A block and base foundation system is often referred to as the granddad of foundation design in the state of Texas. Most modern homes these days are built on a concrete slab foundation. However, older homes may have a block and base foundation. Most sheds and smaller structures will also have a block and base foundation. If you are noticing pest activity underneath your foundation and are concerned, DuraTech Texas will share what you need to know about block and base foundation as well as pests becoming a concern.
What is a Block & Base Foundation?
A block and base foundation is similar to a pier and beam foundation system in the sense these foundations are up off the ground. Both types of foundation usually hold the home or foundation about 18 inches from the ground. A block and base foundation use concrete blocks that rest partially in the ground and are stacked up. The foundation’s frame is then built on or resting on the blocks, which is why they are called a block and base foundation. Shims are often used to help level and support the foundation. Some block and base foundations will be open where you can see right underneath the entire foundation. Other block and base foundation shave a skirt of brick or other materiel that goes around the foundation. Where the blocks are often made of concrete, it is the foundation’s base and shims that are made of wood and may be vulnerable to moisture and pests.
What Kind of Damage Do Pests Cause to Block & Base Foundations?
Texas is home to a many animals and insects. Many of them that are labeled as “pests” love to get underneath your foundation as it can provide excellent shelter. Some animals may dig burrows or dens too close to one of the concrete blocks that supports the foundation. Where this scenario does occur, it is rather rare. One of the more common problems is damage to the foundation’s wooden frame or base. In Texas there are termites and carpenter ants that live throughout the state of Texas. Both termites and carpenter ants will be drawn to exposed wood. Where carpenter ants will chew through exposed wood, these will then usually make wooden structures their home. Termites on the other hand want to eat the wood and will not stop. Both carpenter ants and termites are the culprit to a number of block and base foundation problems and these pests will need to be treated and the damaged wood replaced. Rodents are another problem. Rodents will chew through wood to get into the home. Part of the base may become severely damaged by rodents and other animals that may want to chew their way through the base. A wooden base is extremely vulnerable to pests and will affect the integrity of the foundation and home. The base may become uneven and new shims may be needed to re-level the home. The damaged based will also need to be repaired.