Common Issues with Pier and Beam Foundations

In the Houston area there are many older homes that have crawl spaces beneath them. These types of homes sit on what is known as a pier-and-beam foundation.  You have several beams that span the base of the home and these beams are then connected to the earth with a pier system. This system was very popular prior to the 1970’s when slab foundations began taking over as the main home foundation system. This type of system does have its drawbacks though. Below we list some of the common issues you will find with a pier and beam foundation system.

Pier and Beam Home

Sagging Floors

If your floors feel like they are uneven you are not imagining it. The way wood interacts with moisture creates bowing in the beams which can lead to floors being uneven and sagging in certain areas. If your beams are spread out further than recommended this can cause major damage to the rest of the home. Fortunately, you can repair this relatively easily by replacing beams and placing in the proper support piers. You can also shim the flooring back to level when cases of damage are minor.

Cracking Piers

The piers that are used in a pier and beam foundation will not last forever. The environment and age have a major impact on the lifespan of the piers. In some cases they will collapse and in other cases they may even crack. In either case, you want to ensure that you make a repair to the system as soon as possible.  One pier that is facing issues can place undue stress on the rest of the foundation system. In minor cases, piers may shift and can still be used for the repair.

Mold and Mildew

Due to the environment that a pier and beam foundation is presented with, mold and mildew are real issues. Moisture can easily work its way into the wooden beams and joists that are used to support your home. Over time, if this is left unattended, mold and mildew can begin to grow. Beyond a health concern in your home, persistent moisture will being to rot out your wooden support structure. The impacted wood will need to be replaced if it is determined that you have a moisture issue.

Foundation Experts
To prevent costly and invasive problems, be sure to have your foundation inspected regularly for signs of trouble. For more information about what will happen during a foundation inspection, feel free to call our pros at AAA Foundation Service.

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