But what if the signs are not obvious that a house needs more support? If the foundation is not in noticeable disarray, here are some additional signs to look for when considering foundation repair:
- Exterior cracks in the concrete walls of the foundation
- Exterior cracks in the brick near the foundation
- Stair step cracks in brick walls
- Diagonal cracks near a corner that are wider at one end than the other
- Separation between brick and exterior doors or windows
- Interior cracks in concrete block or basement walls
- Interior bowing in basement walls, or leaning basement walls
- Interior drywall cracking that may line up with exterior cracking
- Sinking porch, or a porch separated from the house wall
And signs when considering whether a house has enough floor support:
- Sagging, sinking, and uneven floors inside the house
- Sticking doors in the same areas
- Sticking windows in the same areas
- Interior drywall cracking
Discovering multiple symptoms warrants a call to your local foundation repair company to investigate the health of the foundation. Because crawl spaces come in a variety of sizes and conditions, almost more than the support columns they house, allow the experts to evaluate the strength of the existing supports and your need for additional floor support. You may also check out two other recent USS blogs that go into more depth about floor support and foundation repair: Squeaky Floors: Flooring or Foundation Issue? and Different Types of Cracks.
Once you and your foundation repair project manager determine that the house needs more floor support to improve the integrity of the home, the suggested repair plan may include the installation of adjustable steel support posts, also known as crawl jacks or jack posts, and steel I-beam installation. This common, effective solution typically comes with a five-year warranty on all steel support post adjustments. If the installed steel support posts need adjustments within that five-year period, USS will adjust them under warranty at no cost.
Why would steel floor supports need adjustments? Good question. It takes a thorough, complete repair plan, over a quick fix, to address the causes of sagging, sloping, or uneven floors. Unless you tackle the root cause of why the house needs more support, structural problems will likely reoccur. Some common causes include:
- Improper spacing of support columns.
You may notice the original columns in the crawl space are spaced too far apart, resulting in an overloaded beam, hence the floor sag. With the installation of an additional warrantied floor support column, the floor support repair will remedy most sagging floor problems.
- Excess moisture in the crawl space or basement.
Crawl spaces tend to be more humid than other living spaces in the home, which makes them ideal for mold and fungus growth. This growth leads to wood rot, which then leads to sagging and weakened floor joists and beams. If the beams keep weakening, the posts will need adjusting. (See our crawl space repair solutions encapsulation page for more information on controlling humidity in your crawl space.)
- Unstable and poorly compacted soil beneath the columns.
Soil compresses over time, causing support columns to shift and settle. To counter sagging floors, steel support post adjustments are made under warranty at no cost, offsetting soil settlement beneath the columns in the crawl space.