level pier and beam house

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Old 03-30-14, 11:29 AM
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level pier and beam house

Hey yall, hope this is the write forum, if not, feel free to move it.

Anyway I have an old (1950') pier and beam house. It's in decent shape for a house its age, but one room (the bathroom) has settled just under an inch (i think like 6-7/8 of an inch) in the north east corner. How can I fix this? What do I need?

Heres a little background: House is pier and beam. It sits on a concrete outer retaining wall (like all other pier and beam houses in this area). The floor supports are 2x6s and they run east to west (the house has settled south to north). I think it was jack up once before, but has since settled.
 
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Old 03-30-14, 12:10 PM
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First I would examine the bathroom for water damage. Water leaks are the most common cause I've seen for bathrooms to settle. They don't really settle but the wood in the floor rots and crushes down making it appear as though it's settling.
 
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Old 03-30-14, 01:36 PM
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I see. As far as I know there isnt any, but I could be wrong. Is it possible to jack it up?
 
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Old 03-30-14, 02:41 PM
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Is it possible to jack it up?
If it was an add-on connected only to one point of the house I'd say it could be leveled if it was sloping away from the connection point. If it was on a corner of the house maybe if it was the diagonal unconnected point it sloped to. If it is in the middle of the house or between two rooms not easily because how would you do it without affecting the rooms it is connected to. As Dane suggested you need to check for rot by crawling under and carefully inspecting. Next step depends on what you find.
 
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Old 03-30-14, 02:43 PM
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Have you been underneath the house and inspected the area under the bathroom?

Jacking-up is not a solution to rotting wood. That's why it's important to find out why the bathroom area has settled. If it's caused by a leak jacking will not do any good as the wood will continue to rot. Are you able to shake or move the toilet? Is there cracking or caulk pulling away where the tub meets the surround? Does the floor in the bathroom feel soft, especially near the tub or toilet?
 
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Old 03-31-14, 10:10 AM
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there was some rot near the tub, but would that cause the entire room to shift?
 
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Old 03-31-14, 11:50 AM
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there was some rot near the tub
Which could be a symptom of a worse hidden problem. You have to crawl under and look or remove at least part of the floor and look.
 
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Old 03-31-14, 01:52 PM
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As the others have said, you need to get under the house to see/know what is going on. The house might benefit from being jacked up in places but any rotten or otherwise compromised wood needs to be replaced first. If you can't personally get under the house, get someone else to check it out for you, preferably with a camera.
 
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Old 03-31-14, 10:19 PM
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Ok Ill check it out. If isnt rotted wood and I do just jack it up, it it possible it will lift the house off the footing? If so, how do I fix that? Shims?
 
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Old 04-01-14, 05:43 AM
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You would be raising the framing, not the foundation. Whenever jacking up a house you want to go slow and easy! Often it's best to raise it a little at a time. You'd be slipping in shims between the top of the piers and the framing to hold it up.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 06:02 AM
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You somehow have jacking the house really stuck in your mind. Which I'm sure you are thinking is a quick, easy and cheap solution. Water damage is the most likely cause for your bathroom to sink 3/4". Leaking water & rot in the bathroom is much more easily fixed than a sinking foundation requiring jacking. If you do not fix the leak and jack to level the room it will continue to rot and sink until you fall through the floor.

You must first rule out a leak & rotting wood before even considering jacking. If you do get to the proper point to consider jacking you then have to face why that one part of the house sunk. A sinking foundation is no small issue and in most cases jacking the sunk room is only a temporary fix that comes with it's own list of problems like cracking walls and doors that don't close properly.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 02:17 PM
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My first house was of post and beam construction and I had a periodic problem of the bathroom door sticking. It was not a problem of water damage but of a sinking post/pier block. One day I was in the crawlspace jacking away when I noticed that while I was jacking, the jack ram was extending but the pressure on the post was not getting any less. Then I noticed the jack pad was being buried as I was jacking away.

I ended up making a platform out of pressure treated two by fours and 3/4 inch plywood saturated with Woodlife. As I recall it was about eighteen inches wide and 30 inches long, the largest I could build and still get it through the access door. I got it into place, jacked up the beam and set a new post. It was good at least until I sold that house.
 
 

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