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I think my house is going to cave in

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by chrisasst, Sep 17, 2008.

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  1. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    well, I just crammed 6 tons of pellets in my 1900 sq ft house... I can't use the basement because that is damp, wet etc.,..
    I got about 4 1/2 tons in in my mud room, but the rest I have scattered through my house, upstairs, downstairs . you would think I am running a small pellet mill or something...
    Last year I picked up 14 bags per week, that was a pain. So this year I got them all at once...

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  2. BubbRubb

    BubbRubb New Member

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    Just curious, why didn't you store them outside and covered with a tarp?
  3. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Yes, you CAN do that, but you have to be very careful to keep them up off the ground and VERY well covered. An inexpensive shed would help too.
  4. MrKLeen

    MrKLeen New Member

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    Does that work sufficiently? I thought I read somewhere that it was not a good idea. I will be in a similiar predicament.

    EDIT: OK, got it, posted at the same time as previous poster
  5. TboneMan

    TboneMan Member

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    Wow, 4.5 ton in one room (that's equivalent to over 1,100 gallons of water or over twice what a hot tub would hold). How big is that room. I'm curious as to what the designed capacity of your floor joists are.

    Do you have them spread along an exterior wall?
  6. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Again, it's a matter of being very diligent as far as keeping them as dry as possible. As long as the bags are off the ground, not ripped, and covered with a real good tarp, you should be fine. Take a look at the pics of the pellet companies stock yards....all outdoors.
  7. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Seriously. I think the title of the post is a legit concern.
    I would not dare try that in my house.
  8. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    That is an awful lot of weight in one small room.Like having two waterbeds. I would be worried about that also. I would consider getting them out before you damage your home. Go buy yourself a small shed for a few hundred dollars or if ya cant swing that get a few nice big tarps and wrap em up like a Christmas present.Heck, i would even rather put em in damp basement before risking the joists.. go buy a big dehumidifier and run it 24/7. that will dryout a damp basement in no time.I had a pipe crack in my basement and didnt catch it for days. Went and bought a whirlpool gold dehumidifier and ran it with a fan blowing on the wet area and it dried everything up in less than a week. Either way I would rather risk some wet pellets than risk collapsing my floor.
  9. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    Do you have one of those self storage places close to home? I'm considering that for next year, have 'em delivered all at once, bring 'em home as needed., don't know how much it would cost, but they'd be there and be dry.
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    An investment in some floor jacks might be cheap insurance. Floors are made for what....like 40 lbs per sq foot? That would be a 4 foot square pallet - 16SF.......16x40= 640 lbs, or 1/3 of a ton! So this load is well over 100 Lb. Sq Foot.

    Mud rooms are usually near the foundation, so with a few good floor jacks or something similar I would sleep easier.

    Of course, maybe he is on a slab....hopefully!
  11. cac4

    cac4 New Member

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    I certainly hope not. If I'm standing at attention, thats over 200 lbs per sq. foot. (how much more, I ain't sayin'). If I jump up and down, its a great deal more. and if I can't do that, the house isn't save to occupy, for sure.
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Chuck.......the load is given for the ENTIRE floor! Ever see the news stories where decks collapse and people die? That is because a lot of people are standing next to one another.

    When you stand on your floor the load is spread out........

    and, yes, the design load for residential floors is 40 lbs per sq foot. See table 8:
    http://www.raisedfloorliving.com/designloads.shtml

    note that it is 30 in sleeping areas and 10 in attics. No pellets in the attic, please!
  13. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

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    Live Load by code or residential construction is typically 40psf as Craig noted (it's 30psf for bedrooms). On top of that the floors have a Dead Load design of 15psf (subfloor, floor covering, etc.). Exterior construction like decks usually only have a 10psf Dead Load design. These are assumed to be "uniform loads" or ones that occur over the joist's entire length. Point or Wedge loads are the localized ones that do not extend over the length of the joist.

    However, these are minimum numbers and most designs are implemented with a safety factor. This is usually 1.5 or 2 for residential construction - e.g. failure won't occur until 1.5 or 2 times the design weight is applied. It still might be more or less because it depends on the actual construction of the floor. If the design is 2x8s spanning 15' then it's likely that they used 2x8s everywhere and if they only span say 10' for the room in question, the safety factor is much more due to the shorter span. It also depends on how the load is distributed - e.g. over how many joists. Centered over 3 joists is less safe than spanning 4 that you could get by lining up the short edge of the pallet is on one and then they're on 16" centers...move the pallet over a few inches or line it up on the short side (for a standard 4x3.5 pellet pallet) and you've got more load over a smaller area.

    If the electricians or plumbers cut into those joists in the wrong places they can compromise the design safety as well. If you put the pallets over bearing walls, you get more capacity. Bridging or blocking between the joists help spread a load onto other joists. Oak joists would be great, pine less great - and if it's cheesey pine maybe really less but you can't tell how good the wood is because it's visually graded not subjected to an engineering analysis.

