Whether you are a homeowner, a prospective buyer, or a real estate agent, understanding the ins and outs of a home’s foundation is essential. Today, DuraTech Texas is focusing on pier and beam foundations, which are popular in certain parts of the country due to their resilience to shifting soil and their ability to elevate homes in flood-prone areas. However, like any other type of foundation, pier and beam systems can run into their share of problems. Let’s dive into some of the common causes of pier and beam foundation issues, so you can know what to look out for and when to call in the experts.
Main Causes of Problems of a Pier & Beam Foundation
• Soil Movement and Settlement – One of the key culprits of pier and beam foundation problems is soil movement. Soil movement could be due to the natural settling of the soil over time, especially in areas where there is a lot of clay soils that expand when wet and shrink when dry. This repeated swelling and shrinking can cause foundations to shift and crack, leading to structural issues if not addressed in a timely manner.
• Moisture Issues – Unlike slab foundations, pier and beam foundations have a crawl space, which can make them more prone to moisture related issues. Improper drainage, plumbing leaks, or high humidity can cause the wooden components of the foundation to rot, making them ideal for mold, mildew, and insect infestation. Excessive moisture can also cause the soil underneath the piers to become over saturated and lose its load bearing capacity where the foundation will literally sink.
• Poor Construction – In some cases, pier and beam foundation problems arise simply because the foundation was not constructed correctly in the first place. Poorly spaced or under rated or undersized piers, improperly installed joists, or low quality materials can all lead to issues down the line. This is why it is important to ensure that your foundation is installed by a reputable, experienced contractor.
• Natural Disasters – Certain natural disasters like floods and earthquakes can take a toll on pier and beam foundations. Floods can over saturate the soil, causing it to shift, while earthquakes can shake the foundation and cause cracks or shifts.
• Aging and Wear – Over time, even some of the best constructed pier and beam foundations can begin to show signs of aging. The wooden elements can start to decay, piers can shift, and the whole structure can gradually start to sag or become unlevel. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help extend the lifespan of your foundation and keep it in good condition.
Foundation Repair Services & More in Crosby, Cypress, Friendswood & Greater Houston, Texas
Understanding the common causes of pier and beam foundation problems is the first step towards maintaining a safe, structurally sound home. By knowing what to watch out for, you can spot potential issues early and address them before they become a bigger and more costly problem. Stay on top of your foundation maintenance routines, keep an eye out for potential problems. Do not hesitate to call in a professional if you notice signs of foundation trouble. If you have a pier and beam, block and base or concrete foundation, contact DuraTech Texas for foundation inspections and repairs today.