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Structural Open Ceiling Beams Rotting on exterior ends

Desperately in need of solutions.
I am almost at wit’s end. My family has a 1960 architect-designed home with two major problems. We are located in San Luis Obispo, California. My sister and I grew up in and still love this house and we want to preserve it. There are way more than these two problems as you can imagine, but we have solutions for all of those. We are really stumped on two problems and not finding any professional help with insight into good solutions. One issue is with a sunken tile bathtub/shower which I will put in a separate thread and the other is with structural beams that extend beyond the house and were not cared for as the original architect designed.

Structural Beams

These are gorgeous beams, approximately 12”x6” x 30’-40’ that span from the middle of the home across the open ceiling and out past the eaves and extend beyond the house about 6-8 feet. We visited the original architect (he is still alive and healthy!) and saw on the drawings that at sometime in the past, the gutters were replaced incorrectly so water has been dripping on the wood; in addition shrubbery has over grown and kept moisture too close to the beams. Ugh! Heartsick!. So the ends of about 8 of the 40 or so beams are very badly rotted. Some were “spliced” in various ways in the past to replace the ends but those have all failed over time. Most contractors want to saw them off. That breaks our hearts and we aren’t ready to give up yet. Some contractors have suggested a two stage epoxy solution, but without some historical information on how that stops the fungus I don’t trust it. Some have said that we can kill the fungus if we cut and inject. But I know fungus in the ground and it is hard to know how far those mycelia have gone – they are too small to see without a microscope. So I don’t have confidence in any of the proposed solutions.

I am interested in any solution ideas, suggestions for what kind of professional to consult; and names if you have any. We are located in San Luis Obispo, CA.


Re: Structural Open Ceiling Beams Rotting on exterior ends

You can stop the rot with a Sodium Borate solution, but that won't fix the problem nor will it last that long when exposed to water.

If you paint the beams at least on the exposed surfaces, your solution might be to cut them back under the eves, then make a tenon on the ends. Make extensions from PVC boards to fit around the tenons.

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