Sills and beams should be kept to a correct grade
by the use of slate or steel shims and mortar pointing.
Reinforcing plates, extra tie-downs, or other means
should be used to correct misalignment. Timbers,
exposed to ground moisture or severe weathering,
must be treated often enough to prevent deterioration,
and sufficient ventilation must be assured to avoid
Posts and Columns
To prevent periodic deterioration, thorough
inspection should be made of all posts and columns in
contact with the ground. They should be treated with
a preservative to resist decay and damage by termites.
Posts and columns should be maintained plumb and in
Inspection of posts should include a test for
soundness, made by jabbing the post on all sides
with an ice pick or other sharp instrument; the
amount of penetration indicates the soundness of the
wood. In most softwoods, such as pine and fir, the
pick should penetrate more than one-half inch; in
hardwoods, such as gum and oak, penetration should
not exceed three-eighths inch. Columns are more
difficult to inspect in finished buildings; but when
there are indications that columns are out-of-plumb,
the covering finish material should be removed and
a thorough inspection made. Out-of-plumb or
misaligned columns may be indicated by cracks in
plaster or other finish, but the same defects may be
caused by failure of other structural components.
Repairs and/or replacement work should not be
made until the true cause of defects has been
If the foundation is not level because of uneven
settling, the defect should be corrected before any
attempt is made to plumb or align posts or columns.
The floor above should then be shored with jacks or
other devices and the supporting members plumbed
Posts or columns that show signs of failure caused
by overloading should be surveyed by an engineer
competent to recommend repairs or replacement in
terms of overall structural soundness.
Girders and Joists
As the other basis supporting members, periodic
inspection and timely repair of girders and joists are
important to the general maintenance of a structure.
Wood joists and girders are usually of a size that is not
easily dried; consequently, it is normal to expect
shrinkage and seasoning splits and checks.
Checks and splits should be carefully recorded as
to size, location, and depth. If records indicate increase
in length or depth, then stitch bolts may be required.
Stitch bolts are required in all structural members that
have deep checks or splits three-eights inch or greater
in width and/or have slope of grain greater in width
than 1 inch in 14 inches.
In the event of a structural failure, an engineering
study should be made to determine whether the failure
can be properly patched or if the entire girder or joist
should be replaced. Many methods can be used to
reinforce girders and joists. However, the selection of
the proper methods should be determined by the loads
to be carried, the cost, and clearance and accessibility.
When either a permanent or temporary post is placed
under a failure of a girder or joist, consideration of the
size of the post and the cap, as well as adequacy of base
support under the post, should be considered. Joist
repair can be facilitated if the new member is sized one
dimension smaller than the original member. Bridging
that is removed should be replaced with solid bridging.
FLOORS AND STAIRS
Floor materials found in shore establishment
buildings and structures for various occupancies
include wood, concrete, terrazzo, and clay tile.
Common floor coverings include asphalt, vinyl tile,
Wood floors should be inspected quarterly for the
Warped, cupped, or loose boards
D a m a g e f r o m i m p r o p e r c l e a n i n g o r