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Rick, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 21977
Experience:  Licensed construction supervisor with 35+ yrs. experience.
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It appears that a couple of my floor cross braces may be rotten,

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It appears that a couple of my floor cross braces may be rotten, splitting because they were nailed improperly, or have reduced integrity for some other reason. A piece of wood fell from the ceiling in both cases- they don't look rotten, one of them looks like the knot in the wood fell out.
I do not have a miter saw to cut angles.

Please see the attached pictures at Wikiupload.

1. What is the best way to fix these, and does Question #2 work?
2. Can I add a metal cross brace right beside the damaged ones to fix the problem?
3. Can you recommend a specific prefab metal cross brace (send me a webpage link)?
4. What is your opinion on either of these? dware/fasteners/connectors-reinforcements/miscellaneous/bridgings/speed-bridging-2-x-8-10-12-16-o-c/p-1342661-c-8866.htm
Welcome, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your issue.

Yes youcan just replace the damaged wood bridging with either of the 2 options you linked. Both are perfectly fine for this purpose.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is another another brand of cross brace you can recommend (metal)?


Do I have to take out the old cross bracing?


Did the wood appear to be rotten from the pictures?

Metal is the easiest to use particularly since you don't have a miter saw. The only other alternative would be to cut a 2 x (10?) block to span the joist space but if you don't have pieces of 2 x hanging around buying a few pieces of metal bridging is cheaper than a a 2 x 10 (or 8 or whatever). You can leave the old bridging in place if removing it is a hassle. Just put the new bridging as close as possible to where the old bridging is
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What was your evaluation of them being rotten, from the pictures?

I didn't look at the pic since it requires a down load. Bridging sometimes breaks or fails. Its not a big deal but if the rot is the result of water damage then you need to find the source of the leak.
Rick and 2 other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The picture was a large part of the question. I have sent pictures to you before.

For security reasons I don't download files. You can post a picture here by clicking on the paper clip icon in the tool bar at the top of this dialogue box or if that doesn't work for you I'll look at your pic if you can post it to a site where I can view it without a download.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Nevermind, I realized you CANNOT use galvanized metal with treated lumber (my floor joists are 1977 treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA)


What are my other options? The only metal cross bridges they sell are galvanized- idiotic in my opinion, because the newer preservatives in treated wood will corrode galvanized metal even faster.


I guess I could solid bridge or strap the joists in those few problem areas, and use triple-coated screws to screw the sister joists in, correct? What other type of nail/screw can you use in treated wood, that will not corrode?



The other option I mentioned in my initial reply (since you don't have a miter saw) would be to use blocking cut out of the same sized 2 x as the floor joists bridging the joist space. Strapping is another option but blocking would be better if you only plan to strap one area not the entire floor. Stainless steel nails are your best bet to avoid corrosion or you can use ceramic coated deck screws which are specifically made for use with treated wood. If I had known before that these were treated joists I wouldn't have recommended the metal bridging.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can you put your answer below each question.


1. I read you can test for pressure treated wood by litmus paper, because all pressure-treated wood is alkaline?


Would I do this by shaving off a small section of the wood, then letting the wood soak in water, then dipping the pH paper in water to test if it is acidic, basic, or neutral?


2. Does the basement have to have pressure-treated wood? Is kiln-dried wood good enough by itself?

1. I've never heard of this test. Pressure treated wood that has not been exposed to the weather is unmistakeably green in color.

2. Unless you live in an area where termites are rampant you don't need pressure treated wood. Actually you don't need pressure treated wood for bridging anyway
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I cut wood shavings off of a joist, and a foundation board. I performed a three tests on each batch of shavings to determine if they are treated.


1. I tested to see the color underneath the shaved sections. If the raw wood is yellow/white in color, it is supposed to be non-treated.


2. I went to my backyard and lit each shaving on fire. If chromated copper arsenate is in each piece, it should have a green flame. It did not for either set of shavings.


3. Finally, I soaked a bit of each of the shavings in test tubes, then used pH paper to test. If the wood is treated, it should make the water alkaline. It did not, both tests had a neutral pH of around 7.0.


So, I apologize, I do NOT think my wood is treated now. The wood is from 1977, the printing on the wood is "Weyehaeuser 4- Square Lumber Kiln-Dried"


Should they have used treated wood for the basement ceiling/first floor joists? What about the foundation boards at the edge. The foundation boards are against cement, but it appears there is a thing layer of insulation separating the board from the cement...something called a "sill plate"?


What should I do now? It seems as if I can just install galvanized whatever into the joists, but I am worried because the 1977 carpenters didn't install treated wood.

Treated wood is only required where wood meets concrete. I don't recall this requirement as being in effect yet in '77. So even now there is no requirement that floor joist be treated. In termite prone areas treated wood is now used (not required) but this did not become common practice until after your house was built. I doubt that a few pieces of bridging failing is an indication of a termite problem but if you are concerned then you should have you house inspected by an exterminator. You can use the galvy metal bridging if you like or the solid blocking like we discussed before.