Glu-Laminated Beam Repair

The Primary Causes of Glu-Lam Beam Failures:
  • Overload from excessive layers of built-up roofing, or the addition of loads induced by adding roof mounted mechanical equipment, suspended ceilings or other items not included in the original design.
  • Defects in material or workmanship, which result in failure under long term loading conditions. The tension zones of glu-lam beams located along the bottom of simple-span portions and on top of the beam in the back-span of the cantilevered portions, are subject to tension failures caused by overstress, failures in knots, poor slope of grain, or improperly installed glue between laminations or joints.
  • Shear failures are prevalent near the ends, and at mid-depth of glued laminated beams. This is primarily due to the fact that lessor grade lumber is allowed in these areas. Of course, excessive load is often the most common cause of shear failures.
  • Impact from forklifts. This often occurs in warehouse operations where the beams are damaged due to the driver's impaired visibility or carelessness.
  • Exposure to such elements, as extreme heat, moisture, or acqustic chemicals. Damage to glu-lam beams in heat-treating or anodizing plants are very common. Poor ventilation in these types of facilities is a primary cause of failures in wood beams. Decay is a common problem in freezers or coolers where vapor barriers are compromised, and condensation results in trapped moisture, which causes decay.
  • Improper original design of some glu-lam beams will result in failures. Note: Because of the large number of failures in these types of members over the years, the current Uniform Building Code has reduced the allowable values for fiber stress in bending in lumber, and has introduced a volume factor. This new criteria provides for a more accurate assessment of the true capacity of the material used in glued laminated beams and wood roof trusses, both in evaluating the capacity of an existing member, and in sizing a new member.


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 Repair & Reinforcement Services for Glued Laminated Beams

  • SPS provides complete visual and physical inspection services, including documentation of existing "as-built" conditions and assessment of actual loading conditions.
  • Preparation of inspection reports, photographic documentation, and engineering calculations to verify capacities of structural members.
  • Design / Build Construction proposal with fixed-price estimates for recommended repairs and reinforcements.
  • Emergency, temporary shoring of Glu-Lam Beams to provide a safe condition for the occupants, as well as to minimize the potential for the damage to increase. This service is available on a 24-hour basis.
  • SPS will provide complete engineering services with plans and specifications for the required beam repairs and reinforcements. Our experienced staff has developed proven systems and techniques for specific conditions over many years. We are pleased to have our designs reviewed by owners and engineers.

As a licensed general contractor, SPS Inc. provides complete construction services related to Glu-Lam Beam repairs. Our organization is geared to provide prompt, efficient service to our clients. Our experienced professional field personnel are fully trained and equipped with specialized tools and equipment to provide the highest level of skill and craftsmanship required in this specialized type of repair.

Benefits of the SPS Post Tension System

Our Post-Tension System enables glued laminated beams to accommodate loads greater than the original design capacity. Post-Tension Structural Reinforcement and Repair can:

  • Support additional loads such as air conditioning units, new ceilings, fire sprinklers, and mechanical equipment.
  • Correct deficiencies in structural fabrication and design.
  • Prevent ponding of water on beams by eliminating sag along beam and or purlin lines.
  • Restore original strength to fire damaged glued-laminated beams
  • Accommodate changes in building codes that previously allowed higher stresses.

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