That’s Jacked Up!

And it’s a good thing, because these “jacks” are structural. Adjustable steel columns are often used in basements and are structural support for a building. These columns are usually adjustable by means of a simple screw or thread used to make adjustments.

There are a couple of things to look for. First, look for signs of corrosion. These should be fully coated with rust stopping paint unless it’s steel that is designed to be corrosion resistant. Another of thing to look for is whether or not the column is straight. Yeah… that should be pretty obvious and easy to identify, but worth mentioning. Of course, just sticking a column between the floor and a beam above isn’t enough – it needs to be mechanically fixed to both.

Something else to look for is its with. IRC states that these should be at least 3” columns. However, these are structural columns, so although that is a minimum, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is enough, a structural engineer has to make that determination.

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