Searching for information about pier and beam foundation repair? If so, you’ve landed on the right page!
Pier and beam foundations – also known as crawl space foundations – have been popular for a very long time. They’re still in use today because they offer advantages over other foundation types.
In this article, we’re going to go over the definition of a pier and beam foundation, the benefits, signs you might have a problem with your pier and beam foundation, repair methods, and more.
What Is A Pier And Beam Foundation?
A pier and beam foundation sits 1.5 to 2 feet off the ground and has a space underneath that’s just big enough to crawl around in. Most people refer to a pier and beam foundation as a “crawl space foundation.” Pier and beam foundations are popular because – among other things – they provide easy access to the home’s plumbing and electrical wiring.
Benefits Of A Pier And Beam Foundation
Having a pier and beam foundation offers homeowners many advantages. Some of these benefits include:
- Easy accessibility to plumbing and electrical wiring – You can locate these areas without any trouble if you have plumbing issues or electrical problems. They are located under the house compared to under a slab of thick concrete.
- They’re built to last – If you need to remodel your home, having a pier and beam foundation can make these additions easy to accomplish.
- Cost-effective – A pier and beam foundation costs less to repair than a slab or basement foundation.
- Energy-efficient – A pier and beam foundation is a natural insulator because it doesn’t need a lot of energy to maintain the interior temperature.
- Comfortable floors – The floors supported by a pier and beam foundation are flexible and more comfortable than walking on a hard, concrete slab.
- Less susceptible than a slab foundation to damage from ground movement – However, if a pier and beam foundation needs repair for any reason, it will be easier to fix than a slab foundation.
Signs of Failing Pier and Beam Foundation
Are you starting to notice cracked walls? Are doors hard to open and close? Your floors may even begin to bulge. In addition, windows may be stuck, and floors may sag. If you suspect signs of pier and beam foundation failure, look for signs in the interior and exterior of your home. Inspect your home for the following signs:
- Problems with windows and doors – One window or door that’s hard to open and close might not indicate a foundation problem. However, multiple windows and/or doors that no longer open and close as they once did should be checked out.
- Uneven floors – Even slightly uneven floors could indicate trouble. Learn more about – Concrete Leveling
- Floors that feel spongy when you walk on them – This is a problem unique to pier and beam foundation homes.
- Furniture shakes when you walk by – This is another issue only seen in homes built atop a pier and beam foundation.
- Ceiling and/or floors no longer attached to the wall – Even slight separations should be investigated.
- Floor cracks that go from wall to wall – A crack that’s limited to one or two tiles probably isn’t anything to worry about. However, a crack that spans the width of the floor is a sign the foundation has moved.
- Torn wallpaper – This could be a sign the wall behind the wallpaper is cracked.
- Moldings that have come loose – Even slight gaps could be a sign of foundation problems.
- Stairstep cracks in brickwork
- Chimneys and porches that are separating from the rest of the house
- High humidity inside the home – Have you noticed higher than usual humidity levels? There could be increased humidity in your crawl space.
- Mold and mildew odors – A certain amount of air from the crawl space makes its way into your home’s living area. Therefore, any strange smells should be checked out by a professional.
- High energy bills – It costs most to heat and cool humid air.
Be sure to take a peek inside your crawl space as well. Are there cracks in the foundation wall? Are the walls bowed or tilted?
If you see any of the above, contact a foundation repair contractor right away for an inspection.
Causes of Pier And Beam Foundation Failure
The causes of pier and beam foundation failure include but aren’t limited to,
- Hot, dry weather conditions – This can cause the soil to pull away from your foundation and cause settlement due to moisture imbalance. If this happens, the home’s interior and exterior may start to crack.
- Tree roots are “drinking’’ the water from the soil – This can cause the soil to shrink, leading to foundation settlement and structural damage.
- Poor drainage in the soil around the foundation – Plumbing leaks and poor drainage can lead to major foundation issues. Fix leaky pipes and make sure you have proper drainage in the soil around your home. Waterproofing your home using drain tile will solve any drainage issues. Also, make sure your gutters are free from leaves and debris. Check all of your downspouts to make sure the water is redirected away from the foundation. Install downspout extensions, if necessary.
- The soil was inadequately compacted before construction – Soil must be adequately compacted before anything is built on top of it. If it isn’t, there could be foundation trouble later.
- Expansive soils – These are soils that expand when they soak up moisture and then shrink by that same amount when they dry out. Over time this can cause damage to all types of foundations, including a pier and beam foundation.
How To Repair A Pier And Beam Foundation
At Epp Foundation Repair, we offer several pier and beam foundation repair solutions, including steel push piers. Steel push piers support and stabilize the structure’s load-bearing walls. They transfer the weight of the structure from weak soil onto steel piers that have been driven deep into the ground.
After installation, each push pier is load tested individually using the highest amount of weight. Push piers do not rely upon skin friction to produce support like other repair methods. Push piers are one of the most common pier and beam foundation repair methods used today.
Heavy-duty steel push piers are excellent for structural foundation repairs on foundations that are settling because of expansive clay soil, soil erosion, or soil compaction.
Pier And Beam Foundation Repair Cost
The cost to repair a pier and beam foundation depends on various factors, including your geographical location, the size of your home, and the type and severity of the problem. Therefore, we can’t give you an estimate without first inspecting your home.
We can say that every homeowner should learn how to spot foundation issues early before they turn into big problems that will be expensive to fix. So, don’t put off any necessary repairs. Foundation problems only get worse over time.
Contact Epp Foundation Repair today for pier and beam foundation repairs. We’ll perform a free inspection and then provide you with a repair estimate.