    You need a structural engineering analysis to be certain. The example of a fat man standing on the floor isn't relevant - it's okay he's more than 40psf because the floor spreads that load over the length of one or more joists. The weight he has is punching shear weight and is distributed - it's the 250lbs that the floor has to support not the 1,000 psf of him standing on one foot. The typical floor failure will be a bending stress fracture of the joist in the middle so if the weight is concentrated there it might be a problem. If it's concentrated near an exterior wall, it's a shear load and that's a lot less likely to be an issue. Duration of the load also matters - you standing there or jumping up and down generates less stress on the joist than you sliding a slab of equally weighted rock over the joist and leaving it there for a week or a month.

    Also, the age of the house matters. In the old days a 2x10 was really 2x10 and it was made of older, denser (stronger) wood. Now that 2x10 is more like 1.5x9.25 and made of fast growing less dense softwoods. Older may often be better from a strength standpoint. This is especially true if your house was built by a subdivision builder who was building for looks not for longevity or strength (ever ask how strong the floors are when you look at a house or do you ask what the countertops in the kitchen are made of?).

    You can sister the joists or add jacks but you need to do that before you add the load - once the load is there, the deflection is done and you won't spread the load over the sister joist or jack. If you add jacks after the load is in place, you need to jack them up to lift the deflection out.

    Bottomline is we don't have enough info to tell if his house (or even mudroom) is about to cave in.

    Feel better? :)
  14. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    I would get some of that weight out of the house for sure. Your taking a big chance on safety to keep warm. One ton in the mudroom is cool but no more than that. You could buy some cheap chip board andf make some tee pee type of cover for the pellets after you cover them with new tarps. I would just move them all to the basement keep them up as high as possible and you would be fine.
  15. cac4

    cac4 New Member

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    ok, ok...I get it.

    makes me not feel so good about piling up pellets in my shed...which is just a little "house". 8'x12', rim-joists sitting up on cement blocks, 2x8 joists 16" o-c with a 3/4" plywood floor.
    I could "fit" several tons in there, easy. but maybe I shouldn't.
  16. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    I have a 16x16 shed with treated 2x6 floor covered with 3/4" plywood treated and have no problem putting 2+ tons in there, you can always put some more blocks under the shed but by all means and fast get them out of the house maybe leave 1-2 tons inside spread out. Good luck
  17. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

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    Probably better off than in the house. It's not likely the 2x8s have that great a span - how big is the shed? Also, you've less vertical room for deflection before they hit the ground which is going to prevent them from fracturing. And I'd guess you don't have any holes drilled into your joists for pipes, wiring, etc.

    On the other hand, I bet it sinks into the ground some :)
  18. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I have put 20,000+ LBS of frozen food in a 12 x 16 shed sitting on flat blocks and gravel.....

    that is not the point.

    The point is when they are in a residential structure. Yeah, the floor may not fall in. But this creates stresses on the entire structure, which may result in other problems. And, if they do fall, they have a long way to go!

    Just not a good idea. One or two tons is fine...but six? That's a little overkill.
  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    wow even if it doesnt fall in you have to walk around it til late feb. atleast
  20. jawquin

    jawquin Member

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    Sounds good and you should be set for winter. You must have a nice size mudroom. The others scattered through out the house can be stacked a few high for sitting on.
  21. bungalobob

    bungalobob Feeling the Heat

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    Might be onto something here. You could stack the pellet bags like couches and loveseats and put some slipcovers over them. Stack neatly and put your television on some more. Pile a few on each side of couch and loveseat and top with plywood for some real interesting end tables. Bring a ton into the bedrooms and just think how firm the beds could be throughout the house once topped with some sheets. The forty pound bags would probably fit nicely into the pillowcases. If you could do most of the home furnishings this way you will have a ready stock of pellets always at hand. I think I'll run this by the wife, she's always interested in buying new furniture.
  22. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    I purchased a Cover-It shelter 10 years ago and it is still being used to this day for storage/garden shed. If I remember correctly, it came with a 5-year warranty and has lasted twice that already. I cannot say enough about them.

    Go here and check them out.

    By the way, the one I purchased 10 years ago was a 12' wide by 20' long and 8' high and cost me just over $600.00 and I see that the same size today only costs $549.00.

    Steve
  23. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Yes, I can see it now....you have guests over, and invite them inside..." hello folks, come on in and pull up a bag of pellets" :lol:
  24. 2c3d

    2c3d Member

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    to all concerned;

    we have an (8ftx10ft enclosed) three season room...ground level, with cement floor.....room can be accessed from main house or from outside....room is used in spring and summer for dining....more importantly, after warm weather, this is where we store our winter supply of pellets....

    4 tons are neatly stacked here....dimensions for this amount is 4ft deep x 9ft wide x 6ft high.....if you need to store pellets outside in a shed, I would suggest you pour a cement pad to accommodate your anticipated yearly supply....use sheet plastic over crushed stone for a vapor barrier before you pour cement...build shed around pad...no need to worry about weight...use additional tarps on floor underneath pellets for added moisture barrier...hope this helps...
  25. Lorilooo

    Lorilooo Member

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    Um, we haven't heard from this poster in a while, have we? 8-/

    chrisasst, are you out there?? Your house didn't really cave in, did it? :bug:
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