Crawlspace and Pier & Beam Repair
Pier and Beam foundations are foundations where beam structures sit on piers elevated above the ground level to support the house structure. This construction results in a crawl space underneath which provides access during wiring, duct work or remodeling of the building.
A poorly constructed crawl space can be problematic. Crawlspace problems can result from moisture, poor construction and house settlement.
Plumbing, if not done to standard, can cause leaks that may result in foundation problems. It is important to note that plumbing works should be done before and/or after foundation works. Open vents, dirt and wet and humid weather allow moisture into the crawlspace. Moisture in the crawlspace brings about a moldy and smelly crawlspace. How does this happen? When water in the crawlspace evaporates, it penetrates through the insulation and floors resulting to moldy and wet crawlspaces. If not addressed, this can be the cause of degradation of the foundation which may result to cracks and at the extreme, cause collapsing of walls.
If your house is settled on poor soil, leaking plumbing pipes, poor drainage, poor compaction and tree roots, then, your crawlspace is bound to have problems. A house without a drainage system means that all the water flowing out from the gutters and roof goes straight to the land around your house foundation. This water causes the soil to expand, pushing against the house crawlspace foundation, either forcing water in or creating cracks. This process is similar when there are leaking plumbing pipes.
A well-constructed home support system, support beams, foundation and floor joists- is important for a healthy and stable crawlspace. Incorrectly spaced support pier columns cause saggy floor joists that result in uneven, sagging or squeaky floors.
The type of crawlspace foundation further influences how wet or dry a crawlspace can be. Some foundations allow more air and water which create unnecessary stress on the foundation. Concrete block foundations though the cheapest and easiest to install, allow the most air and water, creating more wood rot, mold and water problems. Poured Concrete on the other hand, though common in newer homes, is a solid foundation that does not allow air or water unless in the presence of cracks or holes.
What of stone walled foundations?
Common in older houses, these foundations allow air and water to leak into the crawlspaces.
A note of a sloping, sagging or buckling floor on your pier and Beam foundation is a red light that a quick fix is required. Failure to act fast may result to disintegration of your Pier and Beam house.
Repair and strengthening.
Replace house foundation problems with solid foundation solutions. Existing piers and beams can be replaced with new ones with footings done 24 inches below the ground. New piers are then formed on the concrete footings with rebar, Sono tubes and concrete. Furthermore, strengthening can be done to increase the load carrying capacity or enhance the in-service performance of pier and beam structures.