Blame It On Your Crawl Space (Part 3)

Thursday, March 7th, 2013 by James E. Lord

In this 3-part series, Woods Basement Systems and Dr. Energy Saver St. Louis examine 3 common crawl space problems that are increasing your discomfort, making your home stink, and robbing your wallet.

Sinking Crawl SpaceRead These First:
Blame It On Your Crawl Space (Part 1)
Blame It On Your Crawl Space (Part 2)

PROBLEM #3: Structural Damage & Poor Solutions

The entire floor framing system under your home (floor joists, girders, sill plates, and rim joists) is made of wood.  Crawl spaces are often damp, humid, and experience flooding—an ideal environment for mold and rot.

Structural Damage

The condition of your crawl space directly affects the structural integrity of your home.  That moldy, rotting wood in your crawl space supports your entire home, and—as it deteriorates—will no longer be able to support the weight of your home.  This leads to significant structural damage.

With weakened floor joists and girders unable to continue supporting the weight, the floor above becomes soft, bouncy, and may start sagging.  Weak soil and existing support columns spaced too far apart also contribute to sagging floors.

Replacing floor joists, girders, and sill plates isn't cheap.  Imagine a carpenter trying to crawl under your home—with all the ductwork, wiring, plumbing, and old rotted joists in his way—to install new joists in a shallow space.  It won't be easy on his back, and it won't be easy on your wallet.

Crawl Space Support Jacks

Temporary Solutions that DON'T Work

  • Concrete columns — a common solution that is both time consuming and unadjustable.  As columns settle, additional shims may be required.
  • Additional shimming — a cheap and easy solution that only provides a temporary fix.  You'll be repairing damages over and over again.
  • Light-duty jack post — a light-weight do-it-yourself project that just won't hold up.

SOLUTION: HEAVY-DUTY, STEEL POST SUPPORT SYSTEM 

Why would you want a "light-duty" anything supporting your home?  Light-duty jack posts hold very little weight, are difficult to adjust, and fail to address weak foundation soils below.  The permanent solution is one that is adjustable, quick to install, and made of heavy-duty steel to adequately support and stabilize your sagging floors, any walls resting on those floors, and additional loads from your home.

Heavy-duty steel support systems should be used in crawl spaces to achieve the following:

  • Lift floors and walls above back to their original position.
  • Transfer the load (the vertical force your home exerts on the support posts) beyond the weak soil.
  • Seal and stabilize the crawl space.
  • Restore property value.
  • Fix the problem permanently.
About the author
James E. Lord lives in the St. Louis Metro-East with his wife and three sons and serves as Digital Marketing Manager & Corporate Trainer with two industry-leading home improvement contractors. James coaches best-in-class professionals to be masters of their trade, and produces quality web and video content that wows clients, annihilates the competition, and generates new business every day.

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Woods Basement Systems, Inc.
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Collinsville, IL 62234
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