Friday, January 22, 2010

Jacking Up The House AKA The Constant Thrill of Home Ownership

I know this is going to seem strange to many of you, but today we had our house jacked up. Homes in this area are built on concrete slabs. Our soil is made up of mostly clay or "gumbo" as some call it. The soil expands and contracts with moisture and this eventually causes the slab to crack as it rises and falls. I've been told that this happens to approximately 50% of the homes sooner or later. I think it usually takes around 20 years or so for the cracks to appear, so new homes are safe for a while.

Our house needed to be jacked up again along the back. We have a lot of trees and they cause the soil to dry out even faster than normal. We're not about to cut trees down, so we have to have the house jacked up. During the summer we run soaker hoses around the perimeter of the house in hopes of keeping the soil from drying out under the slab. Unfortunately, last summer was very dry and it was a losing battle.

First they bring in jack hammers and open up any concrete. Then they dig holes next to where the piers hold up the slab. The piers were put in under the slab the first time the house was jacked up.

Then they position their jacks.

A man climbs in each hole and they jack up the house.

One of the men comes inside with a long level and keeps checking until the house is back where it belongs.

When they get done they take out their jacks and I believe it's then held up by concrete blocks. They fill in the holes, pour more concrete, and put the deck all back together again.

We knew the house needed to be jacked up because a couple of doors were sticking and some cracks opened up in the drywall. Within about five house everything was level again.


  1. omg Betty what an ordeal. I feel for you.

  2. That seems kind of annoying. The one and the ONLY thing I like about living in an apartment is we never have to pay for repairs or updates. Don't get me wrong, you know how much I want a house :(

    Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing

  3. as bad as that is and as bad as that sounds...the alternative is horrible, so glad you were able to do this!


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