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What is the Cost of Adding Jacks in Your Crawl Space?

Crawl Space Repair

05/03/2024

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The total cost of adding jacks to your crawl space varies depending on the cost of the jacks, your crawl space requirements, and other factors including your geographical location. Therefore, without an inspection we can’t say for sure how much it will cost to add jacks in your crawl space.

A crawl space jack is an adjustable element that strengthens your crawl space. Crawl space jacks come in several forms and sizes, but they all serve a similar purpose.

Why Do Crawl Spaces Sometimes Lack Support?

  1. Wood rot: Most elements of your crawl space consist of wood. Unfortunately, when excessive moisture is present, wood is highly susceptible to rot and decay. As this issue occurs, you can expect your structures to fail and your crawl space to lack full support.
  2. Faulty or missing structures: Missing or unevenly spaced joists can result in a weak crawl space. Additionally, your crawl space may lack a sufficient number of support columns, adding to its instability.
  3. Differential settlement: A moderate amount of uniform foundation settlement is pretty common, and even though it can result in slight structural inefficiencies, it is usually not something to worry about. However, differential settlement is a different issue. Differential settlement occurs when your foundation experiences uneven shifts. When differential foundation settlement occurs, your crawl space may lack support. Additionally, you may notice signs of differential settlement throughout all levels of your home.

What is a Crawl Space Jack?

A crawl space jack is an adjustable element that strengthens your crawl space. Crawl space jacks come in several forms and sizes, but they all serve a similar purpose. Your crawl space will typically require multiple crawl space jacks to receive the support it needs. Additionally, hiring a crawl space professional to install these jacks is essential.

A crawl space jack is an adjustable element that strengthens your crawl space. Crawl space jacks come in several forms and sizes, but they all serve a similar purpose.

Other Ways to Add Support to a Crawl Space

Beyond adding crawl space jacks, there are two main ways to increase the stability of a crawl space. Those two methods are the addition of joists or beams and installing cross-bridging, which we will describe below.

Adding Cross-Bridging to a Crawl Space

Another way to improve the strength of your crawl space is to install cross-bridging. Cross-briding consists of small wooden pieces that form an “x” shape between your crawl space joists.

While these cross-bridging pieces appear small, they can provide immense stability to your crawl space and floor. They also ensure that lack of support won’t be an issue for your crawl space in the future.

Adding Joists or Beams to a Crawl Space

Sometimes, the floor that your crawl space supports lacks strength because it doesn’t have enough joists or beams. Joists sit on top of beams, which run perpendicular to the joists.See the illustration below.

The builder who created your crawl space and floors may have placed an incorrect amount of joists or beams. Additionally, they may have improperly spaced your joists or beams. In either case, a common solution is to hire a crawl space technician to install more joists or beams. Adding these elements increases the strength of your floor and crawl space.

a common solution is to hire a crawl space technician to install more joists or beams. Adding these elements increases the strength of your floor and crawl space.

Symptoms of Lack of Crawl Space Support

  1. Sloping floors: Lack of crawl space support can cause your floors to begin sloping. If the floor directly above your crawl space has a pitch, there is an excellent chance that your crawl space needs more support.
  2. Broken or deformed floorboards: Poor support from a foundation can also cause a floorboard to become broken or deformed. While this symptom can indicate an issue with the floor itself, it may also be a sign of crawl space damage.
  3. Cracks in the wall: A lack of crawl space support can also cause cracks in your walls. These cracks may appear in the foundation or in a wall at any level of your home.
  4. Jammed windows: When your crawl space begins to fail, you can expect the windows in your home to be challenging to open and close.
  5. Stuck doors: Like jammed windows, doors can also get stuck following damage to a crawl space’s support system.

Sloping floors: Lack of crawl space support can cause your floors to begin sloping. If the floor directly above your crawl space has a pitch, there is an excellent chance that your crawl space needs more support.

How to Help Prevent Crawl Space Issues

While crawl space issues can arise from many sources, several ways exist to prevent them. Below are a few examples of common tactics homeowners and crawl space professionals can use to keep foundations intact:

  • Keep gutters clean: Clogged gutters can cause water to flow over their sides. Often, this water lands near a crawl space, seeps inside, and causes many issues. Fortunately, keeping gutters clean can help prevent this issue from occurring.
  • Install downspout extensions: When gutter downspouts are too short, they deposit water near a foundation, which can become problematic. Extensions allow your downspouts to move the water away from your home.
  • Grade the land: The land surrounding your home should have a distinct pitch away from the foundation, encouraging rainwater to flow in that direction and not toward your crawl space.
  • Encapsulate your crawl space: Crawl space encapsulation is one of the most effective ways to preserve a crawl space. This service creates a complete seal that protects your foundation’s interior spaces and utilities.
  • Provide support in advance: Homeowners often choose to add crawl space support after damage has already occurred. Sometimes, adding support in advance is the ideal way to prevent this damage. A professional-level inspection is often the only way to know if this service is best for you.

Should You Add Support to Your Crawl Space on Your Own?

Since each crawl space jack costs a fair amount of money, it is tempting for many homeowners to take a DIY approach to adding crawl space support. However, we cannot recommend this approach. Attempting to add support to a foundation area without experience is dangerous and unlikely to be successful.

A better approach to this task is to hire a professional to do the work for you. The correct professional will diagnose any problem existing in your crawl space. They will also know what the best solution for your crawl space is and have the ability to provide that service for you.

Get Crawl Space Help from a Professional Near You

Repairing or enhancing the strength of a crawl space alone is not a wise decision. Instead, finding a foundation professional near you with extensive experience with crawl space issues is much better. Hiring a professional is the only way to ensure your crawl space remains intact and strong.

Do you live in the Triangle, Triad, or anywhere in Eastern North Carolina? If so, Regional Foundation & Crawl Space Repair is the team to select any time you have an issue with your crawl space. We have repaired many crawl spaces in the past and are willing to help you. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer.