Stabilizing Your Crawl Space: Your Options
Depending on many things, including the age of your home, the design of your home, and any recent weather in your area, you might find that your crawl space starts to sink. This can happen in some homes, but although it’s not an uncommon occurrence, that doesn’t mean you should just ignore it.
It’s important that you stabilize your crawl space if any elements underneath start to sink. There are many reasons you might start to notice your crawl space sinking, but all of them typically mean it’s time to get help from an expert.
No matter why you’re starting to see this problem, it’s time to look at your options. Keep reading to learn more about stabilizing your crawl space and to find out why a JES expert should be the first person you reach out to.
Why Does My Crawl Space Sink?
What happens to create crawl spaces sinking? There are actually many reasons that may cause home structures to sink, and it’s important that you tackle each one at the root. Depending on your individual crawl space needs, you may end up needing a different solution.
How can you fix your crawl space sinking? These reasons will help you differentiate.
- Structural Issues
If your home has other types of structural issues, it’s certainly possible that those structural issues extend out to different areas of your home. That includes your crawl space, which is most likely to be hit.
This is one of the biggest reasons you might need to install foundation jacks. Structural issues can be a big difficulty in your home. Unattended-to structural issues may lead to larger and larger problems, sometimes going so far as to cause walls to collapse.
An important part of this process is learning about the exact structural issues you’re facing and how you can fix each one. Don’t try to tackle this problem all on your own; talk to an expert to understand your next move.
- Crawl Space Moisture
When your crawl space has high humidity, you may start to see your floors bowing, showing that your crawl space is having problems. That may be for a variety of reasons.
High levels of crawl space moisture can invite wood rot, which can cause springy, bouncy floor joists that allow the floor to sink. That moisture can also soak into the wood, causing a similar problem even without the fungus that causes wood rot.
Overall, there are many dangers associated with crawl space moisture, and this is just one of them. You need to tackle the problems from the source and talk to an expert about how to mitigate your crawl space moisture damages.
- Poor Support Planning
If your home already has a poor support system, you’re probably going to need permanent foundation jacks to fix the problem. These foundation jacks can take the place of joist support that was already supposed to be there.
Your crawl space or foundation needs a certain amount of support. If it doesn’t get that, you’re going to end up with problems. To avoid problems with poor support planning, many people install permanent house jacks to lift up the floor joists.
These jacks can certainly be an effective solution, but you shouldn’t try to install them on your own. You need to understand where to place them and how to put them up, which is best left to a professional.
Stabilization Options That Don’t Work
Before diving into the best stabilization options for your needs, you should probably first think about stabilization options that don’t work. These tend to be the most common DIY stabilization options, but unfortunately, they’re actually not very effective.
You should definitely reconsider your options if you’re thinking about putting one of these in as a stabilization option.
- Concrete Columns
Some people try to hold up a sinking joist or post with a concrete column. The logic is typically that because concrete is able to hold up so much weight, it’s a useful tool for holding up home foundations, which support a lot of weight.
The main downfall of this is that there’s no way to adjust it. If the soil under your home shifts or the concrete column moves for some reason, you won’t be able to move the column back to its perfect location.
Because it’s essentially impossible to change a concrete column and it takes a lot of time to cure, JES doesn’t recommend concrete columns. They’re likely to be more trouble than they’re worth.
- Additional Shimming
“Shimming” is a method used to make your current products fit the space by adding additional items underneath it. In home repair, you’ll typically use scraps of wood to fill up empty space between the current post and the top of the crawl space.
However, shimming actually isn’t an effective tool for this problem. It won’t actually lift up the floors; it’ll just stop them from dropping further. Plus, it’s not even a long-term solution, as the wood scraps typically don’t hold up the constantly sinking floor.
Overall, this isn’t an effective fix and barely qualifies as a fix in the first place. JES recommends utilizing a longer-term fix for your home’s sinking floors.
- Light-Duty Jack Posts
These are an option more similar to crawl space jacks that JES uses. They’re more lightweight, more portable, and often more user-friendly than professional house foundation support jacks, making them very alluring to DIY homeowners.
The thing is, the light-duty nature of these tends to work against them. Light-duty jack posts tend to only hold up a small amount of weight, making them bad foundation lifting jacks. They also don’t address weak soil problems.
Even though this gets closer to JES’s preferred solution, it’s still not a good substitute. You should only use foundation floor jacks that can actually stand up to the problem.
