Pier and Beam Foundations

Modern Pier and Beam foundations are elevated wooden home foundation that rest on concrete piers. The home is lifted off of the ground about 18-24″. The area below the home is called the crawl space. On some newer homes you may find that there is a concrete perimeter around the entire home with an access hole to reach the crawl space. The crawl space allows for easy access to the homes plumbing and electrical when needed. For this reason, in some cases it is easier to repair a pier and beam home if the home was a newer build, but in most cases, making repairs to a pier and beam foundation are some of the more complicated in the foundation repair industry.

Pier and Beam Home

Disadvantages of Pier and Beam Homes

There are several things that make a pier and beam home susceptible to foundation issues. These types of foundations are prone to developing mildew, getting damp and rotting away as they are made of mostly wood. Moisture and rain can easily get into the crawl space and if not properly graded and drained this moisture will quickly begin to rot the supporting structure of your home.

Most issues arise in one of two ways. The first thing that we often see is a home that has an improper drainage setup and water pools under one side of the home. This water then saturates the ground around the piers. This causes the piers to sink into the ground and makes the home unlevel. The second thing we often see in older homes with a pier and beam structure is beams that have fully rotted away to failure and are no longer capable of supporting the weight of the home. In short, the beam has broken and needs to be replaced. Both are serious issues and should be addressed immediately.

Common Pier and Beam Foundation Repair Methods

Depending on the damage that is taking place under the home, foundation repair technicians may have more than one solution to solve the problem.

In most cases you will need additional piers to be placed under the home due to a lack of piers that were initially placed or to replace piers that have failed. These additional piers will also help support the home while the other parts of the repair are taking place.

If you only have a small amount of shifting, the repair could be as simple as shimming the current piers to level the home once again. As shim is a sliver of metal that is inserted between the pier and the beam to help level the home in small increments.

There are a few other ways that you can performing pier and beam foundation repair such as underpinning and jacking, however, these are used in the most extreme cases and are not common on most pier and beam foundation issues.

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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