Furnaces on crack!

By
Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

Cracks in solid wood floor joists and beams are not uncommon.  Some do not even matter much. 

This is especially true of ones that are the result of the natural drying process of the wood.  These “checks” as they are called, are especially common in larger timbers---like the 6x6 support posts you might see in your basement or at other support locations.  This solid wood 4x10 beam has a large check right in the center over the length of the picture. 

check in wood beam

These checks are rarely an issue structurally, in fact they are quite impossible to eliminate entirely. Checks like this are rarely very deep. They are as “to be expected” as shrinkage cracking of concrete floors.

At an inspection a while back I took this picture of a large crack in a joist that actually is problematic.

It is a problem because the furnace is hanging on the joist in two locations (blue thingamabobs).  If you look at the top right part of the picture, where the gas pipe has been “let-in” to the top of the joist, you can see that it has settled on the right side about an inch, and of course the notch for the pipe is the weak point where the joist has split from.

Repairs won’t be difficult for a qualified party, but repairs are necessary.

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Rainer
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RVA HomePRO Michael Hottman
RVA HomePRO Realtor with Keller Williams serving Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfiled and Richmond, Virginia - Glen Allen, VA
Helping you achieve goals in life & real estate

It's always important to understand what is "typical" things to note, and things that require repair.

Feb 01, 2015 01:51 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,060,862
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Charles,  this looks like an issue that needs attention ASAP!  Priceless title!

Feb 01, 2015 02:27 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,849,572
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I have to say, that's the first time I have seen a furnace with shock absorbers!

Looks like the furnace is not on crack, it is under crack.

Feb 01, 2015 08:34 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,766,782
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I don't know the purpose of the blue spring thing, but if it means that things will be moving, fastening it to a solid structure seems odd Charles.

Feb 01, 2015 10:41 PM #4
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Michael, and that is where experience plays a part

Sharon, it is not going to get any better for sure---if it isn't fixed

Jay, I see it often with suspended furnaces but not those that sit right on the same type of floor system.  Not sure why.

Tom, I don't know furnaces as well as I know wood :)

Feb 01, 2015 10:52 PM #5
Rainmaker
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Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Great catch and great inspection. It's important to know which repairs are ticky tack and which ones need to be seriously addressed!

Feb 02, 2015 06:22 AM #6
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Nicole, and everyone needs a honey-do list to go with what the contractors are going to need to do

Feb 02, 2015 06:58 AM #7
Rainmaker
690,034
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

The notch must've been done before the floor was installed. I see all manner of notching in structural memebers. Those guys had to be sleeping in class :)

Feb 02, 2015 10:39 PM #8
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim, indeed it must have been---someone planned ahead and still made a poor choice

Feb 02, 2015 10:44 PM #9
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