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Slipping Decorative Ceiling Beam

There is a decorative (non-structural) beam that runs the length of our living room ceiling. The room has a 12ft cathedral ceiling. The beam is supported by two carriage bolts driven through the beam in the middle of the room and into the attic. A steel cable is connected to the top of the bolt, attached to a turnbuckle and then secured to a rafter. Only one of the bolts has a turnbuckle and the cable on the other bolt is simply wrapped around a nail in a rafter and is no longer taught. A previous owner installed two ceiling fans dramatically increasing the load on the beam. Over time the beam has begun to slip creating a gap up to half an inch. What is the best way to secure the beam and reduce the gap?

Re: Slipping Decorative Ceiling Beam

It's hard to say what the cable is doing to the roof, if that much load is pulling the beam down. I'd probably go up in the attic to see. If you can spraead the strain across two rafters on each side of a ridge board, do it. Otherwise try to do something that will spread the load out.

Next, I'd nail some 2x4s together, face to face to build a leg up to the beam. Have someone help you to put it into place directly under the beam, where it's sagging. You'll want to make the leg a little short (1/2" to 3/4"). The reason for this is so you can put some wedges under the leg and push up on the beam, to make it tight to the ceiling again. Drive the wedges in from opposing directions and drive them equally to lift the leg and beam.

Once that's tight, then go to the attic and install some eyebolts that are long enough and big enough in diameter that will get a good grip on the beam. Now you can use wire/chain, turnbuckles, etc. up in the attic to pull up on the beam. Be careful of the leg now. As soon as you start to tighten up on the turnbuckles, it'll take the strain off the leg and it could just slide out from under the beam and cause damage to people or property.

See how that works for you.

Good Luck.

Re: Slipping Decorative Ceiling Beam

please don't do cables and eye bolts. if you notice the eye bolt appears to be quite stressed under the weight and as wood ages it could easily pull out. bring in a carpenter to take a look to see what kind of blocking can be added to the ceiling to support the beam. you really don't want this thing to come down after time, so it needs to be done nice and solid.

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