Sagging floors - help needed!

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Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby Uschi » Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:26 am

We recently were given a 1972 Peerless MH, 12x55. We knew it had a number of problems but thought we could tackle them one by one as we are now retired. We redid the BR which is done except for the cosmetics. Then we replaced the kitchen cabinets and sink - done.

Next job was tackle the front bay window which was sagging and had the windows out of square so they wouldn't close - done.

Next we took on the DR ceiling which had too much water damage and needed replacing. When we had the ceiling open we replaced the insulation where two wasp colonies and several mouse nests had to be evicted for squatting without a permit and we also had to fix a serious sag of the roof on one side.

We accomplished that with 2x3 between the trusses. Replaced the moisture barrier, left it open during a rainstorm to see if there was any leaks - none found so far so now only thing left to do is install ceiling. So far so good.

The biggest problem we have is our sagging floors. We held off till now since we didn't know how to proceed and we only recently found your forum. Personally I would have worked on it from the inside, removed the flooring room by room and replaced the sagging supports with new 2x6 or 2x4 - whichever was needed. Then we were told the simplest way to repair the problem would be from underneath using jacks and cinder blocks for support.

The problem is mainly under the front half of the MH - the LR, kitchen and DR. In the LR it is sagging towards the center of the room between the I beams by as much as 1 1/4"! Looking underneath the trailer we think it is because of the large cut-outs they made in the front to back support beams to allow the plumbing lines from the kitchen sink pass across the trailer and back where the BR is. I tried to upload a pic to show what I'm talking about, but couldn't do it.

Any input how to best approach this would be greatly appreciated! We are first time MH owners and as I am reading through your great forum I see that there are many things we don't know yet and I sincerely hope that our ignorance won't cost us too much as we are on a fixed income.
Uschi
 

RE: Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby JD » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:29 am

Hi Uschi,

It would be very helpful to have those pictures, especially of the cut-out areas you are talking about and how the plumbing is run. I have checked your status and everything is now set for you to upload pictures. To be sure your picture upload feature is activated, I will be sending you a friend invite. Look at the text links above the posts for Friend Invite and reply to that.

I won't be back until this afternoon, but hopefully one of the other forum members will see your pictures and be able to help.

JD
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RE: Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby Uschi » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:32 am

Ok - I managed to get two pics into the photo album, but somehow they ended up upside down, so I will need help from a moderator to fix this. Thanks in advance - I have no idea how that happened as they were right side up when I uploaded them.

I still can't figure out how to get the underside pic into my thread here - again I must appeal for help! I tell you, it ain't easy being new to something at my age!
Uschi
 

RE: Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby Uschi » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:40 am

Yikes - the dreaded double post!!! Sorry!

Thanks for the reply JD - I replied to the friends invite for both you and Yanita! I want to thank you all just for being here and providing this service to us out here in MH wonderland. I was beginning to feel like I was in way over my head with our MH! I worked in construction way back when you hardly ever saw a woman with a sawzall but everything is different in a MH as I am beginning to find out!

Bless you all!
Uschi
 

RE: Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby Greg » Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:29 pm

It looks to me like the best way out of this mess is to sister a 2x8 next to the cut up ones. if the old one is bowed down, You may need to jack the old one up so it is straight before you screw the new one next to it. this should help regain the support. Greg
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RE: Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby Uschi » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:10 pm

Thank you Greg for your suggestion. The beam you see in the pic is running front to back though - about 55 feet or so. And there is another one (cut-out and all) just like it on the other side of the heating duct! How long would the beam have to be we are to sister up with them?

We thought of running a 4x4 from side to side on either side of the cut-out across both beams and then raising that as far as is possible. This MH is too old (we are in NY and no one will move a MH built before 1980 except to be demolished) to be moved from this spot so it is not a problem to put it on cinderblocks to support it. Or we could connect the 4x4's to the I-beams. Is this feasible at all or is there a reason why it shouldn't be done this way? I admit we are totally green as far as MH construction goes. This is why I came here for some input :wink:

It is a bit scary though to go under there and raise all of that up. I once raised a 2 story brick house after replacing several beams in the basement that fell victim to termites and I wasn't half as concerned then. I guess it is the small confined space that gets to me!

