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Guide by HydroHelp911 On Understanding Crawl Space Damage & Repairs for Residents of Charlotte, NC

Table of Contents

How do you fix a crawl space post pier? What is a post and pier foundation?

A post and pier foundation, also sometimes termed a pier and beam foundation, is one of two significant types of house foundations. The other prototype is known as a slab foundation or slab-on-grade basement. As the name suggests, a post and pier foundation consists of cement piers set deep into the soil to bear the structure’s pressure. Traversing up from the concrete piers are either cement or wooden posts, and along the tops of the posts run-flat wooden beams that accommodate the bed on which will create the structure.

Pier and beam homes are houses with a space within the floor and the ground. The gap between the floor and the earth is called the crawl space. As the name suggests, the rooms are typically (but not always) so low that you cannot hold up and must crawl to move around.

Operating under a home without digging to build a working room, the crawl space must be 36 inches tall. Put differently, the distance from the rear of the floor to the ground must be at least 3 feet. When the crawlspace is smaller than 36 inches, it is tough or impossible to get in and work. Some houses have insulation connected to the bottom of the floor. Where insulation is present, the elevation of the crawl space is measured from the bottom of the insulation. Insulation should be supported by plastic or wire mesh. If insulation is just stapled in place, it frequently has to be excluded.

Often, for older pier and beam houses, the ground throughout a foundation will be higher than the soil in the crawlspace. That generates difficulty with water storing in crawl spaces. The problem with water only gets more severe if tunnels are dug for entrance. Where drainage problems are present in crawl space after dug tunnels, fixing a drainage system in any tunnel is needed.

HOW ARE PIER AND BEAM FOUNDATIONS BUILT?

A pier and beam framework is one sort of crawl space foundation. Crawl space-type foundations are typically observed in older apartments built before the 1950s. A space describes this foundation type within the floor of the house and the area about the size that a person could crawl within, hence the crawl space name.

Pier and beam foundations possess area and air under the home, making it more comfortable to access pipes and electrical systems should there be a problem. In addition, this foundation technique can last a long time with good sewerage and the right kind of periodic maintenance.

It’s necessary to understand how this type of foundation is built in the first place to see how things can reverse and how to get them right again.

Let’s begin with the area of how these foundations are put collectively.

LAYER 1: THE PIERS AND THE BEAM

A pier and beam foundation gets its title from the first parts connected with the ground: the piers and the beam.

The outer perimeter of the house is supported with a “beam” or tiny wall of cement blocks, bricks, or usually poured concrete on the outside that harmonizes into the ground about 24″ or less. This beam serves the entire frame of the home and presents continuous maintenance and all the outside corners with a rigid material.

Below the home’s interior, there are stacks of cement blocks that support the inside areas of the house. Each stack of segments (called a pier) is separated evenly and frequently in a grid pattern. The beam enters the ground around the edge, and the piles or piers are accumulated on the floor throughout the home’s interior, and then there is free air space in between. The next tier of the foundation is raised above the ground on the tip of this array of piers and the beam.

LAYER 2: THE CHIEF AND SHAKER SILL SYSTEM

After designing piers and the beam on the perimeter, a configuration of sill beams is laid on top for the next layer. Prominent sills support walls, and shaker sills help the floor. These are long wooden 4″ by 6″ planks laid on top of the piers going right across from one side of the home’s boundary beam to the other. Succeeding, they are laid on top of the shaft and the stacked ports in a straight line.

The shaker sills all go one way across the home and concurrently correlate all the piers in a row. They further tie the beam collectively with the elevated ports. This formation begins the method of classifying the home’s weight equally across all of the contact points.

LAYER 3: THE DECK JOISTS

Floor joists reclined on top of the sill boards in a perpendicular fashion create a crosshatch design. Floor joists are also long 2″ comprehensive sections of timber laid vertically, and they are typically spaced somewhere within 1 to 2 feet apart and vary in thickness from 6 to 12 inches.

Floor beams are put together in different weight distributing arrays on top of the sills. Eventually, the posts are tied to the sills and each other to continue producing the twisted levels of connectivity. Joists assist as the standard transition piece from the massive sill to the finish layers of flooring. Finally, they are placed closer together and support an installation of the subfloor next.

Within joists, there exist cut-out ventilation openings to allow for airflow below the foundation. It is the main distinctive feature of a pier and beam home. Recognizing these specific ventilation holes near the ground along all sides of the home’s foundation will show you a pier and beam-type foundation.

LAYER 4: THE SUB-FLOOR AND LEVEL

On the head of the deck joists, a ¾” layer of the subfloor is placed down and hammered into the floor joists to build an actual flat, solid and constant surface that someone can march on. It’s just unfinished wood, so it’s called the subfloor. The attractive flooring you see and walk on inside your home is layered on top of the subfloor.

Now that we have gone over each layer of the pier and beam foundation, you can recognize that it is a bit like an orderly, neatly layered pile of “pick-up sticks.”

Foundation Settlement due to Comprehensive Clay Soils

As with any foundation type, difficulties are caused as a consequence of our expansive clay soils. Broad clay swells when moist and contracts when dry. These forces are more powerful than you deem and can accelerate throughout the construction of your foundation with each season and year.

As you can assume, any push-up of the ground or shrinking and weakening of soil can affect the construction of a pier and beam foundation. In addition, this continuous moving of season to season can cause damage to the interior of the home in the formation of wall cracks, door misalignments, and other vital signs of foundation establishment.

DAMPNESS UNDER THE HOUSE

A pier and beam house is receptive to moisture from poor sewerage and defective ventilation. Excessive humidity under the home has damaging impacts on all the wood, from the sill to the subfloor. In addition, water can create the wood elements that build up your pier and beam foundation to rot, mold or separate altogether.

Any portion of wood beneath your home that is compromised can cause foundation problems for you. In addition, because of the interconnected characteristics of the pier and beam framework, one piece of rotten wood can have unfavorable compounding impacts on the rest of the arrangement.

HOW TO DETECT DAMAGE TO MASONRY AND POST AND PIER FOUNDATIONS:

Be on the lookout for the tell-tale symptoms of actual harm to your home’s brick and bowl as well as its support and beam foundation:

  • Fissures in your masonry and mortar or foundational cement
  • “Spalling” of bricks or gravel falling out of the wall
  • Weakening floors and moving beams
  • Mold or mildew in your crawl space and the beams
  • Moist, humid environment in your crawl area
  • Sinking footing
  • Bowing walls
  • Rifts in walls, roofs, and seams
  • Sloping walls and tilting chimney

HOW TO DISCOVER WHAT PIER AND BEAM FOUNDATION REPAIR COSTS:

The cost to fix these homes is impossible to give without first investigating the foundation. Because foundation difficulties multiply over time, it’s sufficient to call a foundation repair contractor right away. That will allow you to decrease the cost of rebuilding your pier and beam foundation.

Contact HydroHelp911 for Crawl Space Services

Many people do not usually think about the space below their home until there is a significant problem. Crawl spaces take a considerable beating essentially due to water invasion, high humidity, timber rot, mold, and termite to list a few. If you reside in North Carolina and require a highly skilled foundation repair, foundation waterproofing, crawl space post Pier repair company, look no further! HydroHelp911 is ready to revive your crawl space. Schedule your free appointment now at your home by calling us toll-free at 704-741-9737.

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