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The Inspector's Journal

How many "sisters" are too many???

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The question with termite damage is just how extensive is replace/vs repair vs sister.

Often replace is just not feasible. I have seen some very creative support systems that do not replace. Short of engineering, which may be very hard to get depending on extent of damage, sistering as well as shoring can sometimes save a building from the wrecking ball.

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Sistering a joist does not leave the junction between subfloor members on the centerline of the sister. Works fine for some subfloors but not all.

If the termite damage reaches the top centerline of the original joist, the subfloor might become uneven.


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I've inspected probably hundreds of floor assemblies that have had every joist sistered. I get a lot of those "types" of buildings. If it's done correctly, and the issue that caused the problem to the original joists has been corrected, it's not an issue.

Sometimes the sistering was done just to level the floor after the original floor joists deflected. Sometimes it's done to accomodate additional live loads than the original joists can handle.

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