Lifting a house? Well, that seems pretty much impossible, isn’t it?
How do you lift a house with a several tonnes of brick and concrete and then replace the foundation?
The answer we will find out in this article. But for the time being, let us assume that your house can be lifted.
So what are the reasons to lift a house?
Lifting a house using various equipment like China hydraulic pancake jack can be done because you want to replace the existing foundation. Over the years what happens is that the foundation of your building withers away due to moist soil and shrinking of soil all of which are natural phenomena.
Foundations of houses especially those that are laid over clayey soils tend to shrink when the moisture is sucked out.
This can happen during the summer season or the drought season where the summers are intense and long.
As a result, what happens is that your house tends to sink into the soil a bit. This is not something that you can observe and notice in one day or one year. This happens over some time say a few years or even a decade.
But the problem is that the entire soil on which the house foundation has been laid does not shrink evenly all over.
Sometimes due to the varying quality of the soil shrinkage might happen more in some areas while less in other areas.
Due to this your house structure or the foundations may be uneven with some parts sunken deep than the others.
This is one of the primary concerns as this can lower the structural stability of your house to natural disasters like earthquakes.
House lifting can also be done for other reasons
One of them is elevating your house. Yes, elevating your house can be a big advantage especially if you live in flood-prone areas. Over the years the extent and severity of natural disasters have increased giving rise for people to elevate their houses.
The other reason would be to add a basement floor. Suppose that you need a basement floor in your house which can act as a storage room. How do you do it? The answer is by lifting your house.
How do you lift a house?
So now that you have understood why someone might want to lift their house let’s now find out how this engineering marvel is achieved.
Lifting a house for its foundation upliftment is done using a process called piercing. Within this technique, you make use of vertical piers and insert them deep beneath the soil and underneath the sunken part of the foundation of your house.
There is a China hydraulic pancake jack that lifts the sunken foundation. It is then replaced by concrete blocks.
During this process, the cracks in the foundations are often closed during the process.
This technique works as there is no danger of the concrete blocks sinking further as they generally rest on bedrock or a stable soil that is equipped to handle the high pressure.
Now, from here on further shrinkage in the soil does not affect the sink the foundations as they are resting on piers.
Structural engineers and architects depending on the structure of the house and other parameters will choose the pier type that can hold the foundation in its place for years.
There are generally three common materials used for this purpose and these include-
As the name suggests here concrete blocks are placed one over another until the desired height is reached. The concrete blocks are tied to each other by cabling to provide firm support.
The steel piers consist of structural steel tubes that are interlocked among one another and this is pushed to the ground below until solid support is obtained.
Again, the pipe sections are used to secure using cables.
This technique is slightly different and there are no piers used in this process. Instead what happens is that drilling is done on the ground and the foundation is refilled with concrete rather than pressing in pier sections.
What is the benefit of piering?
This technique of repairing the sunken foundations has some benefits that surely are highly effective. Such is the benefit that this process is sometimes used over replacing the sunken foundation.
This is because the replaced foundation will still be resting on the shrinking soil and this is not the ideal permanent solution to the problem.
But using the piering technique that has China hydraulic pancake jack, the piers support the foundation and ensures its stability of the foundation. Thus the foundation does not sink further with the change in the moisture levels of the soil.
But sometimes replacing the foundations is a better idea too. This is because over the years the constant shrinking and expansion process of the soil which takes place in the hot summer months and the rainy seasons respectively can cause lots of cracks and crevices leading to structural weakness of the foundation.
It is better to replace the damaged foundation and put in place new foundations altogether.
Whatever is the thing that you are looking at you must be ensuring that a highly certified and expert engineer or contractor is hired for this job. There is no doubt that replacing the foundations of a house is not easy in itself.
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