Slab Lifts : Elevation of a Slab Home New Jersey
The elevation of a slab home requires some of the same processes as a pier and beam home. Level readings are taken and used to keep the home level during the lift process as with a pier and beam home. From there, there are notable differences in the process as follows:
- If the slab has existing pilings beneath it, they would need to be dug up and each piling exposed, using each one as either a lifting point or a shim. Tunnels are dug under the home to expose the concrete footings where pilings would also exist. As with the perimeter, those pilings are used as jacking points and shims.
- If the home does not have existing pilings or if the existing pilings are inadequate or have unacceptable spans they will need push segmented pilings to refusal (This is a point at which level piling operation can no longer be continued into the earth without lifting or breaking the structure above.)
Because the slab forms the floor of the house, and occasionally the foundation as well, elevating the house is easier if the house and slab are lifted together. But this technique is more difficult than that used for houses on basement and crawlspace foundations and should be performed only by a highly skilled contractor with extensive experience in lifting slab-on-grade houses.
The wire mesh in the slab is intended to prevent shrinkage cracking during the original construction of the slab and is not intended to provide structural strength. As a result, the hue lifter must take extreme care during the lifting process to avoid breaking the slab and compromising the structural integrity of the house. The elevation process is similar to that used for houses on basement and crawlspace foundations, except that the I-beams must be placed below the slab, which is at ground level. So, the house lifter must dig trenches at intervals around the foundation, and tunnel under the slab. The I-beams are lowered into the trenches and moved into place beneath the slab through the tunnels. The house lifter must also dig holes for the lifting jacks because they have to be placed below the beams. Once the beams and jacks are in place, the lifting process can begin.