If you've recently made the disturbing discovery that one of the key beams holding your foundation together has rotted from moisture exposure or has been chewed through by termites, you may be wondering about your options -- and how much of a repair bill you may be facing. Fortunately, in many cases you may be able to perform this repair on your own with a few heavy-duty rental tools rather than pay a professional contractor to do the job. Read on to learn more about the equipment and techniques you'll need when repairing or replacing a floor joist.
What equipment will you need in order to repair a floor joist?
For situations in which the damage to your joist is contained to the outside and the problem (whether moisture or termites) has been resolved, you may be able to get by with repair rather than replacement. If this is the case, you shouldn't need anything more than a reciprocating saw and some putty to remove the rotted or warped area and fill in any gaps with plywood and putty.
If you suspect you'll need to remove and replace your floor joist instead, you may need some bigger equipment in addition to the reciprocating saw, including a house jack (to hold your home in place while your foundation's supporting beam is removed and replaced) and possibly a small jackhammer to remove any concrete around the base of the foundation so that you can secure the new joist in place.
What should you keep in mind when repairing or replacing a floor joist?
Although this is a process many handy homeowners can tackle on their own, it's always good to have a second opinion (and set of hands) -- you may want to enlist the help of a friend or family member before embarking on this project.
You'll also want to carefully inspect both sides of the joist before you make the repair-or-replace decision. By accessing the outside of your joist (by removing siding or flashing from the outside of your house) and the inside (by visually inspecting it from the inside of your crawlspace or basement), you'll be able to ensure you're well aware of all potential damage and aren't preparing to cover up an even worse issue. Generally, if the water or termite damage hasn't reached through the joist to the center (or is located only on the outside or the inside), you'll be able to opt for easy reinforcement with plywood panels rather than a replacement job.
For more information and construction equipment to help with this project, contact equipment supply companies, like All Star Equipment Rental & Sales, Inc..