LESLIE: Coming up, we have Thomas in Nevada who wants to know the purpose of a jack for house foundations.
Thomas, what are you working on?
THOMAS: Hi, Leslie. How are you?
LESLIE: I’m good. How are you?
THOMAS: Good. Well we’re (AUDIO GAP) a small house where it has a basement and it’s an old house. And it’s got a jack under the foundation; under the foundation on one side, it’s holding up.
TOM: You say it’s under the foundation. It’s physically under the foundation or it’s under the floor joist or something?
THOMAS: Probably the floor joist, yeah.
TOM: OK. And so you see a – is it a crawlspace or a basement?
THOMAS: It’s a basement. You can actually go downstairs.
TOM: Alright. And so you have a foundation all the way around the outside edge but this one area is held up by this jack?
THOMAS: That’s correct.
TOM: Alright. Well you have to go on the theory that it was put up there for a reason. And that’s why I kiddingly say don’t touch it. The reason could have been to support a bearing wall above it. If there’s no wall above it, if there’s just an area of the floor, then actually that’s even the best situation because that might have just been put there to take some bounce out of the floor. And if there’s no wall being supported above it, you can probably take the jack out.
THOMAS: Well they told me it’s kind of a permanent thing; just to leave it there.
TOM: Well, it really depends on what it’s supporting, OK Tom? You need to try to determine what’s on top of that. And if you’re not familiar enough with structure to do that, get somebody that is to give you that advice. When you bought the house, did you have a home inspection done?
THOMAS: Yes, I did.
TOM: Alright, and what did the home inspector tell you about that?
THOMAS: He wouldn’t think it was a big deal, he said. But I just wanted to get a second opinion on it.
TOM: OK. Well he’s an independent expert, so I would take that advice.
TOM: And he was there and saw it.
THOMAS: Yeah, well I wanted your expert advice also.
TOM: Well Tom, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.