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Framing Repair: Studs, Windows, and Doors

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Taking care of the wood framing in your house becomes more of an issue as your house gets older. The structural integrity of your home is dependent on the studs, window and doorframes. Fortunately, there are methods for repairing all of these elements in your home should they become damaged.

Studs

Cracked studs

Cracked wall studs can be repaired by screwing one- to one-half-inch wood screws into the stud through the drywall. Place screws above and below the crack and set them into the paneling. Then, just patch the area as you normally would.

Broken studs

Broken studs can be braced using another piece of two-by-four. The first step is finding out whether the wall is load-bearing or not. Load-bearing walls have ceiling joists running perpendicular to them. They provide support for the floors above them, and a broken stud weakens the integrity of the home. Non-load-bearing walls have ceiling joists running parallel to them.

To find out if your wall is load-bearing or not, use a stud finder on the ceiling to find out how the joists are running in relation to it. By dragging the finder across the ceiling in a straight line, you can see if it detects the joists at regular intervals (parallel, non-load-bearing) or not.

In both cases, cut a larger hole around the break in the stud, so that you can work on both sides of it.
  • Load-bearing walls: For load-bearing walls, you need more support: about four feet worth. Cut the hole large enough to work 24 inches above and below the break. Use the method described earlier to place the splint piece and straighten the broken stud, but zigzag seven or eight screws above and below the break for maximum stability.

  • Non-load-bearing walls: For non-load-bearing walls, a 24-inch piece of two by four will work fine, so cut the hole long enough to work with that length. Center the new piece on the stud in relation to the break, and screw the top part in with wood screws. Use a straight edge on the other side of the stud to make sure it is straight before screwing in the bottom.

Windows and Door Frames

Damage to wooden window and doorframes can be repaired quite simply with a little bit of wood putty. Simply apply enough putty to fill in the hole or crack and allow it to dry. Inspect the patch to see if you need to add any more putty. Once the damage is covered with dried putty, sand the area smooth. Use a damp cloth to remove any dust from sanding. Once the patch is clean and dry, you can touch it up with some paint.

TIP: Any rotten wood should be scraped away before patching window frames, which tend to get wet and rot if they are old or poorly installed.

Taking care of the framing in your house is very important-- consistent upkeep of these elements in your home will prevent future problems. Remember, it is best to have a professional look at any serious structural damage to your home.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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