10:25AM | 03/16/05
Member Since: 03/15/05
2 lifetime posts
I have a pier and beam house. The floor moves down in winter and doors over one beam won't close. In the summer its lifts back up. The piers are set on white rock about 6 ft below the surface. The movement appears to be about 3/8"-1/2. No problems with foundation or exterior brick wall. I plan to jack the beam up about 1/4 in and shim at each pier. Will it be ok to jack the beam up the full 1/4 inch at one time or do I need to lift the beam a small amount and let it set for a few days, before lifting the beam further? I will apreciate any comments.

Thanks, CLC


11:26AM | 03/19/05
Member Since: 01/28/01
171 lifetime posts
Shims would work for the winter but would push the beam too high in summer. What happens when you forget to unshim during the summer? Will the doors be jammed again?

I have been working on raising a beam in my foundation to replace a post. The adjustable post instructions suggest a quarter to half turn a week. That works out to about 1/8 inch at a time. Then the house materials can adjust to the changed positions of everything in slow, small increments.

You need to figure out why the seasonal changes are happening. Are temperature or humidity changing something? Is there any wood involved or do you have steel and concrete for a foundation system? Which piece is changing?

You could have a wooden post that shrinks and swells excessively with the changing humidity in the basement during the drier, colder winter when the furnace is running. Or the beam itself could be flexing with the changing temperature or humidity.

Or it could be that the rock your house sits on is shrinking and swelling with changes in the groundwater levels.

I would run a few level strings across the basement to check relative positions now. In the summer check the measurements to see what has moved and what hasn't.


02:39PM | 03/19/05
Member Since: 03/15/05
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for the excellent sugestions. Yesterday, I used a self leveling LASER level to more accurately see what was happening to the floor. It turns out that my earlier measurements must have been incorrect. The new measurements indicate that the floor has moved up at the exterior wall. This is about 6' North of the beam that I have been talking about. The floor is essentially level from the south wall of the room to the location above the beam that I was talking about. The floor starts raising at that point until it is about 1/2 inch above the nominal floor level at the exterior wall.

I agan inspected the outside wall to see if there were any cracks in the brck or foundation. There wasn't. Even the seam where the new addition of the house was added to the old part of the house wasn't cracked. It may be thet the entire rock that the north part of the house sets on raises up and down a little. The tripod of my laser level won't fit under the house so I will do as you suggest and try to determine if the foundation at the foundtion is raised up relative to the piers. Then I will try again next summer.

Thanks again for your excellent suggestions. Carol Crom


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