If you start to notice bouncy or sagging floors, it’s likely that your crawl space is losing support and is in need of repair. In most cases, the solution is additional support systems. The support of a crawl space can weaken when either, it’s columns settle due to weak foundation soils, improper spacing of pier columns, or when wood begins to rot due to excess moisture.
Settling Due to Weak Foundation Soils
If foundation soils are weak, over time they will shift and settle with changes in moisture content, vegetation growth and density. These changes in the soil will cause the columns and the beams above to move, resulting in weakened support, foundation cracks, uneven floors and other structural damage throughout your home.
Improper Spacing of Existing Pier Columns
When a home is built, pier columns are installed throughout the crawl space to support the weight of the floors above. Improper spacing of a foundation’s pier columns will create an overload on the beams and joists, causing them to bend, bounce and sag. When this happens the floors above begin to slope, causing cracks to form and many other cosmetic issues throughout the home.
Excess Moisture and Wood Rot
Your crawl space is a notoriously damp and humid space. According to the University of Illinois Small Homes Council, up to 18 gallons of water per day can evaporate into the crawl space of a 1000 sq. ft., house. And if your dirt crawl space seems dry and dusty, it most likely because the foundation soils are pulling in the water. This excess moisture creates the perfect environment for mold growth and wood rot, eventually leading to weakened beams and joists.
Crawl Space Joist Supports are the Answer!These are adjustable, supplemental support systems used in crawl spaces to stabilize and potentially lift failing floor joists or beams. Installation involves placing the system’s precast concrete base onto an engineered fill. An adjustable, heavy duty steel pier is then secured to both the base and to the bottom of the beam or joists to support the load above. In many cases, it can lift the floors and walls back to their original, level position. At Foundation Technology, our crawl space joists can support vertical loads exceeding 60,000 lbs, which is substantially greater than the traditional concrete columns found in most crawl spaces. Crawl space joist supports are the absolute ideal solution to sagging, bouncing or bowing floors. They require no waiting time for concrete to cure, can be installed in limited access areas, and most jobs can be completed within one day.
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If left uncorrected, settling columns or sagging beams and floor joists beneath a crawl space will lead to considerable cosmetic and structural damage in a home or building. At Foundation Technology, we offer the most cost-effective solutions for a crawl space with weakened support.