Pier and Beam Repair
Pier and beam foundation is another form of housing foundation that is, luckily, easier to repair than other kinds of foundation. These kinds of foundation are more traditional than concrete foundation, but are still durable and efficient foundation options. These types of foundation allow for crawl spaces under them, which can make repair easier to assess and complete. Because these crawl spaces usually contain plumbing and heating pipes, and because of natural reasons (like soil expansion and compression), problems can arise. When these problems begin to happen, pier and beam repair needs to be considered as a solution.
Reasons for Pier and Beam Issues
There are two main reasons for issues to occur with your pier and beam foundation. The first issue stems from natural soil problems. When soil becomes moist, it expands, causing stressing to your foundation, which leads to uneven floors and extra seepage. The other issue is one of poor or incorrect construction. When pier and beam foundation is built with cedar, as most older homes are, stress from soil expansion is not able to be passed on to sub flooring, which can cause the cedar to rot and fail.
Improper drainage can be a massive issue for wooden foundation. When water collects under your home and can’t properly drain, the water begins to seep in to the wood piers and this can cause rotting, which leads to foundation failure. Luckily, because with pier and beam foundations, a crawl space is usually present, there is enough room to get under the home and excavate proper drainage if none is present. While this may take quite a bit of work, it is completely possible and is a great solution to ensure that your foundation doesn’t fail.
Shoring the Foundation
Shoring your foundation is another option and one that is very commonly practices in residential homes. Shoring works by inserting timber piers under your failing foundation to give a larger surface area for your beams to sit on. Shoring is used when it becomes obvious that your pier and beam foundation can no longer bear the weight of the home sitting on top of it. This is one of the easier ways to ensure that your beams are strengthened. Shoring increases footing which, in turn, helps to give your home extra support in your foundation.
While shoring is an option that will work for most people, if the pier and beam foundation is so bad that shoring doesn’t work, strengthening the foundation may be needed. This is usually done by adding a sonotube, which is a hollow concrete pillar that holds up much better in most weather conditions. If your home is noticeably sloping or there is significant cracking in your basement, adding sonotubes is a great option. These can be ordered in almost any size and shape. If there are large gaps between foundation flooring and vertical walls, adding sonotubes should be seriously considered as an option.