Most older homes on the North Shore eventually face problems with sagging floors or with doors and windows that stick regardless of any temporary repair. If the cause can be traced to inadequate or failing structural support in the basement, the solution may be to replace or add a post—a much less costly repair than rebuilding the foundation.
When a post stops bearing adequate weight, the most common causes are either wood rot from moisture seeping through the basement floor or a concrete footing that has sunk or deteriorated, and sometimes all of the above. In older homes, the concrete footing may be undersized compared to current standards.
At an updated Victorian home in Melrose, Massachusetts, built in 1900, we took on the task of shoring up the basement supports. First, the WORKS team obtained the required permits. Then we strengthened the main beam beam by installing a “sister” beam, running right alongside the original beam. After that, we set up temporary supports before dealing with the inadequate posts.
We jack-hammered the concrete floor of the basement and dug four holes for new posts. We made sure the new holes were level, sized right and based securely on undisturbed soil. To prevent wood rot from the basement damp, we selected lally columns instead of wood. Lally columns are tubular steel columns filled with concrete. We placed the new columns on metal plates over the new concrete footing. In the picture you can see both the temporary supports and one of the new lally columns. Now the home has the proper structural support to keep the floors from sagging.
If your home shows signs of sagging, please contact WORKS for an evaluation. We are dedicated to preserving the great old homes of Boston’s North Shore and have the experience to handle every structural quirk.