A home is built on different types of foundations. One of these types of foundations is a pier and beam that was a popular type of foundation used during the 1960’s. Today some homes are still built with a pier and beam foundation. Whether you own an older home or have a newer home with this type of foundation, these foundations are prone to certain problems and need repairs. DuraTech Texas will share how to maintain a pier and beam foundation and some of their common repair needs.
How Does a Pier & Beam Foundation Work?
A pier and beam foundation is made of three major components. The first component is the concrete pad that is placed on the ground. The second component is the concrete blocks that are stacked or placed on top of the concrete pad. The last component is the concrete beam that is built on the outer edge of the perimeter of the house. The beams are made of a sturdy brick and or stone and is essential to holding the weight of the home. A block and base foundation is very similar. However, a pier and beam has the stone or brick skirt that goes around the edge of the home. You can easily identify a pier and beam foundation as they will have ventilation and an accesses point.
Common Signs of Pier & Beam Foundation Problems
When a pier and beam foundation develops problems, you will first notice issues with the home’s floors, doors, and windows. When the foundation develops a problem, the floors can develop gaps. They can bow, sink, slant, and flex when weight is on the floors. The foundation’s cover, such as tile or wood floors will develop cracks, gaps and will creak. The interior or exterior walls may develop cracks and the doors or windows will become angled. Doors and windows may also feel sticky or be stuck and you may see gaps in the doors.
How Do You Reinforce a Post & Pier Foundation?
There are different ways to repair a pier and beam foundation. Often the foundation will need to be stabilized using a hydraulic jack to level the floor to reduce the strain on the foundation. Once the foundation is level, shims are used to support the foundation where there may be gaps from the concrete block and the foundation. If needed, new steel beams may be used to fully support the foundation. Foundation repairs will help bring the foundation level and make sure it is properly supported. Often the shims used to keep the foundation level will degrade. When this happens, a new shim will be needed to maintain the foundation support system. Even if the foundation doesn’t have major problems, often the shims will still need to be replaced. Before the foundation develops major problems, you can have the foundation inspected and the shims replaced as needed. It is best to maintain the foundation and avoid major foundational problems.