When foundation problems aren’t dealt with quickly and in time, they tend to get worse and sometimes even jeopardize the safety and structure of a home. That was the case with a family home in Greensboro, NC, located just under 30 miles from Winston-Salem. The homeowners had put off fixing their home for too long and the problems started to multiply.
Our team was called to fix several foundation settlement issues, which included a crooked chimney and an unstable home floor system. The family was also aware of how important it is to have a dry and safe crawl space, so that was on our to-do list as well.
Our Initial Inspection
Our team was called to inspect the 35-year-old home that the family has occupied since 2004. The team found several major but fixable issues with it. There were three major projects to complete.
The first thing to do was to stabilize the foundation by driving push piers underneath it. Based on the level of damage, we recommended four piers to keep the home stable for years to come. Two of those piers needed to be installed below the left corner of the home and two beneath the chimney, which was pulling away from the home.
The front area of the home was settling and had become uneven over time, which is both dangerous and unappealing. We recommended fixing this issue by installing IntelliJack™ beams below the surface. That area covers the front office, entrance, and dining room. This repair made life much more comfortable for the homeowners.
Repairing the Damage
The reason behind the settling was a both dirty and humid crawl space. The homeowners were aware of how dangerous and unsanitary this was and their main goal was to clean the area and to install a draining system. In the long run, this will prevent the walls from caving in.
A property in Greensboro, NC, can only increase in value over time and that’s why the customers treated this repair as an investment in their property.
Push piers are commonly used to stabilize foundations. These steel piers are pushed through a heavy-duty bracket to keep them straight, and into more stable soil deep below the property. The weight of the home is therefore transferred via piers to the sturdy soil beneath it. The piers can then be used to lift the home where it has sunk and to keep it level.
IntelliJack™ beams are used to stabilize floors and keep them leveled. They are installed beneath the floors, inside the crawl space, and directly beneath the joists. That way, the beams are perpendicular to the joists and provide support for the floors while dealing with the uneven parts that can be seen from above.
Seven such beams needed to be installed in this home. The beams are made of galvanized steel and that means that humidity and water won’t damage them over the years. The beams are placed permanently but they can be adjusted when needed if one side needs to be pushed further up or if the structural integrity of the crawl space changes.
As is the case with large piers, these beams are also used to move the weight and the pressure of the floor to sturdy and secure ground beneath.
Since IntelliJack™ beams need to be installed in the crawl space, our team cleaned and drained the crawl space first. According to the homeowners, this is a long-overdue project and it took some time.
Cleaning up the Crawl Space
There was a lot of work needed to make sure that the crawl space would be healthy, safe, and sustainable for the long term. It started with cleaning all the debris and the old and inadequate plastic crawl space barrier from the crawl space. Once the trash was cleaned and hauled away, our team started working on draining and dehumidifying the area.
The drainage system that our team put in has both interior and exterior components. An interior drainage system was installed in the crawl space floor to collect the water that’s coming in through the walls. A sump pump will be used to discharge the collected water away from the property.
Our team has also installed a FreezeGuard™ discharge line attachment, buried a PVC discharge line, and added a YardWell™ outlet so that the water collected in the yard and beneath the property is collected and discharged together, where it can’t damage the foundation.
After properly encapsulating the crawl space with a thick and durable vapor barrier, we also installed a dehumidification system that keeps the crawl space dry and discharges the water it condenses away from the home.
This was a four-day job and required a bit of drilling and some manpower, but overall the homeowners were very pleased with the outcome and especially with how easy it was to get along with our team while they were working on the property.
If homeowners put off working on the problems their home is facing, sometimes, the repairs can pile up. That’s why it’s best to call us and get a free inspection that will help you figure out the scope of the work that needs to be done.