Lifting/raising a wall?

Discussion in 'Walls and Ceilings' started by 1shotbob, Nov 1, 2016.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating:

  1. Nov 1, 2016 #1

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I’m not sure if this should go here or under foundation problems, but here goes any way.

    My foundation/slab has settled. I foolishly allowed someone to lift the foundation. So now the slab is down/settled. When they raised the foundation it lifted to exterior walls (which are load-bearing). Now the inside walls are falling, leaving cracks at the top. I already had gaps at the floor due to the raising of the foundation. Now all of my door frames are out of square and doors won’t close.

    What do I do? I feel like raising the wall and shimming them up will put everything back into square. Will it? And how do I do that?
    What else can I do other than gut the house and start over?

    bob
     
  2. Nov 1, 2016 #2

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    700
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
  3. Nov 1, 2016 #3

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    24,677
    Likes Received:
    3,348
    Location:
    Chiliwack BC Canada
    Welcome Bob, sorry about your mess. This is ugly with out a photo.

    At a quick read it sounds like things are changing, you didn't give us a time line. We have had a similar problem here with a house in a flood zone.
    When the land dried out the foundation would go down and a few month later it would be fine and when it rained the foundation would raise again and after a will the slab would catch up.

    As the homeowners where tight for money they let it go for a couple years so they had a good history and solved it with drainage. Eventually the house settled really close to level at the lowest spot.

    So what are the soil conditions and over how much time has this been happening
     
  4. Nov 1, 2016 #4

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    The house was built in ’72. It was built on a landfill where the previous curbs and debris were buried. It settles a lot, but seems to be settling in lately.
    The piering was done about 10 years ago. At that time they raised the foundation enough to break a few water lines loose and crack the inner walls of the house. They did noting about closing the outer cracks.
    Over the last 5 years or so the walls started to pull downward (assuming from the weight of the walls themselves) and I am seeing cracks between the wall and ceiling (see pics). There is also a space between the floor and wall near the foundation that is big enough for me to reach under the wall and into the other room (no pics). I have hidden those spaces with baseboard.
    The doors in the hallway (furthest from the outside walls) will not close. I thought about squaring them up, but that doesn’t solve the problem.
    Is there a way to jack up the walls and shim them?

    IMG_0831.jpg

    IMG_0833.jpg
     
  5. Nov 1, 2016 #5

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    24,677
    Likes Received:
    3,348
    Location:
    Chiliwack BC Canada
    http://www.houserepairtalk.com/showthread.php?t=19580

    I have done this before and you can go read that thread.
    As your house has a chance of moving more I would also make it so it could be adjusted again and again with much less effort the next times
    For starters you will need a reasonable priced laser that will show a level line so you can map the house About $80. You may need a small tripod to go with that.
    With that you mark the level on all the wall and measure from that line to the floor noting the difference from the height of the laser to the height of all the walls to the floor.
    All walls interior and exterior.

    Questions?
     
  6. Nov 1, 2016 #6

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    The only walls that need adjusted are the inside walls. All of the outside walls have been done already. That is what has caused this problem.
    What I thought I could do is jack up the interior walls to match the height of the previously-raised outside walls.
    Or did I read your post wrong?

    I know I should go the mud-pack route, but I just can’t afford that right now. I’m looking for a cheaper solution.
     
  7. Nov 1, 2016 #7

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    24,677
    Likes Received:
    3,348
    Location:
    Chiliwack BC Canada
    Agreed, I just want to know that the outside walls are level and will give us a good reference point.
    All available information is a good surprise inhibitor.
    So is there an upstairs?
    What type of roof,,, concrete tile?
    Roof structure, factory trusses or hand framed, can you tell the difference?
     
  8. Nov 1, 2016 #8

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Single story house.
    3 tab Shingled roof.
    Factory trusses, the only load-bearing walls are the outside walls.
     
  9. Nov 1, 2016 #9

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    24,677
    Likes Received:
    3,348
    Location:
    Chiliwack BC Canada
    All good news, shims might be the trick.

    Floor will the bottom plate of the wall be below the level of the finished floor, that will give us something to think about.
    If you can shim it you will have to locate every stud so a stud finder will be handy, if we can shim it with out digging into walls.

    You might find that the floor is level. It is common practice to nail the trusses to the interior wall and that is what it pulling the walls up.
    But trusses do change shape with moisture so they are really not supposed to be nailed to the walls.
    We do want to know that we are solving the right problem.:)
     
  10. Nov 2, 2016 #10

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    700
    The interior walls will be anchored in some manner and you will probably have difficulty squaring you door openings, by lifting the walls, without breaking those anchors points.
     
