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Jacking Up A Floor‏

Question: I have noticed the house settling really bad on one side. It is mainly the living room and back bedroom. It has gotten so bad that you can notice how it slopes down as you walk through the hall really bad. I have been going to work on the attic area and get it fixed up for livable space and just went up there to check things out and noticed even that space over the living room and back bedroom is also sloping really bad. So I went to the basement to see if I can find out what happened. And it really scared me.

The basement is kind of like a full basement where there is about the size of a room cemented in and can be walked around in. The heat and air unit and washer and dryer go down there. Well in 4 areas are these really heavy large poles that are screwed into the cement floor and go all the way up to the top to keep the floor level above. Well one of the post has gotten old and fallen out of the square thing it was in that is screwed to the floor. I don't think I can use any of the parts that have fallen since it is kind of damp down there at times when we get a lot of rain. So it is pretty much rusted out and ruined.

The other 3 still look like they are in good shape. But how do I get the floor leveled back out without that pole? I thought maybe I could get a really heavy board and beat it with a hammer until I get it in the area. But I don't know if that would work. And I know the jacks that are sold in the stores would never go that high. I could put some jacks back in the back where there is dirt that wasn't finished. It is just about 3 feet back there. Which is actually only about 4 feet from where the post was so it may work. If the dirt under the jack doesn't give, which it probably won't since it is like concrete back there it is so hard. But then I don't know if I have the strength to push on a jack and get it to go up and level the floor. Are they really hard to get up? I am really worried about the house staying this way too long. And I don't have a man around to help give me extra strength.

Answer: By "the jacks that are sold in stores" do you mean the ones for cars? Those are not tall enough, but there are special jacks used for houses that consist of a column with a built-in threaded extension that are used for jacking up basement beams. You install one next to the broken column and jack it up very slowly, over a period of several weeks, until the height is where it's supposed to be. Then you put in a new column to replace the jack. From the way you're talking, it doesn't sound as though this would be a do-it-yourself job for you, but a contractor could do it easily.