Preparing for a House Lift

W.A. Building Movers & Contractors Inc. offers services such as house lifting, house moving, foundation leveling, underile installation. We operate in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Considering the regions we serve, since super storm Sandy, our #1 most requested service is house lifting.

 

In order to provide useful information to homeowners just starting out with their house lifting project, we’ve put together a few videos and articles of what to expect before, during and after a house lift. Read below or watch the video to learn more about how to prepare for a house lift.

“The first step here is you have to talk with your local and town officials. Tell them what you’re going to do, see the requirements see the steps that you’re going to put in place where you be able to provide the necessary items to be able to be basically approved to lift your home.

The next step is to visit with an architect get a set of drawings prepared to go to present the new foundation, new stairs and new utilities – basically every item you’re going to need for your house to be able to elevate it and also meet the new FEMA guidelines just prevent future flooding.

Once you have that in place you also will be contacting utility companies, you do have to have all utilities shut off including gas, electric, sewer and water. This can be a very long part of the process as some of the companies will letter that’s going to be needed to put into the town to be able to be approved to shut off your, basically shut off utilities and have your permits approved.

Once the permits approved we will be meeting with the homeowner/contractor whoever is going to be running the show out there to be able to go over the prep that’s going to be needed prior to lifting the home. That can be as simple as clearing a crawlspace, removing items in a garage clearing landscape that’s in front, detaching the home from the foundation, removing stairs or just a number of items.

Once those items are completed we can now come on site and do our preparation to lift the home.

 

For more information or questions feel free to contact us at info@wabuildingmovers.com or call our office at 908-654-8227. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Flood Mitigation: Knowing Your Risk

Water mitigation refers to the process of preventing the amount of damage that water can inflict on a surface after a flood or leak. Learning more about how flood mitigation works and why is essential to your home.

Residents might be hearing the term “water mitigation” being used frequently as they start to clean and restore their homes following a huge storm or water event.  Water mitigation refers to the process of preventing the amount of damage that water can inflict on a surface after a flood or leak. This procedure might be more significant than most people realize. Learning more about how water mitigation works and why it is essential if your home has undergone water damage is essential.




Flood Mitigation: Knowing Your Risk

Floods usually strike without warning. In the U.S., floods are the most common severe weather emergency. They can tear out trees and destroy buildings and bridges. With the construction of more roads, shopping malls, homes and businesses, the chance of flooding increases. This has caused millions of buildings to be damaged over the last several years. People have lost their homes and belongings, and they never saw it coming. Are you insured against such a hazard? Truth is, you can live miles away from water and still be a victim of flooding. In fact, over 20-percent of all flood insurance claims come from areas outside of high-risk flood zones. It doesn’t take much to damage your property. Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Fortunately, flood insurance is available to almost everyone. The National Flood Insurance Program defines a flood as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties, one of which is yours. Flooding can occur anywhere at any time of the year. Whether they result from flash floods, mudflows, snow melt or heavy rains, floods can devastate communities.

 

Flood Mitigation: Elevation

Elevation is the most effective way to dramatically reduce your flood insurance rate and keep it low into the future while protecting your home. If your home is in a special flood hazard area, the primary factor in determining your flood insurance rate is the difference between your home’s lowest floor elevation and the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). If you elevate your home above the BFE, you reduce your risk, which minimizes your premium. If you want to qualify for the low rate after an elevation, the space beneath your home can only be used for storage, parking and access. Also, If your home is elevated above the BFE, your living space and utilities will likely be above water in the event of a flood, keeping your property and your valuables safe from flood damage. If you choose to elevate, you must raise your home at least two feet above the BFE in order to account for uncertainties in the flood maps and anticipated sea level rise.

In addition to these elevating your home, there are also small flood proofing measures that you can take to help prevent, or minimize the impact of flooding to your home and its contents. A few examples include:

●      Elevate your furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home, if you live in a high flood risk area.

●      Install “check valves” to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.

●      When practical, homeowners can construct barriers (such as sandbagging) to stop floodwater from entering your home.

●      Seal walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds.

Homeowners around the nation have taken proactive measures, like these, to reduce their risk of damage from flooding. Proactive communities work on Flood Mitigation Services through a combination of flood control projects and good floodplain management activities. In addition, FEMA hazard mitigation grants across the country have helped homeowners and communities affected by flooding, prevent future damages.

