What are Crawl Space Jacks & How are They Useful?

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Crawl spaces are often overlooked areas of a home, and maintaining them can be challenging for homeowners in Knoxville. However, keeping the crawl space clean and dry is crucial to prevent moisture accumulation, which can cause issues like sagging floors and weakened wooden beams.

To address these concerns, professionals commonly use crawl space jacks for crawl space adjustments. If you’re unfamiliar with crawl space jacks and how they can be beneficial for maintaining a dry and stable crawl space, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we will delve into the world of crawl space jacks, their purpose, and how they can be useful for crawl space maintenance. So, let’s dive in and learn more about this important aspect of home maintenance.

What are Crawl Space Jacks?

What are Crawl Space Jacks

Crawl space jacks, also known as crawl space jack posts or screw jacks, are adjustable supports that crawl space repair experts use to lift and stabilize sagging crawl spaces. These house leveling jacks are specifically designed to support a home’s foundation and are typically placed strategically throughout the crawl space. They can support significant weight, with each adjustable brace having a load capacity of up to 50,000 pounds.

Crawl space jacks consist of four main components that work together to provide reliable support:

  • Bottom plate: The bottom plate is attached to a concrete post, serving as the base of the crawl space jack.
  • Pipe: The pipe houses a threaded metal rod and determines the load capacity of the jack. Different sizes of pipes are available to accommodate varying weight requirements.
  • Spindle with the threaded metal rod: The spindle, which is threaded and made of metal, is equipped with a nut that allows for adjustments to raise or lower the top plate.
  • Top plate: The top plate is attached to the girder beam of the crawl space using screws or nails, completing the support structure of the crawl space jack.

Crawl space jacks are carefully positioned beneath the girders, which support the floor joists and the floor above the crawl space. Once in place, they can be adjusted to provide the necessary support and stabilization to address sagging floors caused by moisture or other factors.

Crawl space jacks are a reliable and effective solution for adjustments to ensure the integrity and stability of the crawl space and the home’s overall structure. However, it’s important to note that crawl space jacks should be installed by experienced professionals knowledgeable about crawl space repair and maintenance. They can assess the specific needs of your crawl space and determine the appropriate placement and adjustments required for optimal results.

Contact Guardian Foundation Repair today for a free assessment and consultation. 

Why Do Crawl Spaces Sag?

Crawl spaces can sag for several reasons, which may include the following:

Settlement of crawl space support piers

Crawl space support piers can settle into the ground and lose their vertical alignment, often due to drainage issues. Soft or expansive soil that swells and shrinks with moisture changes can cause the support piers to settle gradually, leading to the crawl space sagging.

Deterioration of existing screw jacks

Crawl space jacks, if not adequately protected against corrosion, can deteriorate over time, compromising their effectiveness and leading to crawl space sagging.

Wood rot in support piers

Wooden support piers in the crawl space can rot due to various factors, such as moisture exposure, pests, or decay. Wood rot can weaken the structural integrity of the crawl space supports, leading to sagging.

Poor construction or design

 In some cases, crawl spaces may sag due to poor construction or design practices during the home’s initial construction. This can include inadequate sizing or spacing of support beams, improper placement of support piers, or the use of low-quality materials. Addressing these construction or design flaws may be necessary to prevent crawl space sagging in the long term.

Signs of Crawl Space Sag

Signs of Crawl Space Sag

It’s important to identify the signs of crawl space sagging as early as possible in order to take the necessary steps to address it. Signs that your crawl space may be sagging include:

Uneven or sagging floors

One of the most common signs of a sagging crawl space is uneven or sagging floors inside the home. This can be observed as sloping or dipping areas in the floor surface, which may affect the stability and level of furniture, appliances, and other household items.

Squeaky floors

Another indicator of a sagging crawl space is squeaky floors. When you walk on the floors, you may hear creaking or squeaking noises, which can be caused by the shifting and settling of the foundation due to crawl space sagging.

Bouncy floors

If your floors feel bouncy or give a sinking feeling when you walk on them, it can also be a sign of a sagging crawl space. The weakened support structure in the crawl space can cause the floors to feel unstable and bouncy, indicating a potential issue with the foundation.

