Pier and Beam

Pier and beam homes are unique structures with a crawl space. Considered an alternative to slab foundations, pier and beam foundations are relatively inexpensive. They are built from reinforced concrete. So what makes homes with slab foundations different from the ones with pier and beam foundations? Well, the former structures don’t have a basement. Pier and beam foundations, on the other hand, provide a crawl space under the footings and living space. This design gives additional support to the foundation.

Benefits of Pier and Beam Foundations

Since a pier and beam foundation involves a crawl space, you can have access plumbing easily and quickly. In slab foundations, the arrangement of plumbing pipes is such that cracks and leaks can cause serious foundation problems and structural damage. 

Another positive aspect of pier and beam foundations is their platform-style construction. Having a wooden platform at the top, this foundation makes people feel comfortable while walking across the floor. Flooring surfaces over slab foundations, on the other hand, sit atop a solid pad. And that’s why they are unable to give the same feel to homeowners.

However, pier and beam foundations are not free of problems. Despite their strong construction and unique design, they involve a few components that need to be regularly and thoroughly inspected to avoid potential damage. 

Read on to figure out some problems that are commonly associated with pier and beam foundations and their possible solutions:

Moving Exterior Piers

Exterior piers tend to move due to the presence of excessive moisture or water within the structure. These exterior piers can include anything from a solid perimeter with piers to wooden posts. 

What To Do: Make sure your foundation has proper drainage system to keep water away from exterior piers. You can add helical piers for this purpose.

Moving Interior Piers

Wooden posts are usually used to support interior beams. These posts are either set on the top of a concrete pad or pushed into the solid ground. A serious foundation problem occurs when the piers are moved upward and downward due to the underground water. 

What To Do: Make sure water does not get under your foundation. You may have to re-shim as soon as moisture is at the right level.

Damaged Wooden Beams

Wooden joists or beams can get damaged due to excessive moisture. What’s more, termites and other pests can cause your foundation to decay.

What To Do: Inspect your pier and beam foundation thoroughly to replace decayed wood as soon as you observe any signs of damage.

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