Pier and Beam Foundation Repair
An inspection of pier and beam foundations is very relevant to homeowners. They can experience several structural problems as a result of damaged piers and beams. One of the most common symptoms is cracked paint on the exterior surface of the foundation. Before repairing a pier or beam, you need to inspect it thoroughly, because it may not be the source of the problem. However, if the damage is caused by the foundation itself, you will have to hire a contractor to repair the damages and perform the necessary repairs to the structure itself.
The extent of damage can be determined through an inspection that can reveal the underlying problems within the foundation itself. While waiting for the results of the inspection, you can prepare for the next step of fixing the problem by hiring a contractor to fix the damages caused by the faulty foundation system. Some contractors may also offer to repair the foundation system and piers at the same time because they have the expertise to do so. In some cases, the inspections will reveal that the damage to the home’s structure is severe enough to warrant a complete replacement of the pier and beam system rather than repair them.
What is a pier and beam foundation?
This type of construction uses posts that rest on top of the soil to support the walls of a building while the floor is supported by beams placed between the support posts. This type of construction is very common in older homes but is also used in some newer homes as well. Older homes are the most likely to suffer from this type of structural damage because of the wear and tear they undergo over the years.
If your house was built before the 1980’s, you are most likely to have this type of structure in your home, because the technology used was more advanced during that time. Pier and beam structures are also prone to damage from earthquakes and other natural disasters such as hurricanes and severe storms. What are the common causes of damage to a pier and beam structure? One of the most common causes for damage to a pier and beam structure is earthquake damage.
Common issues with pier and beam foundations
Cracks in the concrete around the support post or the beam itself, which is a sign of extensive cracking in the foundation system. Cracked drywall along the exterior of the home, particularly along the areas where the wall meets the floor or ceiling. This is a result of weakened floors and ceilings due to the cracking of the walls and the concrete piers that support the floors above. Sloping floors, which is a common sign of sagging floors and beams after a prolonged period of use. It can also occur as a result of erosion of the supporting soil underneath the structure’s foundation.
Sagging floors can also result in cracks in the drywall and paint on the walls of the home as well as cause the doors to become misaligned with the frames. This is especially common with garages that have extensions built onto them over time, because the beams that support these extensions can become weakened and eventually sag under the weight of the garage. If the floors are sagging, it can have serious effects on the structural integrity of the building itself, which can cause more damage over time if not repaired promptly.
The crawl spaces underneath the building can be affected by damage to the support system. The joists in the crawl spaces can buckle and become loose as a result of the sagging of the floor above. This can lead to several structural problems such as cracks in the drywall, tilting chimneys and even leaning walls and staircases inside the building. All of these issues can seriously affect the structural integrity of the building and require immediate repair by a professional contractor.
How are pier and beam foundations repaired?
The first step is to repair any cracks in the concrete that surrounds the support post or the beams themselves. Most cracks can be repaired using epoxy-based filler, but in some cases, the damage is more extensive and requires replacement of the post or the beams themselves. If replacing the posts is not an option, you may need to install additional support systems to support the weight of the house. Repairing the drywall may require replacing the wall studs or even the entire wall itself if the problem is too severe to be fixed using ordinary methods. This can be an expensive procedure requiring the services of a professional contractor to perform the task for you.
Replacing the joists in the crawl space may require additional excavation of the soil and the installation of the new joists at the proper height to ensure that the building remains level and stable after installation of the new supports. Installing additional supports to support a sagging floor is a complex task that should be performed only by a qualified contractor who can ensure that the work meets local building codes and that the job is done right the first time around. Once the repairs have been completed, the contractor can repaint the exterior walls of the home and perform other minor repairs such as replacing broken windows and doors to ensure that the home is habitable once again.
Get in touch with Xpert Foundation Repair today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts to learn more about your options for repairing your damaged pier & beam foundation. Call (210)788-0687 to speak to one of our representatives today!