Furniture shaking

Noticeable shaking or movement of furniture, especially when you walk by, can indicate a sagging crawl space. As the crawl space loses its structural integrity, it can cause the floors to shift and move, resulting in furniture instability.

Wall cracks

 Another sign of a sagging crawl space can be the presence of cracks in the walls of your home, especially near the baseboards. Crawl space sagging can cause shifting and settling of the foundation, leading to cracks in the walls, which may require professional evaluation and foundation repair.

Mold growth on first-floor baseboards or floor

Excess moisture in the crawl space due to sagging can lead to mold growth. If you notice mold on your first-floor baseboards or floor, it can strongly indicate mold growth in the crawl space. Mold can thrive in damp and dark environments, and addressing the underlying cause of crawl space sagging is crucial to prevent further mold growth.

How Crawl Space Jacks are Installed by Professional Foundation Repair Specialists in Tennessee

How Crawl Space Jacks are Installed by Professional Foundation Repair Specialists in Tennessee

Installing crawl space jacks by Guardian Foundation Repair follows a meticulous process to ensure maximum stability and support. Here are the key steps:

Site preparation and design approval

Our experienced system designer reviews your crawl space and works with you to create a customized plan for installing crawl space jacks. Once the design is approved, our installers proceed to the next step.

Precise hole excavation and filling

Our skilled installers map out the location of each jack and dig precise holes accordingly. These holes are then filled with engineer-approved filling material, such as #57 or #67 stone, based on the soil conditions of your crawl space.

Expert placement of precast footings

Our installers carefully place precast concrete footings over them after the holes are filled. These footings serve as the foundation for the jack posts and provide a stable base for the entire system.

Jack post cutting

Our foundation repair experts in Tennessee then measure and cut the steel jack posts to the appropriate length, ensuring they are tailored to the specific requirements of your crawl space.

Assembly and tightening

Our professional installers assemble each jack post, securing the top plate to the girder beams and installing sister girders if needed. Once assembled, the installers tighten each jack post until the floors are level or supported, ensuring optimal stability and support for your crawl space.

By following this meticulous process, our team at Guardian ensures that the installation of crawl space jacks is done with precision and expertise, providing long-lasting stability and protection to your crawl space.

Contact us today to learn more about how crawl space jacks can help stabilize your foundation. Our team is here to answer any questions you may have!

Common FAQs

Is crawl space jacks a permanent solution?

A: Yes, crawl space jacks are considered permanent solutions for stabilizing and supporting sagging or uneven floors in crawl spaces. They are designed to provide long-lasting support and stability to the crawl space and help prevent further damage or issues related to uneven floors.

Can crawl space jacks be used for DIY installation?

A: It is not recommended to attempt DIY installation of crawl space jacks, as it requires expertise in foundation repairs and precise adjustments to ensure proper installation. Professional installation by experienced contractors is recommended to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the crawl space jack system.

Can crawl space jacks be installed in all types of crawl spaces?

A: Crawl space jacks can be installed in various types of crawl spaces, including those with dirt or concrete floors, as long as the proper installation techniques are followed. However, the suitability of crawl space jacks for a specific crawl space should be determined by a professional foundation repair contractor after assessing the unique conditions of the crawl space.

Do crawl space jacks require maintenance?

A: Crawl space jacks are typically low-maintenance once installed. However, it is recommended to periodically inspect them for any signs of damage, settling, or movement and address any issues promptly to ensure their continued effectiveness in stabilizing and supporting the crawl space.

How long do crawl space jacks typically last?

A: Crawl space jacks are typically made of durable materials such as steel and concrete, and when installed properly by professional contractors, they can provide long-lasting support. The lifespan of crawl space jacks can vary depending on factors such as the quality of materials, local environmental conditions, and regular maintenance. Still, they are generally designed to last many years, if not decades.

Can crawl space jacks be used in conjunction with other crawl space repairs?

A: Yes, crawl space jacks can be used with other repairs, such as encapsulation, crawl space waterproofing, or insulation, depending on the specific needs and condition of the crawl space. A professional foundation repair contractor can recommend the appropriate combination of repairs for your crawl space to ensure optimal results.

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