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Foundation Repair

Sagging Crawl Space Problems in Greater Atlanta

A failing girder showing signs of compression damage in a Covington home

This image shows a compressed floor joist due to the heavy weight of the home overhead. Insufficient and weak crawl space supports lead to sinking floors, uneven floors, and damage to your structure.

The problem:

The floors above your crawl space is sinking or sagging – an early indication that your crawl space or foundation has structural problems.

What’s happening:

Crawl spaces experience structural sagging for these three primary reasons:

Telltale signs:

  • Moist, rotting wood
  • Door & window frames skewed and/or unlevel
  • Sagging, sloping, or uneven floors upstairs
  • Tilting or sinking crawl space supports
  • Cracks in interior drywall

The solution:

To ensure that your crawl space structure is properly stabilizing and lifting your floors and walls back to their original positioning — we utilize Foundation Supportworks patented SmartJack™ crawl space support system. The SmartJack™ system provides your crawl space with a fast, warrantied solution that offers solid support for sagging and undersized beams, restoring stability and straightness to sagging floor joists in a crawl space.

Mold and rot should also be addressed by installing a crawl space liner and removing excess moisture from the crawl space.

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Don’t let your sinking crawl space get worse! Call us today for a free foundation wall repair quote!

Our service area includes Decatur, Marietta, Atlanta, Stone Mountain, Alpharetta, Lawrenceville, Sandy Springs, Athens, Gainesville, Roswell, Norcross and

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rotting crawl space supports

This crawl space is showing a moldy, unsupported girder (right) sinking under the weight of a home — due to an improperly installed crawl space support. If ignored, larger more significant damage may expand to other areas of the home.

Advantages to our system:

Here at AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we fix sinking and sagging crawl space areas with our SmartJack™ System. The SmartJack™ crawlspace stabilizer is a uniquely designed product that uses steel support systems to stabilize and level failing girders and floor joists in a crawl space. This heavy-duty system has been laboratory tested to support loads of more than 60,000 lbs, making it the ideal system to stabilize your sagging and sinking floors.

Other benefits of our SmartJack™ system is that they it can be installed in tight, small access crawl spaces and can install relatively quickly – within a day.  These adjustable support posts are created with galvanized steel which gives each support post a lifetime resistance to corrosion and provide the best solution for restoring stability to your structure.

To combat the issue of poor supporting soils, each crawl space jack distributes the weight of the home through a precast concrete footing and a base of engineered fill material.

The SmartJack™ is the only solution that addresses problem soils during crawl space restabilization!

Installing the SmartJack™

Installing the SmartJack™ is a fast process that will not disrupt your home or landscaping. During our crawl space repair, your installers will follow these five steps:

Digging a hole for the engineered fill used in a crawl space support system installation in Norcross1. Preparing for installation

Before the installation process of our SmartJack™ crawl space system, a system design specialist will have already met with you to map out and specifically design a crawl space support system that will effectively return the structural stability of your home.

At the beginning of the installation, our team of in-housecrawl space repair contractors will excavate a 2′ square, 2′ deep hole hole at each SmartJack™ location. Each of these holes will be prepared with engineered fill consisting of tightly compacted crushed stone.


Placing the concrete footer for a crawl space jack post2. Placing the pre-cast footing

A pre-cast concrete base (or footing) is placed on top of the engineered fill and carefully leveled.

The footing serves as a stable base for the steel jack post, keeping it vertical and distributing the weight bearing on the post across a broad area of soil. The engineered fill base underneath the footing provides solid support that won’t shift, settle or be affected by soil moisture. Some building codes may require a poured concrete base rather than engineered fill.

By the time the weight is distributed through the pre-cast base and the fill, the bearing stresses have dissipated to approximately 10% of the stresses at the top of the post. This means that even if you have weak supporting soils, you can be assured that the weight of the building will not exceed their bearing capacity.


Cutting the support beam for a crawl space jack post outside a Gainesville home.3. Cutting the jack posts to length

Once new bases have been installed, measurements are made for the steel crawl space jack posts, and the posts are cut to length.

The steel tube used in each SmartJack™ is manufactured with a triple-layer, in-line galvanized coating. The triple-layer coating process includes :

  1. A uniform hot-dip zinc galvanizing layer
  2. An intermediate conversion coating enhances corrosion resistance
  3. A clear, organic top coating to further enhance appearance and durability.

