Excess moisture and other soil-related problem leave the foundation of your house weak and with time, the whole structure may fall. The sturdy foundation of a house is important to prevent accidents and to prevent costly repairs and other such issues in future. If you are not aware if it is the right time to get your house leveled, look for the following signs in your house:
- Big or small cracks in the walls, chimney, near the doors and the windows
- Doors not closing properly
- You feel that your house is sinking or shifting
- Looking from outside you feel your house is uneven or unleveled
Certainly, if these are the signs you are noticing, call the experts and get your house leveled. If you are capable to do it on your own, follow the below-given strategy to level your house having piers and beams:
Call an engineer
You may not be aware of the foundation and its structure, to be sure and to point out the exact problem, it is best to call the experts. They not only help in sorting out the problem but also advise you about the required underpinning services.
Measure the sagged floor
Determine how much the foundation is depressed towards the center and how much the house is required to be lifted. There are several methods to do this.
Make straight lines with help of a string from one side of the foundation to the other.
To make work easier, attach the string on one end of the floor by placing blocks over it, stretch the string towards the other end and measure the distance between the stretched strings to the floor joists. Repeat the process at several places under the house.
Mark the lowest position in the house and remember that it is the place where the house is to be lifted more.
After you have unidentified the unlevelled floor, make posts of concrete or wooden blocks, to ensure stability. Do this at angles of 90 degrees.
Place a hydraulic jack above the posts and start to jack the house upwards. As the house starts moving up, place small blocks to support the elevation at the center.
Once you feel that the lowest point of the house is raised to the other lower positions of the house, remove the jack and allow the house to rest on the temporary built post.
Make sure that additional cracks do not appear within the walls or floor of the house while jacking. Lift the house slowly and once done allow the foundation to rest on the post for some time. Also, after jacking, check for the problems if by mistake they get created so that they shall not create a problem in the future.
After leveling, build some more temporary posts under the house, this ensures permanent support and additional safety to the house.
The posts are temporary and should be removed by building the permanent ones below the house. Already existing supports can be used only if they are in a healthy condition, and if they are not sinking inside the ground. For additional support at the center of the house, you can place a new beam on the top of the posts by making them shorter.
If your house is having a slab foundation, you can level by the process of slab-jacking:
- Start by pumping in the cement grout through small holes in the concrete slabs.
- Wait for the grout to solidify in a dense concrete mass that provides a competent bearing for the concrete slab.
- In place of cement grout, you can also use soil-cement-lime grout mixture also that not only restores the slab to proper grade but also helps in stabilizing the sub-soil and prevents the re-occurrence of the problem later in future.
- Besides you can also use helical piers, drilled bell piers, steel push piers, pressed pilings and piers etc.
- Mud-jacking is another alternative for house leveling.
So whenever you see the above-mentioned signs in your house, don’t get overwhelmed, stay calm and plan to get your house leveled to maintain the structural integrity of your home.