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My Church Has Water Damaged Beams – Is It Safe?

Asked by Madeline on September 01, 2014

I have an old church which I am renovating. It leaked and beams on the side that was damaged have been reinforced with single 2×4’s along the existing beams. There is one metal cross bar. I am wondering about the safety. A new metal roof has been installed.

VTW Church Renovation - This One Was Fire Damaged

VTW Church Renovation – This One Was Fire Damaged

Answered by Doug Friant

Hi Madeline,

I recommend having a local structural engineer take a look at the situation. Short of that, a very experienced local builder. The situation sound problematic to me, and the only way to know if it is structurally sound is to do a proper inspection. When a roof leaks, old beams tend to rot quickly. The damage could be light, or significant. The steel tie rod is a good idea, as long as it is connected to good solid wood that is strong enough to hold the tension in the rod. 2×4 reinforcing sounds a bit light to me. We have a list of engineers on our Collaborators page. Try giving a local engineer a call and having them do an inspection.

Good luck with your project!


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