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Hi everyone,

Not sure if this is the right forum for this kind of post (if not, please feel free to delete), but I was hoping to get some thoughts on a framing issue that I'm dealing with.

Background: I own a property in the Pacific Northwest (where it rains a lot), and the original builder did an absolutely atrocious job (e.g. bad roof / deck material, incorrectly installed siding w/o flashing, etc). I was aware that there was some water damage in the outer layers of the home (plywood, siding, etc), but recently discovered some particularly alarming damage on a structural beam in the first floor garage.

Layout: the building is a 3-story townhome-style (but standalone) house, with a small deck right above the garage (I've attached a crude cross-section diagram of this). The beam goes the entire length of the garage, about 18 feet (and the deck is also that long). The deck seems to have been the worst offender in terms of leaks. Before discovering the extent of the water damage, I had gotten the deck material replaced with TPO, so at least there isn't any more damage actively happening right now.

Extent of damage: Most of the length of the beam seems to be OK, but there's a lot of water damage at the corner where the deck leaked. I don't know much about construction, but it seems like this beam is important in holding the weight of the 2nd and 3rd floors above, so I'd like to get it taken care of properly.

Current status: I'm currently getting several contractors to come look at it and give suggestions on how to approach the issue, but I was hoping to get additional opinions since it feels like an important repair. Some ideas proposed so far:
  • Replace the entire beam (presumably with a similar beam).
  • Reinforce the beam with several thinner beams of wood of the same length fastened to it, and also replace the rotting framing below it. It was also mentioned that the beams would have to be inserted through the siding of the home (because they cannot be cut).

Do either of these approaches seem like the best way forward? Or is there another approach? Are there any special considerations I should keep in mind? I'd appreciate any thoughts!

Some pictures (note that the white stuff on the wood is just anti-mold spray that some water damage specialists had sprayed -- the actual water damage is the dark stuff):

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