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Re: water soaked joists

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I had something similar happen on a project a few years ago.

It was a live/work wood structure, dentist office on ground floor, living quarters above and partial attic space.

The contractor was doing utility work, hit a gas main, and blew up the house next door, caused a pedestrian 200 feet away to be blown off her feet from the blast. The house apparently raised off the foundation 3-4 feet and was completely destroyed.

The fire department responded and put out the fire and completely drenched my building that had yet to have any finishes put on it to prevent the fire from spreading to the bare wood.

They had a wood expert come out, measure the moisture content with some do-hickey, and I consulted with a trus-joist guy as well. He also made a site visit. He said that he was more concerned about mold potential and that the I-joist and parallams should be okay since they weren't subject to repeated soakings and dryings out and sunlight. We did have them replace some floor sheathing where there was ponding and standing water 2-3 days later.

Definately made me nervous. Fortunately it was the summer and the place was able to be well air-ed out. I say them mopping the sheathing with bleach and water trying to kill any mold potential.

It's a difficult spot to be in, and having them replace the lumber is probably not going to fly.

Call the I-joist MFG and have them go to the site.


On 10/24/06, jrgrill(--nospam--at) < jrgrill(--nospam--at)> wrote:

I just returned from vacation and had a voice mail waiting for me from a client.  The message was that he wanted me to check out some joists that had been soaked by water.  How soaked I don't know yet, but for the sake of discussion let's assume very soaked.  Some of the joists according to him are sawn lumber and some are wood "I" joists, and as yet I don't know the particular manufacturer.  I'm fairly confident that the sawn lumber if allowed to adequately dry that they will be O.K., but I don't know for sure what to say about the "I" joists.  I would suspect that a light exposure to moisture wouldn't be detrimental, but a heavy soaking I don't know.  In a way I think a representative of the manufacturer should make the call due to laminations of chords (if they are laminated chords) glue joints at the web/chord joint and possible damage to the web material.

Any thoughts or recomendations out there?

Joseph R. Grill, PE

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