looking drywall cracks at a door jam in an addition last fall. there were 7 joists in all that all looked the same. the addition was basicly broken in half.

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(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #5

**Many moons ago working with my father, I used to see this type of framing often. Early 20th Century framing showed heavy timber framing and notched as shown in Jay's pictures. **


**Shrinkage and checking would occurr due the high moisture content of the wood being used and over time would reciprocate to the rest of the house as settlement and cracks of that nature was common. **


**Doors would not close and drywall , actually was horse hair plaster would crack. One would fix the door and fix the plaster and life would go on. A few years later like a decade or two, had to be done again, and suprisingly enough, the buildings are still standing. **


I don't see a major fault in this scenario, because there are alot of them left.


**It is old and needs repair. **


**I kind of feel the same way in the morning. ha. ha. **


**Marcel **

(Cy Kratzer) #6

I put double joists under all walls running parallel to the joists regardless of wether they are load bearing or not. A few dollars more...A few headaches less.

IRC requires double under load bearing. R502.4

Where you able to tell if ceiling joists are resting on this wall?

(Shawn Rowe) #7

I was unable to tell if the trusses were sitting on the wall. 12" of blown in made it difficult. Builder is going to open on ceiling to take a look, he said I can look too. I am hoping that things will be apparent.

Thanks for all the input!!!

(Raymond E. Wand) #8

If water has seeped in perhaps the wood swelled/twisted causing some distress.

Raymond Wand
Alton, ON

(Raymond E. Wand) #9

As to Jays photos.

I would be inclined to place shims under the joist and use joist hangers on the second one.

Raymond Wand
Alton, ON

(Jay Moge) #10

I'll give you more info on this one. 7 split floor joists (2x10 true) the outside wall sank in the soil about 5.5 inches and there is an overall hump of 6 inches at the cross beam in the living room. still think a shim and ahanger will fix it. maybe a little duct tape too, but seriosly folks, the point is i found all the damage from following a few "cosmetic" cracks running diagonal from the damage to the ceiling. oh and they put up some nice crown molding to hide the seperations at the ceiling.....found that too.:mrgreen:

(Raymond E. Wand) #11

Well, no not under that scenario. Of course I wouldn't screw with these old dried out floor joists they will be prone to more cracking/splitting if screwed with.

Cheers,
Raymond Wand
Alton, ON

(Jay Moge) #12

i'm guessing you forgot the "n't'' here. i hear ya though, a nice perpendicular beam and some columns migh to it, and scab some new lumber. of cours only after you jack the house up out of the earth.