I have a support beam that is 17 feet between my kitchen and living room. Right in the middle there is a crack in the beam. Starting from bottom and going to ceiling. Cracks not that large maybe pencil tip. Went in attic and looks like beam is okay. The beam is sagging a bit at that point. Should I be worried?
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You haven't mentioned the age of the home. If this is an older home it's common for settlement cracks to occur over time. I have a '60s home with a much larger crack in the ceiling beneath a flush beam between the living & dining room. I've owned the home for 25 years and it's only slightly worsened; it's mostly an eyesore that impacts value but not something repairable or worth having an engineer look at.
Often cracks will develop as a result of movement of the foundation; pad or strip footings moving disproportionately from perimeter footings due to settlement and/or seasonal moisture activity in the soils beneath.
If you're planning to repair this or have someone look at it you may wish to remove the drywall to see if there are any splices or other concerns with the beam. If there is point loading above this is something that requires an engineered solution (not covered by the span tables in the Code).
If you were to replace the beam it would be worth considering using LVL (engineered) lumber over dimension lumber. In Alberta the lumber suppliers can do the design work for LVLs using engineered software.
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