The process of raising houses is done due to many factors and reasons. Flooding services can take care of your house very well because it has the team of experienced staff. The house lifting New Jersey is also done to add some extra space and helpful in future for any home.

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Foundation Leveling in New Jersey

Foundation settlement can lead to major structural problems within your home. Luckily there are ways to repair a concrete foundation without having to tear it out and start from scratch. There are two general classes of foundation repair: deep and shallow. Deep repairs involve underpinning while shallow repairs involve slab jacking. 

Do you have cracked walls? Doors that won’t close? Bulging floors? Any of these can be signs of foundation problems. Foundation settlement can lead to major structural problems within your home. Luckily there are ways to repair a concrete foundation without having to tear it out and start from scratch. Foundation settlement and movement requiring foundation repair can be caused by building on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils, or improper maintenance around foundations. “How do I know if my foundation is in need of repair?” you may ask. Here are the top 10 signs that you may have a foundation issue:

  1. Uneven or sloping floors
  2. Cracks in exterior or interior brick
  3. Displaced or cracked moldings
  4. Wall rotation
  5. Cracks in walls or bowing of walls
  6. Cracks in floor, tiles, or foundation
  7. Doors and windows that won’t open or close properly
  8. Separation of doors, windows, and garage doors
  9. Spaces between wall and ceiling, or floor
  10. Walls separating from house

If you spot cracks in your foundation, there’s no need to panic; what’s important is the nature of the cracks, because all foundations have a few. Hairline cracks are usually nothing to worry about; these are probably due to concrete shrinkage. Small cracks (1/16 inch wide) can be easily addressed by painting over with waterproof concrete paint – just make sure you check to make sure the paint hasn’t cracked. However, stair step cracks in masonry joints, a bulging wall or a crack bigger than ¼ inch are more problematic and may indicate moisture problems. In this case, you’ll need to talk to a Contractor or Builder who can advise you on what needs to be done. The most serious types of cracks are horizontal ones, which could mean that water-saturated soil from outside has frozen, expanded and broken into the foundation. A worst-case scenario could mean having to get a new foundation. Before doing anything, you would want to consult a Contractor or Builder to advise you on your options.

foundation-leveling_article

There are two general classes of foundation repair: deep and shallow. Deep repairs, sometimes referred to as underpinning, mostly involve pushing or screwing steel piers into the ground to transfer the support and lift structural elements of a foundation().  Shallow repairs can be used to address slab-on-grade foundations such as floating slab floors which have settled. Soil modification is a mid-depth repair typically performed in conjunction with shallow repairs.

  • Deep repairs are most frequently used for lifting concentrated loads, such as footings, and for bypassing unstable layers of soil which are causing recurrent problems with a foundation.  Deep foundation repairs or foundation leveling involve transferring the foundation’s weight to a different layer of ground than it was originally built to sit on. Helical Piers are screwed into the ground to transfer the weight of your foundation to a more stable layer of soil. The weight of the structure is transferred to the deep soil by the helices of the piers. Push piers are pushed into the ground against the weight of your foundation. Push piers are primarily designed to be end bearing, so they are pushed into the ground until the tip of the pier runs into a layer of soil hard enough to push against to lift the foundation. Push piers can either be eccentric (mounted on the side of a footing) or concentric (installed under the center of the foundation).
  • Shallow repairs are best for lifting non-concentrated loads such as slab floors.  There are two methods for performing a shallow foundation repair – Foam Jacking and Slab Jacking. Foam Jacking is used to raise and support slab portions of the foundation, such as interior floors. High density polyurethane is injected under the foundation, where it expands and pushes the foundation back into place. Slab Jacking is used to raise and support concrete slabs, generally outside. This method repairs settlement by injecting sand-based grout below the concrete to fill voids and raise the concrete.

If you’re ready to find a solution to your foundation issues, and house lifting in New Jersey give us a call at 908-654-8227 or email info@wabuildingmovers.com!

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Underpinning

There are many benefits to underpinning your foundation. For example, if your foundation is failing, this process can be used to strengthen and/or repair it. Underpinning can also be used to increase the depth of your basement, adding more space to your home. During the underpinning process, it also opens up the hidden mechanics of the home and makes them accessible for inspection, correction and improvement. This article expands on all of these benefits and more.

What considerations come into play to decide that your home’s foundation can benefit from the construction process of underpinning? It is either necessary to stabilize structural problems that have developed or it is desirable to meet a whole wish list of living space and economic requirements.

