Pier and beam foundations are the original foundation systems for residential dwellings. They have largely been replaced by concrete slabs, but they can still be just as effective as their concrete counterparts. Of course each foundation system has its own advantages, for example, pier and beam foundations feature an integrated crawl space by design. However, when it comes to repair they also have their differences. Here are a few things to know when it comes to discovering pier and beam foundation damage as well how to prevent it.
Signs of Pier and Beam Foundation Damage
There are several things that can point toward a foundation problem for your home. Here are a few that will tell you that you may have major issue:
- Sagging floors
- Crooked door frames
- Unlevel window sills
- Mold and mildew on or around beams
- Moisture in crawl space
Again these are only a handful of signs of pier and beam foundation damage, but they can tell you a lot about what type of work needs to be done.
Causes of Pier and Beam Foundation Damage
Soil, especially in south Louisiana, is the main underlying (pun intended) cause of foundation damage for both pier and beam and concrete slab foundations. The soil in our area is a very clay-laden soil and retains moisture and expands when it’s wet, and as it dries it retracts. Either of these scenarios can cause problems by moving the piers that support the beams and the rest of the structure. A combination or “pulsing” of the soil can also create problems.
Preventing Pier and Beam Foundation Damage
Controlling drainage is a key way to prevent foundation damage and sustain the results after a repair. Being able to maintain the moisture in the soil under and around your home is essential to the health of your foundation. Anywhere you see pooling or ponding water is a sign of poor drainage. Having clean and clear gutters and downspouts are a must. These will carry water away from your home. If there are still trouble spots near your home, it may be time to take some extra measures to control drainage, like: swales, French drains or trenches.
If you believe you have damage to your pier and beam foundation, it is important to trust your home to a knowledgeable, experienced, local foundation company. Not only does our part of the state have unique soil, but pier and beam work requires different methods and skills than work on slab foundations. For over 30 years WCK Foundation Repair has been using the only proven method to repair concrete foundations. WCK is also specialized in pier and beam foundation repair and offers a 6 year limited warranty on repairs.