Most homes in McKinney and surrounding areas rest on a pier & beam foundation. Pier & beam foundations are designed to allow service men and women access to your plumbing, electrical and gas lines. There are times when a home may experience a damaged pier or one that has slipped off its base. A beam may have cracked or begun to experience mold and rot. When this happens, the entire structural capacity of your home is at risk. Our goal is not to scare you into purchasing a service. More than anything, we want you to be able to recognize the symptoms of a faulty foundation and have confidence in knowing that we can remedy the situation.
What is a Pier & Beam Foundation?
If you’re new to the world of foundations, you may be wondering, “what is a pier & beam?” It looks exactly how it sounds. The concrete column underneath your floor that is holding up your home is known as a pier. It typically rests on top of a wood on concrete block for support. The beam is typically constructed of wood and is perpendicular and rests on top of the pier. Your floor rests on top of it. Together this type of construction is known as pier & beam. You may be able to go outside and determine if your home does indeed possess this type of foundation. Removing the crawl space hatch and peering underneath your home can also help you determine if you have a pier & beam foundation.
10 Signs of a Problem Crawlspace
Sagging or bouncing flooring is a sign of an issue with your crawlspace or beam. Moisture can settle within your crawlspace, which if it is unable to escape or the situation persists, mold and fungi will grow on the beams and sub floor. This will result in a weak floor. Moisture also attracts unwanted pests like rodents and insects which will eventually penetrate your home. A poorly installed vapor barrier is another indication of a problem crawlspace. Standing water, hanging insulation and drywall cracks are signs you should watch out for. Sticking doors, sweating duct work and the compression of joints and beams are another warning of a faulty crawlspace.
Causes of Pier & Beam Failure
There are many possible causes of pier & beam failure. Moisture is a key issue. If your drainage system was installed incorrectly, it will have a negative effect on your foundation. Texas soil is known to be expansive in nature. The constant expanding and contracting can cause your foundation to move as little as a half an inch to 8 whole inches! This shifting will result in cracks in your floors, interior and exterior walls and ceiling. Concrete is durable and hard but it is not impervious to water. If you experience a plumbing leak that persists for a long time, it can effect your foundation. A water bill that has skyrocketed unexpectedly is a sign of a sneaky leak that you must get a handle on.
A layperson may be able to detect foundation problems but you won’t know for sure or to what particular extent until you receive the professional opinion of an industry veteran. These matters can be rather complex, that is why we offer complimentary inspections. Included within the inspection is a drawing of your foundation, a digital tour of your crawlspace and individualized needs designed specifically for your home. Our team will inspect the soil and your home’s balance. We also take your financial concerns into account. Our goal is to arm you with enough knowledge in order to make an informed decision about your home.