In Baton Rouge and throughout South Louisiana, you don’t have to look far to find homes that are raised off the ground. Some of these are newer construction, but for the most part, they are older homes. They provide southern charm and relief from flooding, but they also present possible challenges for the homeowner when it comes to foundation repair. The reason most older homes are raised is because before concrete slabs became popular, the pier and beam foundation was the foundation of choice.
As mentioned, they do provide relief from flooding. Before sewer and drainage systems were modernized, rain water stayed where it was for a longer period of time. This meant that homes needed to be above danger while still being sturdy, hence the need for the pier and beam method. Also as mentioned, these homes present challenges when it comes to those foundations. Since your home is not on a slab, the beams that support your home are more susceptible to shifts in the soil underneath the house. This is especially a problem if drainage around the beams is slow. The wetter the soil, the more likely it is to move. So, we would like to offer a few things to look for when troubleshooting foundation problems for raised homes in Baton Rouge.
The first of these is cracks in your walls. Just like you would find if your home was on a slab, when you have foundation problems, you will see the evidence in cracks in your walls. As beams move, it can cause strain on the walls that leads to these cracks.
Another thing to look for is uneven doorframes and window sills. If your foundation has shifted, you may notice that door don’t close all the way, or swing back open. You may also find that windows don’t open or close as easily as they should, or don’t open at all. This is usually because the sill and frame of the window are no longer aligned with the window itself.
One problem that you will find with raised homes that you won’t find with a slab is sagging floors. Since there is no consistent slab underneath the entire home, a shift in beams can lead to a dip or a lean in the floor.
Outside the home, one thing you can look for to troubleshoot possible foundation damage is mold or mildew around the beams themselves. If you see this, it means that water is hanging around too long, leaving you at risk for the soil to loosen and allowing the beams to move.
If you notice any of these problems, you want them addressed immediately. The longer these issues are allowed to linger, the worse they get. Having worked in Baton Rouge for over 30 years, WCK knows the ground in south Louisiana. With that knowledge, we have been able to specialize in pier and beam foundation repair.