Wooden beams are a popular choice for construction because wood is a natural, renewable resource. Unfortunately, many wooden beams are damaged during accidents or renovations. Wood can also warp or split easily when water penetrates the surface of the beam. The good news is that repairing wooden beams is relatively easy given the right supplies and information.
Here are the steps to repair damaged wooden beams.
Step 1: Inspection
The first step should be to inspect the beam thoroughly for any damage. The area will need to support more weight than before until repairs are made, so make sure it won’t buckle under stress even after you’ve completed repairs. Consult with experienced professionals on renovating oak beams like those from bespokebeams.co.uk, who can give you an assessment and propose suitable solutions. Do not attempt to do the repairs on your own if the damage is not minor.
Step 2: Remove damaged surface area
If the damage is very minor, you can proceed doing the repair yourself. Use a wood chisel, hammer and pry bar to remove any loose splinters or chunks of wood that may still exist on the beam. This should be done very carefully since you want to avoid splitting or warping the area that’s being repaired.
Step 3: Apply plywood patch
Choose a piece of plywood that is slightly larger than the damaged area on your wooden beam. Plywood is a durable and reliable option for the patch material because plywood made with hardwood veneers is resistant to warping and splitting. Cut out a piece of plywood that fits snuggly into the damaged area.
Place it over this spot, and draw an outline around the entire perimeter using your pencil. Cut out the section with your jigsaw, making sure to keep at least 1/2″ of extra space all around so you have enough room for securing it in place.
Step 4: Apply glue to beam
Apply wood glue liberally to both surfaces of the cut lumber, including any exposed side of the plywood itself. Press these two elements together firmly for at least 30 seconds. It’s better to place some scrap pieces of lumber on top as a pressing weight.
Step 5: Secure plywood
Secure the plywood patch by driving screws every 3″ from every angle, not forgetting the bottom side of your beam. Do this in at least two rows, one near each end of the beam if possible, to ensure it won’t come loose during use. The wood screws should be driven through all three layers — glue, plywood, and beam surface — for maximum strength.
Step 6: Prime and paint
Once your repairs are made, prime and paint over them with outdoor-rated primer and exterior paint. This will seal in any exposed wood fibres or splinters that might cause injuries while making your wooden beam safe for future use.
Step 7: Final touches
Place your wooden beam back into use following the guidelines you were given when it was new, including load restrictions if you’re unsure of how much weight it can hold. Once done, it should be safe and functional again in only a few hours.Minor repairs on damaged beams don’t need to be expensive or time-consuming with the right tools and information on hand. Image: https://pixabay.com/photos/tower-rotunda-candlelight-candles-3362555/