Steel beam lateral support

Noted something that in my opinion is improper yesterday regarding lateral support for a steel beam. A 2x6 was sandwiched between the steel beam and the joists, running the same length as the beam. The 2x6 WAS nailed into the joists, however, only framing nails were used and bent over from the 2x6 and curling over the beam’s top flange (apporx. 1 nail every 20"). Has anyone seen this? I reported that it is not adequate and to contact the builder (PDI) for remedial action. Just thought I’d get some other opinions.

Many thanks,

Mark Ellison

I have seen this many times. I never called it out as a problem.

Mark, you may want to check the provisions as stated under R502.9,R502.6.1,R502.5

Typically, plates on top of steel girder support beams are bolted or lagged.
Also the spline of the joist where they meet in the center of the support is at a 3" min.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I can’t understand why nails are installed and bent over the side of the steel beam. They aren’t doing anything. The pressure of the steel beam pushing up against the 2x6 will keep the plank in place.

I see no problem with a plank being used atop an iron beam as part of the support.

“Click to Enlarge”

Man, I spent half an hour looking for that little pic and never found it. That’s all right, don’t know how to post it anyways. ha. ha.

Well, nice to see it is bolted down, and the splice was actually upgraded to 4". Must have been a good Contractor. :wink:

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Mark, post a pic if you can so we can all see it.

They’re not doing anything now, but the bent over nails held the 2 x 6 in place during the framing stage. Otherwise, when they threw the floor joists up there it would’ve fallen down off the beam. :wink:

Hey, I like that, you know how it is don’t you?:stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

Marcel :slight_smile:

Thanks guys,
sorry no pic.
The problem as I see it is the bent nails are the only lateral support for the beam. Unlike David’s diagram, I found no bolt from the steel beam into the 2x6. Therefore the steel could theoretically slide out (sideways/laterally) from the 2x6. Usually we see 1x3’s installed parallel on either side of a beam and nailed into the joists. This would prevent lateral shifting during an earthquake.



Mark, are you talking about a 2x6 (nailer) plate which is fastened flat to the top of a steel I-beam, and upon which the joists rest and to which they are nailed, Like in David’s Illustration?

These nailer plates are typically either bolted through the top flange or more commonly (in CA and CO anyway) glued with construction adhesive and fastened with steel pins shot through the plate into the steel top flange using a powder-actuated gun. Framing nails are not an acceptable method of attaching the plate to the beam since the nails won’t penetrate steel. You should see glue around the edges of the plate and see the heads of the pins.

What you saw was the result of someone who didn’t know what they wre doing. It’s structurally inadequate. I’d recommend correction by a qualified contractor. Connections between plates and beams are often called out in the plan specs but the methods described above are modern building practices.

Thanks Kenton,
I’m in agreement. Nice to get others thoughts.

All the best,