How to Repair a Sloping Floor
In our last blog, we discussed the signs and causes of sloping floors. Installing jack posts is often the best solution for repairing sloping floors. Sloping floors are a common problem in older homes in Connecticut. Usually a floor that sags requires additional support in the basement. The problem may be due to too much weight on the floor because of a large piano or bookcase, or it may be due to cracking or rotting of one of the supports beneath the floor. Often there are other problems with cracks in walls and doors and windows that jam.
What Are Jack Posts?
Jack posts are commonly used for foundation repair projects. They are telescoping steel posts that are installed in the basement to "jack up" and provide permanent support for sagging floor joists. These strong steel columns, able to support up to 60,000 pounds, have screw-type jacks on the top so that, once in place, they can be gradually be raised to lift a sagging beam.
Is Additional Support Ever Required?
As the jack post raises the sagging floor, the load of the floor is transferred to the floor beneath the post. In most cases the steel plate at the bottom of the post distributes the load evenly across the supporting floor and doesn't cause a problem. If the underlying floor is set on solid soil and has at least four inches of concrete, it generally does not require additional support.
If the concrete on the floor is already cracking or has other signs of weakness, then a concrete footing should be added as a base. This requires removing a 2 foot square hole in the concrete and digging a hole at least 12 inches deep beneath the concrete which is filled with freshly poured concrete and leveled to the existing floor. The footing should be cured for at least a week before the new post is placed.
How are Jack Posts Installed?
In some cases, only one jack post is required to lift a sagging floor at its lowest spot. In most cases, two posts are required. These combine to support a heavy piece of lumber that raises and supports an entire section of the sagging floor, rather than just a single joist.
Once it is determined that the concrete floor or footings are strong enough, jack posts are positioned directly beneath the joist or supporting beam. Then they are raised every three of four days over a period of weeks until the floor above is at the desired level. It is critical that the posts are not raised too fast before the structure has a chance to settle. Raising a floor too quickly could cause cracks and damage to the walls and remaining structure of the house, sometimes even the pipes. A similar process can be executed in crawl spaces beneath sagging floors.
What are the Benefits of Jack Posts?
Jack posts are designed to provide positive support to sagging, sloping floors above crawlspaces and basements. They can also remove bouncing or squeaking in floors without adequate support. They provide adjustable, supplemental support with an extremely high capacity of 60,000 pounds.
Jack posts have many benefits:
1. Quick Installation
2. Positive Support
3. Cost Effective Solution for Sagging Floors
4. Work well if you are also encapsulating your crawlspace
5. Protected from Zinc Corrosion
6. Large Capacity
To learn more about jack posts as a solution for your sagging or settling floors in your Connecticut home, please contact Residential ResQ for a free estimate on providing support for your sagging floors. Our service area includes Connecticut and some counties in New York and Massachusetts.