Uses Of House Leveling Jacks: House-Raising
House-raising is a process that involves separating or temporarily raising a house from its foundation with house leveling jacks or hydraulic jacks. House-raising is similar but different from house-moving, which involves raising and transporting a house by some distance to an entirely different location. After a house is raised, it is temporarily supported with hydraulic jacks.
Hydraulic or house leveling jacks are stronger than other types of jacks and can lift much heavier loads higher that is why they are referred to as house leveling jacks. Hydraulic jacks depend on force that is generated by pressure and one fundamental principle is important when it comes to lifting loads. Firstly, the plunger is drawn back, opening the suction valve ball which draws oil to the pump chamber. When the plunger is propelled forward, the oil moves across an outer discharge check valve to the cylinder chamber, then the suction valve closes, resulting in pressure building in the cylinder. Moving forward, there are certain things a homeowner must consider before his/her house can be raised.
Considerations for the Homeowner
Homeowners can decide to raise their houses due to the following reasons;
• A house can be raised in order to add living space.
• A house can be raised if the foundation needs repair.
• A house can be raised to provide flood protection. Frequently wet basements are prone to mold growth. This problem can be permanently rectified if the basement is raised above the water table. Raising your house for flood protection can also reduce flood insurance rates.
• House-raising can balance excessive settling.
• House-raising can be done to move and rotate a building for aesthetic purposes. For example, building structures are rotated to avoid the unpleasant noise of nearby highways. Houses can also be raised (rotated) to fine-tune where and when the different parts of the house will receive sunlight.
If a homeowner decides to raise his/her building (either by contracting a professional or by himself/herself) he needs to do further considerations so as to ensure the work is/was successfully done. Considerations such as ensuring the condition of the foundation is carefully assessed to see if it is in good shape or if it is cracked. If it is cracked, then you might need to fix it before your house can be raised. A homeowner should hire a professional to check for signs that the raising process didn’t degrade the structural integrity of the house. He\/she should anticipate the kind of impact that raising the house will have in the neighborhood. For example, street parking might be halted temporarily while house-raising is taking place.
You have to check on height restrictions before doing house-raising. You can ponder on questions like, do my building plans exceed the height restrictions set by the authorities? A municipal inspector may be required to confirm this and approve the work. The homeowner should also make sure that items in the property that can be moved, such as furniture, be taken out of the structure until the house-raising is completed. Finally, before beginning the raising process be sure to shut off and disconnect the power, gas and all electrical connections in the structure.
How House-raising is done
House-raising is a very hefty task, as all utilities must be disconnected and later reconnected. Truckloads of dirt need to be excavated, and new concrete walls need to be built. The actual lifting or raising of the house involves using hydraulic jacks and long steel I-beams. It is possible to lift a house speedily, although, in some situations, like trying to avoid damage to drywall, a building might be raised by 1\/8-inch per day.
A homeowner can pay about $10,000 to raise a 1,200-square-foot building by a few feet. Older structures may present a challenge when it comes to lifting, as they weigh more and because they are made with sturdier wood and plaster construction. After the raising is done, the building is temporarily suspended above its foundation for as long as the project takes with the aid of a steel beam and wooden cribs.
How you can raise your house by yourself with house leveling jacks
If your home is sagging or becomes uneven as a result of sinking foundations, you can use a jack to lift or raise it back up to level. All you need to do is to look for the area where the sagging beams are and bring them to the right level with a hydraulic jack, many of which can hold up hundreds of tons and concrete support pillars. After putting your house on the right level, what’s left to do is to put the concrete pillars beneath the beams to keep the raise in place.
Then get below your building and find the support beams that help hold up the structure. If the foundation of your property is sinking then, you should jack up or raise the sinking side. Then look for the bowed beams that are submerged lower than their compatriots, or for places where a sinking floor above might mean a problem beam below.
The next step is to place the hydraulic jack underneath the sinking beam. Then jack up the beam till the house is level. Using other, non-sagging beams is ideal as they can bring all of you house’s beams back to a level arrangement. Make sure you jack the affected beam up slowly and in a way that it gradually readjusts and becomes level again. In a case where it is multiple beams that need attention, you should use multiple jacks simultaneously.
Next, you need to place a concrete pylon underneath the beam so that the newly arrived level remains when the hydraulic jack is eventually removed. These pylons act as spacers that need to fit into the gap created underneath the beam. Finally, place the pylon at a point that is near the hydraulic jack, and centered on the beam so that after the hydraulic jack is taken out the pylon will carry the weight that the it was holding up.