Do You Need House Leveling Jacks? Symptoms of an Unlevel Foundation.
When you’re experiencing cracks in your foundation and doors that no longer shut right, you or the contractor you hire, will probably need to use house leveling jacks to get your house level on its foundation again. The water content in the ground underneath of a home causes most foundation problems. The water can cause the ground to expand and alternatively, to shrink, raising and lowering the foundation along with it.
How do you know that your foundation has shifted, causing your house to no longer be level? You will notice various symptoms in floors, walls, doors or exterior areas, which are tell-tail signs of an uneven foundation. If you see many of these types of changes in your home, you can be sure you will need to get house leveling jacks to correct the situation.
A sure sign of an uneven foundation and uneven flooring are tiles that lift for no apparent reason or tiles that start to crack. Hardwood flooring that begins to warp, and sagging sections of the flooring are also signs that commonly occur.
Doors and Windows
Your doors and windows will be a big indicator of whether or not you will eventually need to get some house leveling jacks and straighten the house out. When the home was originally built and completely level, all of the doors and windows operated perfectly.
Once settling starts to occur, and you are in need of house leveling jacks, your doors won’t shut properly or maybe not at all. Your windows can be difficult to open and shut, and may even start to stick. You could also notice cracks that appear at the corners of the windows.
Besides the doors, windows and floors showing signs of foundation changes, you may also notice cracking in the sheetrock that is adjacent to the windows and doors in your home.
Gaps or cracks in between the grouting of the block foundation can indicate structural damage and an investigation should take place to see if you will need to use house leveling jacks to correct the problem. Also take a look at any decorative brick or rocks that may be on the exterior walls or chimney and look for cracking, which is a good indicator that some movement has occurred.
One last symptom that would indicate you might need to level your home using house leveling jacks is the presence of water sitting around on the ground in the area close to your house.
Contractors in the foundation repair industry, generally offer a free inspection to determine what kind work your home will need done. If you suspect your home might need leveling and you don’t have any prior experience using house leveling jacks or doing this type of a job, it would be best to find a contractor to come out and do the leveling for you.
How To Use Floor Jacks
The main purpose of floor jacks is to provide a strong support system for the home. It can be during a construction or renovation project, or it can be as a temporary solution to correct a floor’s leveling issues.
These devices have a similar working mechanism as jacks you use to lift a car. The only difference is that these jacks are much more heavy duty, so they can support very heavy objects that can weigh as much as 20 tons.
Floor jacks for the house are usually longer than the bottle jack, a hydraulic jack that is usually used to lift cars. But since both of these devices work the same way, some lighter home renovation and improvement projects can be done through bottle jacks.
Some of the most popular brands of floor jack posts today are Vestil, Akron, and Grow Co. and they are available at your local hardware store. These products are affordable, with a 54 inch post priced at less than $80.
When installed properly, floor jacks are a cost-effective way to prevent disasters caused by faulty construction or support system.
First, they take measurements from certain areas of the house including the beams and posts to determine how much weight should be supported. And if there is floor sagging or concavity observed, they need to see how many inches the floor has sagged.
Next, they decide what type of solution is the best considering the situation of the building. Sometimes, they don’t recommend floor jacks. Instead, they would go for the creation of a concrete wall that can act as a permanent support for the home. But even though this is the case, floor jacks will still play an important role in the project.
To get started with the jacks, professionals would first prepare a solid base for the jacks. As much as possible, the base should be lumber or wood. It also has to be of the perfect size relative to the width and length of the floor jack post.
Adding a base to the jacks serve at least three purposes. First, it provides additional strength. Second, it protects the area of the floor where the jacks will be on. Last, since the jacks are nailed onto the lumber base, the base gives the jacks that much-needed stability.
When the jacks are in place in strategic locations, home experts would then prepare a post that goes between the jack and the beam. The post is usually lumber so it’s easy to cut. Also, professionals would choose lumber that is free from any type of imperfections and that is perfectly straight.
Adjustments will be made either by pumping the jack to a certain level, or cutting the wooden post so it can fit perfectly.
Once everything is set, the renovation or home improvement project can start. If there is a need for additional jacks to be installed, they will be installed at certain areas of the house.