Lifting a home's foundation isn't as easy as it sounds. Check that, it doesn't sound easy. A home's foundation is a very rigid structural piece of the make up of your home's anatomy. So when you go to lift a home you can get a variety of scenarios, most will result in bad results if you have an inexperienced person or company trying to perform the lift.
First thing to look at when you are lifting a home is to know exactly what the expectations are for the amount of lift that you are wanting to achieve. We do this by measuring the floor of the home. Once we determine which areas of the home has settled we can then design a repair utilizing piers in the area that has been affected.
Once we have installed all of the piers in the area that we are wanting to lift, we will set up lifting apparatuses at each pier location. Each apparatus will include a lifting head and a hydraulic cylinder. We hook all of these stations up to one centralized pump and then we start the lifting process.
This is where it can get tricky. You will need to check off the following items when you are performing a lift:
1. Confirm the amount of lift for each location
2. Monitor and measure all locations during the lifting process
3. Shut off lift locations once the desired lift has been achieved
4. Lock all locations off once house has been lifted to the desired elevation
Now during the lifting part of the home there can be a few items that may hinder the overall lifting process. We have ran into such things as deepened pad footings around the perimeter, perviously installed pier systems, and caissons. All of these can limit or attempt to hold down the home during the lifting process. If these are discovered we have to remove these items from their hold on the home to continue the lifting process. If they are not removed, the home will be stabilized from any further settlement and the load of the home will be transferred to the new pier system that has just been installed.
Now, running into these on homes are very rare, but it does happen. That is one of the major unknowns within our profession as a lot of these home's don't have building plans that we are able to review prior to this step in the process. At the end of the day we can lift almost any home, but there could always be those outlying scenarios that would inhibit us from doing so successfully.