Mats for leveling keep on sinking???


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Old 06-16-12, 01:07 PM
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Mats for leveling keep on sinking???

Hello new to forum. Alot of info here. Well first of all its a pier and beam house about 45x30 from the 40s all wall are sorrounded by 1x6 instead of drywall.the house was converted to 2 stories and a kickout room was made from roof. top floor is normal drywall and 2x4 I live in the houston area bout 10 minutes from beach and the dirt is reallymuddy like clay.also rained in past week. I put two jacks about 5 feet apart. just to test it out.

house is 1/2" inch above ground so i thought maybe lift up before leveling about 6".
well as i was saying I put two jacks.Made my hole and enough for jacks to fit below beams. place the mats 2x12 lumber and they just keep on digging into ground as i jack up the house . I've put 6 2x12 already stacked and they keep on going into ground

What should I do? is there anyway to stiffen up dirt . I hear to put cal on soil and if so how much.any help would be appreciated
 
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Old 06-16-12, 01:19 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Tell us what you are trying to accomplish. Your problem was not defined in your original post. The jacks you are putting in place are temporary, I am sure, as wood is not acceptable below grade. Bottom line, you must excavate to either bedrock or solid earth, pour concrete footings so things won't sink. Let us know what you are doing and what the problem is.
 
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Old 06-16-12, 01:28 PM
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yeah its temporary I'm trying to lift house 6" right now it's sitting on concrete pads that according to a engineer 6 ft into ground.my problem is that the house is 1/2" off ground and on some parts the beams are partially under ground causing termite problems . the back side of the house is higher than the rest of house so i have to level house.i'm try to lift the house one side at a time. I dug to holes about 13" deep 2ft x 2ft im settig 20 ton jacks on 12x12 pads of 2x12 wood and then putting an steel plate between jack and beam.I'm trying to lift house but instead the wood just keeps on digging into ground.

The ground here is moist and wet and also it rained this week. if any more info is needed let me know
 
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Old 06-16-12, 02:50 PM
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House movers use what is called cribbing. It is basically like a uniformly shaped railroad tie, oak or hickory, and is about 4 ft long. They lay a pair of them about 3 ft apart, then lay another pair perpendicular to that, and repeat, to form a stack. So that is a pretty big footprint to distribute the weight. Concentrating the load on 1 sq foot on wet soil is probably not spreading the load sufficiently. It would also be VERY DANGEROUS since the jack could easily tip and the load could fall.

I'd suggest you excavate a wider area, perhaps 2x2 to start with. Try and ensure it is level, use some fine dry sand if needed before placing your pad. Try placing two 2x12s side by side, then place two 2x12's on top of them, side by side and perpendicular to the first. Cover that with a 2x4 square of 3/4 plywood, and screw the whole works together with some 3 1/2" screws so that it acts as one unit. Ensure it is perfectly level, then place the jack directly in the center and try again.

If it compresses the soil, remove it, add more sand, screed the sand level, replace the pad and try again. It may take a couple tries, but this should help. Keep in mind that when you jack one side up, you need to crib and block it so that it can't move. You shouldn't just jack one side, then move to the 2nd jack and raise it more, because the jacking on the 2nd jack will change the forces being exerted on the first one.

The safest method is to place beams underneath houses first so that the beam provides continuous support to the structure. When there is continuous support, the beam can then be jacked on each end. If you are not jacking against a structural support, the house could take on a banana-like shape. ;-)
 
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Old 06-16-12, 04:16 PM
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Alright thanks I'll try is the sand just to level. if so is there anything that i can put to remove the moisture because one of the leveling company that did a bid mentioned that they would have to put cal to remove moisture. also are 4 20ton jacks enough to raise one side its about 30 feet long. Thanks for help It's going to be ALOT of digging
 
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Old 06-16-12, 05:15 PM
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What is "cal"?

Be careful about just lifting up the sides of the house. You may need to lift in the center as well.
 
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Old 06-16-12, 09:13 PM
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Yeah i plan to lift the sides first at least 3 inches so its at least a little less to dig but ill play it by ear as it is the center of my house is sunk about 2 to4 inches not to bad though but if i here to much noise ill take it small lifts at a time .and cal i think is known as lime its like a powder that picks up moisture
 
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Old 06-16-12, 09:17 PM
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I'm guessing "cal" is some form of calcium, like gypsum, or calcium chloride (lime) which can absorb and hold moisture.
 
 

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