Pier and Beam Foundation Repair: 3 Maintenance Practices

Pier and beam foundations are a popular choice for homeowners in Louisiana due to their durability and structural integrity. However, like all foundations, they require proper maintenance to remain free of damage. If you’re looking for ways to keep your foundation healthy, look no further! Here are three maintenance tips from WCK Foundation Repair that can help you prevent pier and beam foundation repair. 

1. Install Appropriate Drainage Systems for Your Property

Are you noticing areas where water gathers or pools around your yard? This can directly impact your foundation, especially if you find these spots near the base of your home. Water and moisture can seep underneath your pier and beam foundation, leading to mold, rot, and even pest infestations. Install proper drainage around your home to prevent the need for pier and beam foundation repair. This will quickly remove standing water from the area and prevent damage from occurring.

At WCK Foundation Repair, we offer four types of drains to help direct standing water away from your yard. We can help you determine which option is best for your needs.

Catch Basins

Catch basins—or storm drains—consist of a basin or container buried in the ground and connected to a network of pipes or channels. The basin is usually made of concrete, steel, or plastic. And, it has a grate or cover on top to prevent debris and other objects from entering the system. 

When it rains, water flows into the catch basin through the grate and collects in the basin. The channels then lead water away from your home to stop it from pooling and causing damage.

Channel Drains

Channel drains—or trench drains—work by collecting water that flows into the trench. These drains consist of a trench lined with a drainage pipe and covered with a grate or slot cover. This cover allows water to flow into the trench while preventing debris from clogging the system. Like catch basins, the water flows into the drainage pipe where it is funneled away from your home.

PVC Drains

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) drains collect water that flows into the drain and directs it away from your property. They consist of a series of connected PVC pipes that are laid in a trench or buried underground. Water flows into the PVC drain through an inlet or opening and then away through the pipes. The pipes are typically perforated or have small holes along their length. This allows water to seep into the pipes, preventing moisture from gathering around your foundation.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are designed to remove excess water from your home’s crawl space. They are typically installed in a sump pit or basin dug into the lowest part of your crawl space. When activated, it pumps the water out of the pit and away from your home through a network of pipes. This helps to prevent the water from accumulating in your crawl space and potentially causing damage to your foundation or other parts of your home.

2. Inspect Crawl Spaces Regularly

Pier and beam foundations are a popular choice for flood-prone areas in Louisiana. As the name implies, these foundations rely on a system of piers and beams to support the weight of the structure above. These piers and beams are typically made of wood, brick, or concrete and are supported by footings that are buried in the soil. However, this elevation creates open areas for moisture and condensation to accumulate. 

Make sure to check these crawl spaces for signs of movement or damage. If you are performing this inspection yourself, look for signs of moisture or water intrusion. This damage can lead to costly repairs down the road if not addressed quickly. Additionally, clear any debris or vegetation to prevent it from interfering with your home’s ventilation or plumbing systems. 

3. Take Good Care of Gutters and Downspouts

When water accumulates in gutters or downspouts, it can overflow and spill onto the ground below. This can saturate the soil around the foundation and cause it to become unstable. It can also create a damp environment where mold and mildew can grow. These organisms can weaken the wooden components of pier and beam foundations, such as the beams and joists, and potentially lead to rot or decay. Make a habit of regularly cleaning your gutters and downspouts! During routine maintenance, clear any blockages to ensure that water can flow freely away from your home.

Bonus Tip: Make Smart Shrubbery Choices

Planting shrubbery around your home has many benefits. Eye-catching plants add curb appeal while providing shade during hot summer days. Plus, they also help protect your pier and beam foundation from water damage! Shrubs create a barrier between your foundation and the surrounding soil. After heavy rainfalls, these thirsty plants absorb excess water and balance moisture levels in the soil. 

Some water-absorbing plants to consider include:

  • Red maple trees
  • Red twig dogwood shrubs
  • Daylilies
  • And purple coneflower

These water-absorbing plants can help to stabilize the soil and prevent it from shifting or settling.

In Need of Pier and Beam Foundation Repair? Call the Experts

Regular maintenance on your pier and beam foundation is essential if you want it to remain structurally sound throughout its lifetime. Fortunately, these three tips should provide you with an excellent starting point. Don’t forget to consult with the professionals at WCK Foundation Repair to ensure the integrity of your foundation!

If you have concerns about your pier and beam foundation or notice signs of damage, reach out to us for a free repair estimate. Our experts can also provide financing options to fit your needs. Call us at 225-664-5956 or send us a message with any questions.

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