Pier and beam foundation is considered to be one of the best choices when it comes to home foundation.
However, no structure is completely perfect, and problems can and do occur.
Common Problems with Pier and Beam Foundations Include:
Decay or Damage to Wooden Beams or Joints
Decay or damage to wooden beams or wooden joists due to excessive moisture or termites. The most practical solution for this particular problem is to replace the damaged wood and re-shim.
Water-Induced Movement of Interior Piers
Water-induced movement of interior piers since interior beams are supported through wooden posts that are sunk into the ground or atop a concrete pad. This problem is preventable by simply making sure that the water does not get into the foundation. When the moisture is stable, one can re-shim.
Water-Induced Movement of Exterior Piers
Water-induced movement of exterior piers is also a common problem with pier and beam foundation repair. This can be solved through proper water drainage away from the exterior and by adding helical piers if required
Shim Failure Problems
Shim failure is also quite common in houses that have been shimmed with non-standard materials including plywood, sheet-rock, softwood or even cardboard. The ideal solution for this problem is to replace the inferior material with steel.
Inferior Construction Problems
Inferior construction could prove to be a big problem in the long-run as the structure would not have adequate load supporting ability and could even become damaged if another story is added. This can be solved by adding steel reinforcing beams and shim.
Sagging floors is another problem that commonly occurs either because of water-induced damage. This can be solved by installing shims, piers and foundation supports.
Collapsing Concrete Piers
Collapsing concrete piers which can make the foundation uneven and also cause cracks. It is important to stabilize the concrete piers if this situation occurs.
Interior Pier Cracks
Cracks in exterior piers which tend to occur when door frames get out of the kilter. This, in turn, occurs because the piers have given way and the beams are moving. This problem can be resolved by installing shims and putting in new beams. In addition, exterior piers can be replaced.
Poor Drainage System
Poor drainage system which could result in excess moisture and a damp crawlspace. This in turn negatively affects the structure of the pier and beams thus resulting in foundation damage.
Mold and Mildew Issues
Mold and mildew which can often ruin beams and joints.
Any of the problems highlighted above should never be ignored as this could result in further damage and more complications to the base structure. Not only that, any delay in dealing with these problems can make your home unstable and unsafe as foundation problems tend to get worse with time if action is not taken quickly.
Even if you are unsure of what the signs indicate, it is imperative that you get your home inspected so that any damage can be repaired immediately and the foundation of your home can be stabilized.
Since water damage is a major factor that could potentially cause pier and beam foundation problems, it is important to ensure protection from water damage.
This can be achieved by doing the following:
- Regularly cleaning out the gutters as this can prevent clogging by leaves, branches, rainwater and any other debris.
- Extending downspouts at least five feet away from the home as this will ensure that any rainwater is directed away from home thus preventing the accumulation of water.
- Installing a French drainage system as this is very effective in keeping water away from home.
Other solutions to pier and beam foundation problems replacing the affected wooden members. This is a complicated task and will require the services of a professional foundation repair company as they have the necessary skill and expertise to do it right.
Whatever you do, it is recommended that you do not neglect these signs and you contact the right professionals so that they can identify the core issues and go about finding the solutions as well as the foundation repair costs.
The biggest advantage of pier and beam foundation is that any issues can be resolved fairly easily granted they are identified at an early stage. But you do need to ensure that you get the right experts to evaluate the problem and you ensure that the people doing the repairs have the experience and the knowledge to do the job right.
Time is of the essence when it comes to foundation repair. As long as you don’t neglect or miss the signs and as long as you get the right people to repair the damage that has occurred, you should be able to resolve these issues without any major complications.