Not all of the homes in Texas are built the same, and the same can be said about the foundation. There are different types of foundations and one of the more common foundation types is a concrete slab. Less popular than the concrete slab but still used greatly throughout Texas is the Pier and Beam foundation. For those who live in a home with a pier and beam foundation, there is a lot you need to know about this style of foundation. DuraTech Texas will share how pier and beam foundations work and some of the common repair needs these foundations require.
Is Pier and Beam a Good Foundation?
Pier and beam foundation were more common during the 1940’s and 1950’s. In most cases, older home’s will have this style of foundation. Over time the building codes change and evolved, and pier and beam foundations will need inspection, repairs and updating to ensure they stay up to code. Most pier and beam foundations rest on joists that run the length of the floor. The joist or the foundation’s structure rest on piers made of wood and concrete that is being supported by the soil below. The soil can be a major threat on the foundation’s stability and in turn, the home. The clay like soil in Texas allows the foundation to distribute the weight of the home much more evenly. The piers in the soil can move when the soil is affected by drought or moisture. This makes them ideal for Texas soil. The foundation is set on piers which holds the foundation up in the air. This provides enough room for a crawl space. A crawl space allows for easy access to the foundation and the piers for needed repairs.
Repairs for Common Problems of a Pier and Beam Foundation
During the time pier and beam foundations were used, they did have their benefits. However, like any other part of the home, the pier and beam foundation will develop problems and need repairs. One of the common problems from pier and beam foundation is sinking. Due to Texas’s clay soil, during the dry periods the ground shrinks which can cause the foundation to sink. During the dry periods, sudden wet periods can have a negative effect. The foundation needs the soil in balance which isn’t always easy. Over time foundation problems are bound to develop unless every effort is taken to maintain the soil’s condition. Different elements of a pier and beam foundation can develop problems. A pier or beam that is in the ground can degrade, sink, and shift. Another element that can become damaged is the wooden joist. The wooden joist can mold, rot and sag. When the piers and beams shift often shims will be needed to support and level out the foundation. When the piers sink or begin to degrade, piers can be added to support the foundation. If the wooden joist has been compromised, they will need to be removed and replaced.