  11. Nov 2, 2016 #11

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    All of my floors are stained concrete.
    I can locate the studs.
    The floor is not level. A water leak not long ago showed water running to the south end of the house, and the walls in question also run north/south.

    The walls were at one time anchored to the floor with nails. They broke long ago and when I moved in the walls swayed badly. They do not any more.
    I hope it's not just sheetrock mud and tape securing the walls to the trusses.

    How would I get under the wall to lift it? I plan on using a 20 ton hydraulic jack to do the lifting.
     
  12. Nov 2, 2016 #12

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    24,677
    Likes Received:
    3,348
    Location:
    Chiliwack BC Canada
    Lifting the walls with wedges will be easy enough.

    There is just a bunch of stuff we don't know like was the floor perfectly level when new, has the foundation moved again for what ever reason.

    Some things we do know.
    The walls should not have moved for any reason, they should have been fastened down and cracks should be at the ceiling joint.
    What is holding them up is the two toe nails thru each truss into every interior wall.

    The reason I want levels is to see just how bad it is and then measure all ceiling height to make sure it is level. If the ceiling is crowned over the wall in the center then you have truss lift or both problems.
    If you were to lift the wall to high and get into truss lift space, when they change with the seasons another problem will show up.
    I just like to get it right the first time or at least try to figure everything out and take the best guess.

    There is a possibility that it was the same problem when the foundation went down. if the trusses bowed down they could have lifted the outside walls.

    It will be easiest if I am wrong but hummer me, lets get all the info before you start.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  13. Nov 2, 2016 #13

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    1shotbob

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have no idea if the floors were level when the house was built, but I assume they were closer than they are now.
    They are not level now as I can lay a marble in the hallway and it will roll toward the south end o the house. The ceilings reflect this as far as the separation goes.

    bob
     
  14. Nov 2, 2016 #14

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    24,677
    Likes Received:
    3,348
    Location:
    Chiliwack BC Canada
    Bob: I have no doubt that the floor has sagged. And I am sure that you could shim the walls as you first suggested and that likely will be the fix.
    BUT The trick is to do a repair that doesn't cause new damage down thew road.
    It is not all or even many houses that suffer truss lift. It is a seasonal thing and it is not something you have been thinking about so you would not have noticed changes that would indicate that.
    The only way that you can protect yourself from further damage it the level the top of the walls with the outside walls or an average between opposing walls or tweak the outside wall to level too if needed.
    Let's look at the floor.
    Sagged, most likely or poor installation or both.
    1. Sagged. No support below, as no cracks have been talked about the floor is flexing and holding together but actual support for more loading is unknown at this time.
    AS the house was built on questionable landfill large voids are a possibility and should be looked for in areas of the lift.
    2 The older the house the better we could expect the floor to be installed level, Somewhere along the way, they quit installing screed boards and left it to installers to eye it level and that seldom is really good.
    3. Actual construction, two types of construction may have used.
    3a. install foundation build exterior walls and install roof make house water tight, install floor and cut studs to fit from floor to ceiling trusses.
    3a1. ignore the height of the trusses and use pre cut studs,( this one is doubt full has we can see how well the trusses were nailed to the walls)
    3b foundation, floor and build all the walls on that.
    3b1 cut all studs to make sure all walls are level.
    3b2 ignore levels and just build with pre cut studs.
    All that said, my biggest concern is the floor, that is a very expensive detail in the whole story.
    Just an extreme example that I have seen.
    WE were asked to frame in a basement but it had a sag which seemed to be a circle about 10 ft across and the middle was one inch low. We would and did sort of ignored that but the plumber came in first to cut the floor for plumbing pipes. they found that that whole area had a void below that was 4" of nothing holding up the floor. Left alone the floor would have broke and if we had finished the basement by cutting the studs to fit we would have precluded ever fixing it properly.
    After that we we were in the habit of just taping the floors with a hammer to look for voids.
     
  15. Nov 2, 2016 #15

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    700
    No matter what method you employ to lift the walls and square the doorways, it's inevitable that you will have drywall damage to repair because you'll need to anchor the walls.

    There are a number of large bars and wood blocks to minimize the damage to your floors when lifting away from doorways, where you would employ a jack.
     

Share This Page