Foundations and House Raising

House raising NJ is a booming industry these days, thanks to the widespread flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy. This is the process by which a home is lifted up and a taller foundation is constructed underneath, allowed it to be raised above previous flood levels.

Because of the nature of these projects, one of the greatest challenges in a house raising project is working with foundations. After all, this what the entire project is built upon – quite literally!

For foundation work to begin while house raising in NJ, first the house itself has to be lifted. This is done with a series of pneumatic jacks placed at strategic positions underneath your home. Carefully coordinated by computer, these air-driven jacks are all activated at once to get the whole structure moving, then, with great care, each corner of the house is lifted an inch at a time. It is vital to ensure no one portion of the house is being lifted faster than another. This continues until the house is at its desired height.

Only at this point can foundation work begin. The structure will be held aloft in part by carefully structured piles of wood called helical piles. These help provide additional support. Helical piles are sometimes used to bolster a house suffering from a sinking foundation, since a sinking foundation can cause a number of problems to your home, including cracked walls, sloping floors, doors that close by themselves, windows sticking and more. In addition, if you live in an area prone to flooding or erosion, helical piles can also prove to be an effective preventative measure to secure your home – which is a big reason why you’re seeing them used so often during Hurricane Sandy related house lifting NJ.

It’s important that not just any contractor attempt a home lift. A project of that nature takes specialized skills and equipment. In addition, the equipment used is very important. When using helical piles, for instance, reputable firms will use Pier Tech Systems products or those like them to ensure a safe, secure lift that will last just as long as the house itself does.

In other cases, an entirely new foundation will be constructed. This will include pouring new concrete, laying down new block, and all else you associate with constructing a foundation. Coastal homeowners may not experience this, especially if their house is built on pilings, but inland houses, even those on the water (such as on lagoons and riverfronts), may have traditional concrete foundations. Some older waterfront homes may even be built on concrete pads, a situation you would never encounter with modern homes.

When all is said and done, a good contractor will take good care of your foundation when doing a house lift because while all the excitement is in the lift itself, the most important work is happening with the foundation. It is what the entire home rests on. If it’s not right, the job isn’t right.

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