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Looking for a source for steel. I need five 8' I beams (or 3" square stock) to support a cinder block wall that bowed and sheared last winter. Also need angle stock. Any suggestions for where to go? The stuff is for a house in PA, but there is no LIF to ask there
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My plan is to put the angle stock across the unfinished ceiling, and then use a bolt and nut to push the I beam into the wall (yeah, tough to describe). This is to avoid spending $75 each (plus shipping) on a minimum purchase of 8 of these : http://www.nashdistr...air-system.html

Any suggestions? If you have a better idea, feel free to yell it out. Thanks.

(and this is firearms related because...the repaired wall will support a floor that will hold a gun safe...eventually)
 

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For steel, I would look up scrapyards in your area of PA and ask if they have any rail stock (as in train tracks) industrial areas tend to be rife with thi stuff in scrapyards, usually 20+ feet, and it'll run you as scrap a bit less than I or H-beams, probably suit your application.

As long as I'm typing, this sounds like frost heave damage, in which case you likely need to dig down and get a footing drain in, then you can drive rebar and pour a new wall outside the existing. Foundations arer not my area of expertise and it's tough to diagnose anything over the internet, but if your plan is to prop the wall straight with some angle brackets to your joists like in the linked picture, and you are dealing with freezing water, you are gonna lose that battle.
 

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Is rail stock good for this purpose? I thought it was made of mild steel and shouldn't be used for spanning/support.
For his application, it's heavier than a wide flange beam (rail is nearly 45lb/ft.
) and the base would provide a better surface to push the block wall with, but the reason I suggested it is cost, unless you can find used beams (which is also possible). I just looked up rail car loading and a freight car at 286,000 lbs carries a 33 ton per set of wheels (2 trucks, 4 wheels each) on roughly 20" centers. sO think it's similarly streong with its modulus to the beam pictured, although water freezing will bend anything. IMO he has to solve the cause first.

AFAIK rails are all carbon steel, there is no "S" designator because they do not use the same nomenclature/conventions as structural profiles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
steel places are cheaper outside ny PA has cheaper steel prices and they will deliver it.
Good to know - I thought it would be the opposite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have an W 8x28x12 you can have if you can use it. It's 8" H x 6 1/2"W X 12'. You just need to dig it out. LMK asap, I won't be around for 5 days starting Wednesday. If you can wait till the 22nd that's cool.
Later, Steve
Thanks for the offer. I *think* it is a bit too wide, but I will check my measurements to see what clearance I have.
 

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For steel, I would look up scrapyards in your area of PA and ask if they have any rail stock (as in train tracks) industrial areas tend to be rife with thi stuff in scrapyards, usually 20+ feet, and it'll run you as scrap a bit less than I or H-beams, probably suit your application.

As long as I'm typing, this sounds like frost heave damage, in which case you likely need to dig down and get a footing drain in, then you can drive rebar and pour a new wall outside the existing. Foundations arer not my area of expertise and it's tough to diagnose anything over the internet, but if your plan is to prop the wall straight with some angle brackets to your joists like in the linked picture, and you are dealing with freezing water, you are gonna lose that battle.
Rail stock is a great idea (assuming it is cheaper and I have some method of lifting it). I'll be working with my son, but both of us seem to have an operating limit of 80 pounds each (the weight of retaining blocks we are removing) or 200 pounds combined (a front loading washer we had to move). At 45 lb/ft x 8' = too heavy. Still, I will try scrapyards (most local is Scranton about 45 minutes away).

Yes, it is from frost heaving. The property is almost completely flat, except for one side of the house where is slopes a good foot and a half into the house. I'm getting a guy to excavate back, then I will tar and membrane, and then he will back-fill and pile it higher and dig out an area about 30 feet from the house for the water to head to.

Regarding the sill drain - house was built in 1982, so I assume code called for a sill drain. Still, the land is so flat, there would be no place to daylight the outlet from the sill drain. Previous owners attempted to install a french drain, but it is half a'ed, and ends with a home depot bucket 1/4 buried in gravel with a sump pump in it - I have never heard it run. Second sump pump in center of basement runs when it rains (really after it has been raining a while and then the next day). I already took care of the downspouts (did that right after the closing - in the rain), and am hopeful the regrading will help as well.