The Benefits of the IntelliJack Foundation Jack
JES recommends the IntelliJack Crawl Space Stabilizer system. That’s because this system actually fixes the problems you’re probably having in your crawl space to create sinking. It permanently lifts and stabilizes beams in your crawl space in a way nothing else can.
If you’re not sure why you should choose the IntelliJack Crawl Space Stabilizer system, consider these benefits.
This is a huge benefit to the IntelliJack system over other solutions out there. If your home settles further or you have additional settling problems, you can actually adjust the IntelliJack system, which is something you can’t do with concrete stabilizers.
Not only is the IntelliJack system adjustable, but once you adjust it, it’ll stay in that position. The IntelliJack system will make sure your home gets the support it needs, whether it stays at its current state or it settles further in the future.
- Weak Soil Solution
What if you have weak soil in your foundation? The IntelliJack system addresses that as well. Instead of just relying on the weak soil you already have, you can replace that soil with a stronger option. With this specially engineered fill, you don’t have to worry about weak soil when you can instead rely on something even better.
This is important because other solutions don’t even touch the potential problem of weak soil. If you have weak soil, your foundation jacks need to take that problem into account. With a weak soil solution like the IntelliJack system offers, you’ll be more well-equipped to handle the problem of further settling because of poor foundational support.
- High Capacity
You want to make sure you don’t just have something that can support your foundation. You want your system to be able to actually lift it back to its proper position. That’s why foundation lifting jacks are so important. If your foundation has currently started to sink dramatically, you need an option that can raise your foundation high enough to put it back to where it started.
That’s where the IntelliJack system comes in. It has the capacity to lift 60,000 pounds. That’s the weight of three elephants. With this massive capacity, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your foundation floor jacks are up to the task, because you already know they are.
- A Long-Term Answer
Temporary house foundation jacks can make the problem worse because they don’t actually help. Instead, they just put a bandage over the problem. All the while, the situation will continue to deteriorate, making it more difficult for you to maintain your foundation over time.
Instead, the IntelliJack system gives you a long-term answer that’s easier to maintain and simpler to manage. You can adjust it to suit your current and future needs, and its strength makes sure you don’t have anything to worry about in the future.
Why Should I Fix My Crawl Space Now?
The one thing that holds many people back from going for a fix is the worry that it’s simply not worth the money. Many homeowners loath spending more money on a home than they have to. The thing is, you absolutely can’t afford to ignore sinking crawl spaces and floor joists.
If you’re dealing with these sinking problems, there are many reasons to fix it now. Here are just a few.
- The Cheapest Answer
It’s simple: there’s never going to be a cheaper time to fix your crawl space than right now. If you wait to fix things, the price is just going to mount as more problems arise in your crawl space. That’s the opposite of what you’re trying to do.
At the end of the day, it’s by far cheapest to just fix it right now. No one wants to spend money on a home fix, but think of it this way: would you rather put the money down now, or put extra money down during an emergency in the future?
If you want to make sure you’re getting the best price, it’s important to get your information from a reputable contractor. Request your free inspection today from JES. You’ll get information on what you do and don’t need to do for your problems.
- Avoid Future Crawl Space Problems
The problems aren’t going to stop, and just ignoring them won’t help. No matter what the problem is right now, ignoring your crawl space issues will just exacerbate them. That opens the door to future problems that may be worse than the ones you have right now.
For example, the IntelliJack system can help you raise your home back to its original position. What if you don’t address your crawl space problems and allow floors to continue to sag? After many months or years, the floor joists may end up bearing so much weight on weak points that they actually snap.
The last thing you want is to end up with a much more serious problem that you could have fixed with some simple preventive measures. A JES expert can let you know how to stave off those future problems before they occur.
- Uncover Any Additional Problems
Do you know what’s really going on down in your crawl space? You may not. However, there can be all sorts of problems going on in your crawl space, from excess moisture to wood rot and many other potential options.
An inspection is actually the best way to uncover these problems. Professionals have tools that allow them to determine whether something is a problem and expert training that allows them to see where there might be issues.
Instead of just allowing your home to continue without knowing anything about it, request a free inspection from JES. You’ll quickly learn more about your home.
Allow a JES Expert to Help You Find the Best Solution for Your Crawl Space Problems
What should you use for your solution? JES uses IntelliJacks to stabilize and help raise your floor back up to its original position after plenty of sinking. Regardless of how long it’s been or how much of a nuisance this problem is to you personally, you should definitely try to fix it now. That fix starts with contacting a JES expert.
If you’re not sure of the source of your foundation problem, give us a call at 757-301-4820, and schedule a free inspection. We’ll find out the cause of the problem and help you find the perfect solution.