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Beams in Atrium have dry rot - 50% deep

4 replies [Last post]
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Joined: Nov 12 2006

I have an eichler home in Castro Valley, CA. We moved in 3 years ago and were repainting the house and discovered that we have dry rot in both of our beams in our atrium. Some of the areas extend into the beam about 50% of its width.

It's not rotted on the top of the beam it is in the middle of the beam.

I was reading on the network that if it extends in more than 25% you should contact a structural engineer.

I was wondering how other eichler owners have corrected this problem. It seems to me this is not a project for the home handyman.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Darla Evers,
Castro Valley, CA,
veclan@sbcglobal.net,
Eichler Home - 1960

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

You mentioned you read some posts, did you do a fuller search of "beam" and "dry rot"? If not, you should start there as you'll read some posts regarding treating the dry rot as well as options/products for mending the beam.

I'm no expert, but on the face of it I'd say it's fortunate it is in the atrium as the atrium beams proper do not carry much roof weight (just the overhangs). But you might want to get the beams professionally inspected to ensure 1) that it's only dry rot, and 2) the dry rot does not extend into the area supporting the interior roof area.

Once you determine how extensive the damage is, you can decide if you can treat/repair in place or whether you'll need to replace some portion of the beam.

There are roof experts and general contractors on the board, so I'm sure they will post their insights.

Good luck,
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Nov 12 2006

Jake,

I did do a search and found several posts, but they all seemed to be dry rot at the top of the beam. I didn't know since my dry rot is in the middle and extends in 50% if this would cause a difference in how it was treated or affect its strength.

I am probably going to track down a structural engineer to inspect the beams, as I don't feel comfortable making the decision that the beam can just be repaired. If anyone has a good structural engineer referral for the Castro Valley area, please email me at veclan@sbcglobal.net.

Thank you.

Darla Evers,
Castro Valley, CA,
veclan@sbcglobal.net,
Eichler Home - 1960

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Joined: Nov 12 2006

Nick,

I accidentally deleted the email you sent me. Would you please resend the email so I can respond to you. Sorry! Thank You.

Darla - veclan@sbcglobal.net

Darla Evers,
Castro Valley, CA,
veclan@sbcglobal.net,
Eichler Home - 1960

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Joined: Jan 8 2007

Hi Darla,

The beams in the atrium of our Eichler were cut and removed by a previous owner due to dry rot. It was removed only at the part where they were exposed to the sky (at the opening). We were concerned about it when we bought the house so we had 2 structural engineers look at it. They both said there was no impact to the integrity of the house's structure since it wasn't carry any vertical load and was also not taking any lateral load. It's unfortunate that the beams were cut because I think they add aesthetic continuity and connects the inside to the outside. I'm looking for a way to "re-build" the beams so they run through the atrium again.

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