Dry Guys Basement Systems Case Studies: Lifting a Home in Upper Darby, PA

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 by Jaynelle Summerville

Challenge

This house in Upper Darby, PA had a full bathroom, water heater, washer and dryer, and heavy china cabinet all on the same side of the house. This put a lot of strain on the floor joists underneath that side of the house, and it began to sink. When the homeowner noticed that his floors were sagging, he called another company to try and lift the house. The other company tried to give the house more support by putting in another beam, but in the end couldn't lift it to the homeowner's liking. He then called Dry Guys to see if we could do any better. When we arrived on the scene, we thought it would be a simple SmartJack installation. And indeed, SmartJacks are an excellent solution to such a problem because they can lift the house easily and hold it in place. However, we quickly realized that the strength of the floor joists had been compromised because of humidity in the crawl space. It was causing the wood to become soft, and the jacks ended up digging into the joists instead of lifting them.

Solution

Despite the deteriorated quality of the wood, we were able to get the jacks to lift the house enough so that the floors above were even. Just to make sure we weren't putting too much strain on one joist alone, we spread out the SmartJacks and lifted the beam that the other company had put in as well. When the wood is strong, a lot of SmartJacks aren't usually needed. But in this case, we installed more than we had originally intended because of the foundation being so weak. Jesse B., the foreman of this project, suggested to the homeowner that he have his crawl space waterproofed or eventually the wooden joists will get worse. They were even showing some signs of mold- including the newest beam. A SaniDry dehumidifier would be key to something like this, as it will suck the moisture out of the air and discourage mold growth. A healthy crawl space is important for a healthy foundation, and prevention is less costly than having to fix it later. Check your crawl space (or basement) for water, moisture, and mold before you start to experience bigger problems!

Project Summary

Foreman: Jesse B.

Foundation Specialist and System Designer: Elliot Gattuso

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