Pier and beam foundations are considered the original foundation options for homes. While modern homes use concrete slabs, the fact is, pier and beam foundations are often just as stable and effective. Each foundation option has its own set of advantages. For example, the pier and beam foundations have an integrated crawl space worked into the design.
However, the foundation options also have their own unique requirements and potential problems. The repair process for concrete vs. pier and beam foundations is quite different. If the time comes for any type of repair work to be done, then hiring a company that knows what to do – and what not to do – is essential.
Signs of Damage with a Pier and Beam Foundation
There are a number of factors that can indicate a pier and beam foundation issue with your home. Some signs of a serious problem include:
- Moisture present in the crawl space.
- Mildew and mold on or around the beams.
- Unlevel window sills.
- Crooked door frames.
- Sagging floors.
These are just a few of the signs that damage to a pier and beam foundation is present; however, they can tell you quite a bit about the type of repair work that is needed.
Pier and Beam Foundation Damage Causes
The soil is the primary underlying cause of foundation issues for pier and beam foundations, as well as concrete foundations. Soil that is clay-laden will retain moisture and expand when wet then retract as it dries. This can create a situation where the piers that are supporting the beams are moved, creating instability or other problems. A “pulsing” of the soil may also create a number of foundation issues.
Preventing Serious Pier and Beam Foundation Damage
One of the best and most effective ways to prevent pier and beam foundation damage is to control drainage. If you are able to maintain the amount of moisture in the soil beneath and around your home, it will keep the foundation in good repair. Anytime you notice ponding or pooling water, it is an indication of inadequate drainage. When this is present, be sure to check the gutters and downspouts to make sure they are clear. These will work to move water away from the home. If there are any trouble areas close to your home, take some time to put in additional drainage control, such as trenches, French drains or swales.
This is especially important after you have repair work completed. If the problem is with poor drainage and the issue is not corrected, the same type of damage to the foundation will likely occur.
If you think your pier and beam foundation may be damaged, it is essential that you call for professional evaluation right away. At Pier Genius, we can evaluate the damage and determine the best course of action for repairs. Don’t ignore a problem, since it will only become worse as time passes.