Rotting Joists on Cantilevered Balcony

by Carol Anderson
(Toronto, Canada)

We bought a house with a second story balcony. The joists cantilever out beyond the wall to support the balcony.

Over time the joists of the deck have started to rot a bit.

We are thinking about running cheater boards alongside the joists - bolted onto the joists? What do we need to do to stop or prevent more rot or prevent rot from spreading to the cheater boards?

Also, do the cheater boards need to be fixed to the house?

And is there something you would suggest we put down onto the new 'joists' before applying new decking?

Thanks,

Carol

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Apr 29, 2008
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Deck Joists That Are Rotting
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

If the joists in your balcony deck are rotting and they are built into the floor joists of your house, it poses a few challenges to repair.

First, rot exists as a result of the constant environment that the wood is exposed to. Fungus needs moisture and a source of wood to live off of. So you must have a continual water problem where the joists never really get to dry out.

Second, once rot sets in the only way to stop it is to change the environment by ensuring it remains dry for the future but probably also to apply some kind of chemical treatment to kill what fungus is already there.

I don't know exactly what is available to do this.

My recommendation would be the hard way but probably the long term solution.

Do not sister the joists with new lumber as you are only buying a little more time. The rot will still be there.

You should gain access to the joists in the flooring structure and cut out the cantilevered sections that are rotted leaving good wood. You could fasten new joists to them and cantilever them beyond the wall of the house.

This is more work but the proper long term solution. And make sure the original source of water is eliminated to rectify the problem for the future. That's how I would do it. Hope that helps you.

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