You have a crawl space-style home or mobile home and recently experienced high winds or a tornado. Your home has been moved or shifted off of its foundation and now you need to figure out how to get it put back in place. Where to even start??
First off, we are so sorry that this has happened to your home. We truly hope that you and your family are okay.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we do have a lot of experience (1,000+ homes’ worth) in repairing block and base crawl space homes in the Brazos Valley area. Our repair services are unfortunately not quite what you are going to need in the instance of a tornado moving a home from its foundation.
But we still want to help get you pointed in the right direction at this difficult time.
This article will explain what is needed to move a home back to its original position after being shifted by a high wind event. We will also explain what we can and can’t do to help and who might be better able to assist you.
Is a Home Shifted by a Tornado Safe to Live In?
First things first, if a home has been moved off of its foundation into another position, make sure that no drain lines, water supply pipes, gas lines, or other conduits under the home have been compromised. Broken plumbing lines are something you would certainly want to fix.
A ruptured gas line would be your biggest safety concern to address immediately.
But in general, if a home has moved a few inches from its original location and all your pipes are intact, it should still be safe to live in until it can be moved back.
The twisting/shearing forces acting on your home in this shifted state create a safety risk making it a bit more vulnerable to damage if another wind event occurs. The chances of another tornado happening soon are slim, but we do live in Texas so even though it’s relatively safe for now, the issue should still be addressed soon.
Can a Foundation Repair Company Shift a Home Back in Place?
Anchor Foundation Repair cannot move a home that has been displaced by a tornado. Most foundation repair companies, including ours, specialize in raising and leveling homes and can only move homes vertically. Straight up and down is what we do.
We use bottle jacks that lift from underneath and they only go up and down. These tools can’t push things sideways. We can move a home up 6 inches up or down, but sideways is a whole other thing that requires special equipment to be done safely.
Now, there could be some foundation repair companies out there that do this sort of service, but not Anchor Foundation Repair at this time.
But why can’t we do it? The equipment needed to safely move a home horizontally in any way is totally different than what is used for lifting a home vertically. What is needed for shifting a block and base home that has been moved by a tornado is something that can literally pick it up and set it back down in another spot.
Typically, the equipment used for this sort of thing acts *kinda like* a giant forklift with long steel beams placed under your entire home to lift it, move it to a different position, then set it down again.
We don’t have that kind of equipment or expertise – that’s a house mover’s department.
There could be twisting or shearing forces being applied to your framing and foundation with tornado-induced movement. Even if we attempted to raise your home the only way we can (vertically), it could create further issues because of the twist that needs to be untwisted by the act of being lifted and set back down again. Vertical raising cannot help get the twist out.
Can Foundation Repair Put a Shifted Mobile Home Back?
Anchor Foundation Repair can’t handle mobile home issues like this either. There is more special equipment involved with mobile homes that we don’t have or know how to use.
If you have a mobile or manufactured home, then your best bet is to seek help from a company that specializes in those types of homes. We have an article that offers a list of mobile home companies serving the BCS and Brazos Valley area that you can reach out to for help.
Find a House Mover In the Brazos Valley Area
So most likely, you now know that a house mover is your best helper with the issue of a tornado-pushed crawl space home. So you’re thinking, do we know of any house movers in the area? Yes, there are a few out there in our area. We don’t have too many options as house moving is not a big business these days. Try one of the following:
Dell Crenshaw • (979) 218-2081 • Bryan, TX
Murley House Moving & Leveling Company • (936) 672-0956 • Conroe, TX
Yoakum House Moving Inc. • (979) 836-2043 • Brenham, TX
Please note that we do not get any benefit or kickbacks from referring you to these folks, just being helpful by listing some house movers that we know of in the area.
What CAN a Foundation Repair Team Do For a Shifted Home?
Your home might not be well-supported if it has come off the foundation structure even a little. Being left in an unsupported (and possibly twisted) condition could cause further damage to walls or other parts of the home. So you don’t want to leave it that way forever as it might cause more problems.
If a section of the shifted home is lacking support due to lifting from tornadic winds, a foundation repair company can step in to provide some temporary piers.
Anchor Foundation Repair can certainly help out with stabilizing any part of the structure that finds itself with nothing under it for the short term. This quick fix can give you peace of mind while you are waiting on insurance and/or a house moving company to handle the problem more permanently.
It Might Be Possible To Leave the Home in the New Location
This is just a thought, but if the home has moved only a little you might consider not getting a house mover and just accepting the new position for the home. Besides uncompromised pipes and conduits, you would also want to make sure that:
- All doors are opening and closing/latching as normal,
- All windows can open and close as normal,
- All cabinets, built-ins, and trim are still aligned with the walls as before, and
- That no obvious twisting or shearing is taking place in the walls or ceiling.
If all those things are satisfactory to you, then a foundation repair company could also come in and add the needed new foundational support in a more permanent way. So instead of doing a temporary thing, we could do it the way we would normally do for crawl space home foundation repair. Remember, it’s just a thought and might not apply very often.
What Does Regular Crawl Space Foundation Repair Mean?
Well, this is really our department here. Whenever you need your block and base or pier and beam foundation raised and leveled due to foundation settlement or wood decay, we’re the company for the job.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been raising, stabilizing, and leveling home foundations in Bryan, College Station, and other Brazos Valley communities like Madisonville and Caldwell since 1985. We will be the first to tell you if we can help you or if we think someone else can serve you better.
Once you get that home back in place by a house mover or mobile home expert, let us know if you ever need to understand and fix damage to your pier and beam foundation caused by less extreme forces than tornadoes. We absolutely wish you the best until then.