My big hope was to attempt to straighten the wall a bit while there is no earth on the other side. In addition to belly, I have about 3/4" of old shear between a row of blocks; but without getting some weight off the blocks, I don't have much hope of correcting it.
 

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Obviously I haven't seen your house but it's pretty common to make a temporary wall in the basement or crawlspace inside of the foundation wall to take the load off the sill in order to replace rotted sills, in a ranch you'll find there is not much weight there, at least 9 months out of the year with no snow load on the roof. Just 2x4 cut a bit long and driven with a lump hammer will do it.

At that point you can do whatever you want, including cutting out the old block and replacing it, without a whole lot of drama. It sounds like a big project for a DIY guy, but if you find a friend with some experience it's a day's work and not too hard.

Last resort is to put weep holes/tubes to the INSIDE, vapor barrier on the inside with a trench to a sump. This is the pro version of your 1/2 butt HD bucket system.

Make sure your backfill is gravel, PA is great for shale and item 4, either will make some air space to protect against frost heave, landscape fabric before the dirt on exterior will keep silt from working in.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not excited to bring water in on purpose, but I understand it is an option (have fear of a power failure bringing water I could not get rid of). The rebuilding of the wall sounds like a "beyond my abilities" job.
I planned to back fill with gravel and then soil on top. I had forgotten about the landscape fabric - thanks. saw a large roll at Costco - I'm guessing not a huge difference between that and what I would get elsewhere.

The big challenge to grading is there is a septic system sitting high against the back wall of the house, and a basement entrance sitting low on the side of the house (so I can't grade up too high, or I will be past the threshold of the door)
 

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Obviously I haven't seen your house but it's pretty common to make a temporary wall in the basement or crawlspace inside of the foundation wall to take the load off the sill in order to replace rotted sills, in a ranch you'll find there is not much weight there, at least 9 months out of the year with no snow load on the roof. Just 2x4 cut a bit long and driven with a lump hammer will do it.

At that point you can do whatever you want, including cutting out the old block and replacing it, without a whole lot of drama. It sounds like a big project for a DIY guy, but if you find a friend with some experience it's a day's work and not too hard.

Last resort is to put weep holes/tubes to the INSIDE, vapor barrier on the inside with a trench to a sump. This is the pro version of your 1/2 butt HD bucket system.

Make sure your backfill is gravel, PA is great for shale and item 4, either will make some air space to protect against frost heave, landscape fabric before the dirt on exterior will keep silt from working in.

Good luck!
I did something like this (the construction) on 1 wall of my house to change the mud sill, rim joist and sole plate. I used 4x6 on top with 4x s as a temp supporting wall after jacking up front of house 1/4" higher to facilitate changing stuff. Be careful, you want the load supported before you go mucking about with the wall. You would be amazed at how stuff can move when you don't expect it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The basement floor is a 2-3 inch slab on top of crushed stone. Opinions on how well it will deal with the weight of the house if I make a temporary support?

Regarding the steel that will go against the wall: I was told "get box, it's stronger than I-beams", but I think this is way overkill. Opinions?
 

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No problem with crushing even a rat slab if you distribute the load evenly by putting some sand over the low spots to bed in a 2x6 or 2x8 to use as a sill for your temp wall. You will be down to around what I reckon is about 5PSI at that point.

Square steel stock (tube) will be either extruded or cold drawn, or for thinner profiles, welded. From what I remember from engineering 101 it'd only be stronger in torsion, there is negligible torsional loading in your application. It would also carry a cost penalty. The web of an I-beam and its fillet to the flange are shaped to distribute stresses optimally. Personally I'd stick with that, but as mentioned earlier rail section might be readily available in your area for cheap.
 

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The basement floor is a 2-3 inch slab on top of crushed stone. Opinions on how well it will deal with the weight of the house if I make a temporary support?

Regarding the steel that will go against the wall: I was told "get box, it's stronger than I-beams", but I think this is way overkill. Opinions?
I had a dirt crawlspace so I had a lesser height for the temp wall and a less rigid base. I used 4x4 sections to hold up the load on 20' 4x6s used 4x4s on the ground, 2 uprights each. Tamped each base in before measuring for uprights. C Will is correct with using sand to even things out
 
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