Foundation wall underpinning becomes a necessity when the existing foundation is shifting so dramatically and substantially that it is unable to safely support the house above it. In some cases, the original supporting construction was inadequate for the area climate, soil conditions or types. All or part of the original foundation rested on marginal land with a bearing capacity insufficient to hold up the building. In other cases, interference with the structural integrity of the foundation by people that tried to do it themselves and created the damage. Early warning signs include changes in the shape of walls, sinking, bulging or sagging, structural cracks, and discrepancies in the alignment of windows and doors. In all instances of underpinning necessity, professional assessment and design are required and the work must be done promptly before further damage or loss of investment can occur. Underpinning the foundation walls in all these cases stabilizes the home and gives increased strength to the building.

Now let’s talk about other reasons to underpin your foundation. First, the process of underpinning the foundation opens up the hidden mechanics of the home and makes them accessible for inspection, correction and improvement. As underpinning is usually undertaken in older homes, older household plumbing, electrical and insulation systems can be replaced or upgraded with modern technologies. All these can be brought up to Building Code and the most contemporary standards. Changes will have to be made to the waterproofing systems along with the underpinning so the life of the usable, dry space will be enhanced. Overall, you will see long term savings in energy, safety and comfort of the entire house. You also gain the benefits accruing to the necessity underpinning, namely, stabilization, improved strength and increased value.

Second, foundation underpinning dramatically alters the usability of the below ground space, up to fifty percent of the available room in your home. The vast majority of basements were originally conceived as a location for household mechanics.  Later, as laundry rooms, kids play rooms, and recreation rooms. Because of this, ceiling height and lights arose as concerns. These obstacles are removed by the engineered solution of underpinning. Greater headroom makes the space attractive to be in for a longer period of time as you don’t get that cramped, boxed in feeling.  Modern recessed lighting can be introduced to enhance attractiveness. In the process of opening up the basement for underpinning, unnecessary walls may be eliminated and bearing walls supported in different ways so that the basement is no longer a bunch of small dark rooms but can be open space for any function needed.

Successful underpinning requires proper design and proper installation of materials. Always be sure to call a qualified and licensed contractor who will be able to explain your options as well as explain the process. All in all, it is clear that whether your plans arise from necessity or adding more livable space, underpinning the foundation walls of your basement enhances the value of your home for yourself and future buyers.

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Underpinning – New Jersey

Underpinning is a method used to increase the foundation depth. It is the process of modifying an existing foundation system by extending it to or into subsurface strata that is deeper and more stable than the near surface soil that supports the existing foundation system. This is done to provide vertical support that is not present in the existing design. Methods of underpinning include the construction of footings, stem walls, driven piling or drilled piers.

Many of the houses that forensic engineers and repair contractors are asked to evaluate were constructed with foundations that are inadequate for the conditions existing on site. Because of the lack of suitable land, homes are often built on marginal land that has insufficient bearing capacity to support the substantial weight of a structure. Also, where surface soils consist predominantly of expansive clays that shrink and swell as their moisture content changes. As a result, underpinning is required to extend the foundation support to depths that provide greater bearing capacity and are less affected by climate, soil conditions and homeowner’s actions. This underpinning provides the basis to lift the structure to a more acceptable elevation and provides vertical support to prevent the underpinned area from settling.

There are a number of different types of underpinning, depending on the circumstances.

     ●      Mass Concrete underpinning is the most common method of underpinning. The ground below the existing building foundation is excavated in controlled stages (or pins). When strata suitable for bearing the weight of the building has been reached, the excavation is filled with concrete and left to cure before the next pin is excavated. Safe transfer of the building load to the new pin is achieved by ramming a dry sand cement packing mortar between new and old foundations.

●      Beam and Base underpinning is a more technically advanced adaptation.  A reinforced beam transfers the building load to mass concrete bases, the size and depth of which are dependent upon prevailing ground conditions and the applied loads of the building.

Mini-Piled underpinning is most suited to sites with variable ground conditions, restrictive access, or environmental pollution. It is used when foundation loads need to be transferred to stable soils at considerable depths.

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Foundation Support New Jersey

There are two common reasons for opting only to support a structure:

1.    You only need a small part of your foundation replaced but the rest of the house, additions or sections are fine and do not need to be lifted.

2.    You would like to turn your crawlspace or short basement into a full basement but do not want your house ending up at a higher elevation than what it is now.

