The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Barn structure repair

barn structure repair close up

We decided to consult our new porch builder for some advice on shoring up the water damage in the barn.

He's had some experience with barns like this and made short work of securing the above 4x4 with a couple well placed 2x6 scabs.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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That looks like some serious decay. Was there a horizontal beam there that has completely disintegrated?
Comment by Roland_Smith Wed May 9 18:12:21 2012
Roland --- Yep, there were huge holes in the roof for probably a decade or more.... There was a horizontal beam there, but our buddy explained they're more for nailing the wooden sides onto than for stability in a pole barn like this.
Comment by anna Wed May 9 19:26:04 2012

Depending on how the horizontal beam was fixed, it could be the cause of the rot. From the photo, it looks like both beams were lying in the same plane.

Wood is generally most vulnerable on the end-grain. So if the beams were fitted together be cutting a rectangulargroove in both beams and fitting them together, that would be a good place for rot to start, especially since the top and bottom surfaces of the horizontal beam would retain water when wetted.

Of course when you expect a structure to stay wet, it is usually built differently than a structure that is expected to stay dry like the frame of a barn.

Comment by Roland_Smith Thu May 10 04:23:15 2012
Actually the photo shows a spot where 2 horizontal beams met together with a flat board running vertical between them. The flat board is mostly gone, and is what the side material bites into.
Comment by mark Thu May 10 08:31:12 2012

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