How many jacks do you think we will need at minimum to do what you suggested? And what load capacity would they have to have? Can we rent these or will we have to buy them?
Uschi
 

RE: Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby Greg » Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:43 pm

You could run a beam across like you said, that would work also. I would something a little heavier than a 4x4, 2 or 3 2x6 sistered together should give you plenty of support.
You should not need too big of a jack since you are only pushing the floor joists back straight(unless you have a bank vault on top of them). Greg
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RE: Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby JD » Sat Nov 03, 2007 10:06 pm

OK, let me know if I am understanding this right. You have the one butchered up floor joist like in the picture and another one on the other side of the ductwork? If so, I would think your 4x4 idea would be the way to go except, I would put a 5' 4x4 directly below the cut up area of the joists, and then run the main 4x4 beams and piers the other direction. Reason for this would be not to add additional stress to that cut out area by trying to jack the home up with a beam right next or on top of that area. I can't believe they did this to the joist. It is basically a 2x2 floor joist now!

If you need to lift and support the entire distance between the I beams, then maybe just the perpendicular beams would be the way to go. I just hope that does not break the joist at the cut out. I would imagine one beam on each side of the problem area, so two 8' - 4x4s with two adjustable piers each (4). You can get adjustable piers with pressure treated wood pads that look like these.
Image

I hope this makes sense and helps.

JMO
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RE: Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby Uschi » Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:51 am

Thanks Greg and JD for your input! I am going to go with the 3 2x6 plated together - we have plenty of those already. Did you know we are almost neighbors? We live just outside of Ithaca, very close to 34 which runs up to Weedsport! 8)

While reading your reply, JD, I got an idea :idea: - why don't we use a large enough steel plate, about 1/4" thick or more, directly under the cut out area. The jacks placed on both sides of the cut out would then raise everything up evenly and since the cut out area is supported by the steel plate it won't break - what do you think? Now where to find a steel plate like that is another story!

Btw, we finished the DR ceiling - what a difference, it looks so good after the wavy crap that was there! We will have breakfast in our DR today! :D

I will post pics after we wallpaper and paint. There is also a floor to ceiling cabinet I am going to build to house my large supply of herbs and other kitchen stuff that still needs a home. But first we are going to tackle the sagging floors (next week) and then we'll line the skirt with the styrofoam insulation we bought recently - hopefully it will reduce this years heating bill!
Uschi
 

Postby Greg » Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:37 am

Sounds like you're about 20 min. away. Somewhere around North Lansing? Greg
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RE: Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby JD » Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:04 pm

Hi Uschi,

I think heavy enough steel like you are talking about would work, if it is angle iron. The angle part would give it the strength. You could probably find something like that at a salvage yard. If you had to buy it new, it would probably be pretty expensive, at least compared to a 4x4.

JD
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RE: Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby Uschi » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:30 am

Greg - we live near Varna which is right behind Cornell. We've been up 34 just not as far as your home town. Still getting to know the area, so we go exploring whenever we can.

JD - I actually was thinking of a plate, but I really like your idea of an angle iron! We were going to try to raise the floor this week but it is going to rain and snow all week, so that gives us some time to try and locate a suitable piece of steel.

Thanks again for both of your input, it has calmed my concerns and given me valuable insights! I have told several people here about you guys so you might hear from others around here!

As I said, I will report on my progress once we get to it!
Uschi
 

RE: Sagging floors - help needed!

Postby Furball » Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:16 pm

I noted that no one has mentioned the MH repair manual that Mark has for sale on this site. I bought mine a few years ago and it gives lots of insight into fixing an MH -- replacing floors, bath tubs, all kinds of things. If you are interested, click on Books & Parts above.
Furball
 


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