Foundation Problems Case Studies: Crawlspace Repair - Goffstown, New Hampshire
The owners of this early 20th century home in Goffstown, NH were dealing with settlement and sagging floors. Over the years, the floors and beams gradually got worse, leading to doors in the home not working properly as well as unsafe, sloping floors. As they lived on a busy street, the homeowners also noticed the house shook a lot when large trucks or heavy vehicles drove by.
Upon inspecting the crawlspace, there were several rotten beams and wooden supports, as well as a number of sunken cinder block supports. The main section of the crawlspace was about 14' by 16' with 4' high clearance, with a couple narrow outlets as well, one extending out 10' by 6', the other out 14' by 8', both with about 3' clearance for height. Overall, it was a large space requiring lots of additional support to solve the problem.
While inspecting the crawlspace, the air was incredibly dusty, as the dirt floor was dry and rapidly spreading up into the air. This meant lots of dust and unwanted particles were also rising up into the home above. While this wasn't why the homeowners initially reached out for repairs, they also realized this was a problem needing a fix as well. The homeowners commented that over the years they did have electricians and plumbers make repairs in the crawlspace, and working down there for them was very difficult due to the loose soil and dusty air. By encapsulating the floor, this would solve that problem in the future.
Lastly, in an effort to help keep the floors and home warmer, the homeowners also requested a wall foam spray to be installed in the crawlspace along the perimeter foundation walls. The spray foam would act as an insulator, keep the older foundation wall from losing any integrity and crumbling, and also assist in keeping out any unwanted critters that may have been creating holes in the foundation walls.
Erickson Foundation Supportworks proposed installing SmartJacks throughout the crawlspace to support the beams and floor joists. In addition to the SmartJacks, steel I-beams were used to connect the floor joists and better support the entire structure. 14 SmartJacks were installed to accomplish the needed stabilization. The homeowners commented immediately when they noticed their home was not shaking any longer now that the floor beams were permanently stabilized. They also noticed the doors above the SmartJacks and steel beams were operating properly, which was one of the desired effects.
Once the support posts were completed, the next step was to layout and install the crawlspace encapsulation. As there were three distinct sections to the crawlspace, the material was cut into three large pieces and installed one piece at a time. High quality seal tape was used to adjoin the pieces, as well as around the base of the SmartJacks and other exposed areas in the crawlspace. There was an immediate difference in the air quality, as the dust was contained beneath the encapsulating material.
The final step was to spray the walls with foam. As the walls were being encapsulated with the foam, there was no reason to tape the seam of the encapsulating material extending from the floor and up the wall, as it would later be fully contained and sealed within the foam.
All in all, the SmartJacks were successful in permanently stabilizing the floor joists and beams, the crawlspace floor was now clean and encapsulated, and the spray foam on the walls was helping to insulate and keep the entire home warmer.
Installing Contractor: Erickson Foundation Supportworks
Inspector: Rob Castle
Products Installed: 14 SmartJacks, CleanSpace Encapsulation, Wall Spray Foam
Installation Crew: Chris Ouellette, Niles Erickson