Shoring is the provision of temporary support to buildings that are not safe or need to be supported while work is being done.  It is important that when cutting new openings in walls for doors and windows or replacing lintels above openings that these are not attempted without first supporting the building. If this work is done without suitable support there is a chance that the building may be damaged or even collapse.  There are a few different Shoring Methods that can be used: raking shores, flying shores and dead shores.

Raking Shores

Raking shores consist of inclined boritis called rakers. One end of the raker is placed against the wall whilst the other sits on the ground. They are used to support walls that have  begun to lean or bulge. The most effective support is given if the raker meets the wall at an angle of 60 to 70 degrees. In tightly packed areas like the Stone Town, this angle will be determined by the space available, and the width of the footway.When providing support to an unsafe building, it is often necessary to use both raking and dead shores together

Flying Shores

Flat boriti struts used to provide temporary support to two

parallel walls where one or both show signs of failure. The most common use for this kind of support in the Stone Town is where one house in a terrace has collapsed and some support has been lost to the houses on either side. For distances between walls of up to 9m or less, a single shore may be used. For distances up to 15m, a compound or double flying shore is needed. A single flying shore consists of a horizontal length of boritis set between the walls in need of support. The ends rest on needles set into the wall and are stiffened by inclined struts above and below at either end. The struts also provide added support to the walls and must be set to coincide with floors. As with the raking shore, timbers must be placed with care in order to avoid damage.

Dead Shores

Stout boritis placed vertically are used to support floor and roof slabs weakened by rotting boritis. They also form part of the support system needed before new openings can be cut through existing walls. Additionally, dead shores should be used to relieve damaged walls of much of the weight of floor slabs set into them. When used to support floors whilst new openings are cut through the walls the props support needles. Needles are very strong timbers or sections of steel placed right through the wall and at 90 to its face. The needle supports the weight of the work above and transmits it to the dead shore.

When using dead shores to support a failing floor or roof slab it is very important that all of the slabs to the rooms beneath are supported in the same way. This will ensure that the weight of the slab in need of support is carried right through the building and down to the ground. Any cellars or rooms below ground level must also be strutted. Shores are placed on sole plates of timber planking laid parallel to the walls and set about 1/3 of the width of the room in. The purpose of this is to spread the weight transmitted through each of the props over a wider area of slab and make it easier for the props in the rooms beneath to continue the load down to the ground.  Directly above the sole plates, heading boards must be nailed to the underside of the boritis of the slab above.

The shores themselves are placed between the two sets of horizontal planks and firmly tightened into position by driving home sets of folding wedges placed between the tops of the shores and the heading boards. The props, when in position, can be further strengthened by nailing planks diagonally across them, reducing any tendency to bend.

If this is something you are looking for foundation support in New Jersey, please call W.A. Building Movers for a free quote!

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Foundation Leveling – New Jersey

Over time your home’s foundation can begin to fail. There are numerous reasons that this is caused by including excess moisture, soil issues, a foundation that was not designed to support your homes weight effectively, and more. Your homes entire weight sits on its foundation, so it is very important that it’s solid, or it could sink or sag. Both interior and exterior damage can occur and become increasingly serious. If your home has cracks, doors and windows are sticking, gaps between the walls and the ceiling or floor, or if the home seems to be sinking or sagging, you may need to have your home leveled.

Each home is different and there are different ways to have a home leveled. If your home has a pier and beam foundation with dirt crawl space it will be a lot easier to level since it is much easier to access.  A few methods that are used with pier and beam foundations include:

●     Installing new piers along with a new concrete base and heavy duty steel or block supports.

●     Leveling the girders and joists beneath the home with jacks.

●     Sistering” fresh, high quality lumber to any damaged or rotted joists and girders.

●     Using steel I-beams to retrofit any damaged beams.

●     Reshimming

If your home sits on a slab your home can be leveled by:

●     Helical Piers

●     Drilled Bell Piers

●     Concrete Pilings and Piers

●     Resistance or Steel Push Piers

●     Mudjacking

Of course always getting down to the root of the problem is imperative, so that the problem doesn’t occur again. If you have foundation issues due to moisture related issues you need to find the leaks and potentially have to install a new water drainage system. In some cases, your home’s foundation just wasn’t adequate to hold the weight of your home. Working with the right company will help you ensure your home is safe and stable in the future. If you’re in New Jersey this may be an issue for your home and W.A. Building Movers has a foundation support New Jersey, New York, Connecticut or Pennsylvania,!

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