Additionally, the inside of the pier tube also has a zinc-rich coating.

The remaining steel components of the Smart Jack™ come standard as zinc-plated in accordance with ASTM B633, “Standard Specification for Electrodeposited Coatings of Zinc on Iron and Steel”.

Once the SmartJack™ has been installed in your home, you can rest assured that you’ve invested in a high-quality, permanent solution for your crawl space issue.


 

A contractor in Roswell installing a crawl space jack post.4. Assembling & tightening

Each crawl space jack post is assembled in your crawl space. The top of the crawl space jack is mounted against the girder, and the installation is carefully plumbed.

In cases where existing girders are undersized or damaged by rot, a new sister girder may be installed alongside the original in order to strengthen and reinforce the structure.

Each SmartJack™ is then tightened in an attempt to lift the floor back to its original position. In many cases, your contractors will be able to straighten and level floors, close cracks in walls, and halt future downward movement. The jacks will continue to be adjustable for future tightening, should you need it.


 

crawl space jack posts installed in an encapsulated crawl space in Duluth5. Encapsulating the crawl space

If your wood crawl space joists, girders, and/or supports were damaged by mold, rot, and moisture, then you will want to address these issues to prevent future damage.

The encapsulation process involves sealing all crawl space vents, installing an airtight crawl space door, and lining crawl space walls and floors with a durable plastic liner. This treatment can also include additional drainage measures like installing interior drains and a sump pump.

Encapsulation stops moisture-related damage and associated structural problems that occur when framing members rot and deteriorate. By investing in crawl space encapsulation, you’ll also improve overall home energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

 

 

a poorly designed crawl space support system installed in a Cumming homeWhat NOT To Do

Here are three “fixes” that we at AquaGuard Foundation Solutions do NOT recommend:

Concrete Columns

Crawl space girders or beams are sometimes supported by columns made from concrete blocks. The blocks are typically stacked on a concrete footing and held together with mortar.

crawl space repairs done with concrete cinder blocks and wood shims in a Rome home

Some homeowners and contractors will attempt to use concrete blocks to repair a sagging crawl space, with wooden “shims” wedged in at the top to fill in any empty space. This kind of installation is a short-term solution that requires constant maintenance and reshimming. And because your concrete columns will continue to sink into the earth below, this solution will ultimately fail.

Once the column has been built and the mortar has cured, the extra space between the uppermost block and the floor girder above is filled with wooden spacers or “shims“.

Because of the wait for the concrete footing and mortar to cure, this is a very slow, time-consuming process.

Since the completed column isn’t adjustable, additional shimming will be needed as the concrete column settles or the wood girder shrinks.

Additional Shimming

This is a “cheap fix” solution for repairing a girder and floor that have sagged because of settled concrete columns. Temporary jacks are used to lift the girder, and wooden shims are pushed between the existing column and the floor girder. The jacks are then removed.

This is a short-term fix only – the concrete columns will continue to settle, requiring additional shimming and maintenance in the future.

Light-Duty Jack Posts

Skinny, light-duty jack posts are available at many hardware stores and home centers. This type of adjustable steel post is often installed on top of a concrete block that rests on the ground in the crawl space.

Unfortunately, these posts hold very little weight, have poor stability and are difficult to adjust. Also, they won’t compensate for poor supporting soils in the crawl space. This is not the solution you need!

AquaGuard Foundation Solutions is your local crawl space structural support contractors

Don’t let the floors sink and sag above your crawl space – if ignored, larger more devastating problems may form. With a simple call to AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we’ll have one of our in-house foundation specialists at your home in no time. We’ll let you know what’s causing the foundation problems around the home and the most appropriate solution to fix it.

Our crawl space stabilization system is a permanent and warrantied solution that will alleviate you and your loved ones away from any foundation problem you’ve been experiencing.

We offer free crawl space structural repair quotes to homeowners in the Georgia area. Our service area includes Atlanta, Marietta, Decatur, and nearby areas such as Alpharetta, Lawrenceville, Sandy Springs, Norcross, Stone Mountain, Gainesville, Roswell, Athens.

AquaGuard Foundation Solutions | 875 Pickens Industrial Dr | Marietta, GA 30062 | (770) 415-2030