Does your Dallas home have a pier and beam foundation? Are you considering purchasing a house with a pier and beam foundation? While this type of foundation isn’t necessarily the most popular and frequently-seen in the country, there are quite a few of them in cities such as Dallas. Made up of concrete piers or block and base supports spaced along the underside of your home with structural beams carrying the load of the house on top of them, pier and beam foundations can have some great benefits for your home but also come with some downsides.
Pros of Pier and Beam Foundations
Safety Against Flooding
If you’re wondering why pier and beam foundations are seen more often in areas that flood, it’s because they help elevate the home in order to protect them from high tides, floods, and moisture that can cause damage. That extra elevation creates space that won’t allow water to touch the actual foundation itself.
Easier to Access Plumbing/Electrical
Due to the space that is created by the pier and beam foundation, called the crawl space, electricians and plumbers are more easily able to access the pipes and wiring. This allows for easier repairs and/or installations, as it can be quickly and easily accessed. On the contrary, houses with slab foundation present a more difficult task, and could even require breaking open the concrete to repair the foundation or get to the wiring or pipes.
Cons of Pier and Beam Foundations
Crawl Space Vermin
While the crawl space can be a blessing for repairs and can help detect numerous issues, they can also become a home for various rodents and bugs. While their presence may cause additional problems for your home (home infestations, pests can carry diseases, etc), they can potentially damage plumbing pipes and electrical wiring, as they both reside in the same place.
How to Prevent Vermin Infestations?
Placing a foundation lattice can be an attractive and functional way to keep vermin out of your crawl space, while providing an easy option to access it when necessary. While this won’t necessarily keep out smaller pests, it can keep out the larger ones that could breed under your house or cause damage to your wires/pipes. For those smaller pests, you could always utilize hardware cloth – a durable wire mesh that can be placed over any openings to your crawl space. If you choose to install this method, keep in mind you should bury it at least a few inches below ground level to stave off any diggers.
You can probably tell the difference between a home that has a slab foundation vs. one that has a pier and beam foundation based on how their floors feel. If they’re creaky or possibly saggy in some places, chances are that house has a pier and beam foundation. Floors that seem more solid and don’t creak as often tend to be the slab foundations. Of course, if the floor is sagging in either scenario, the homeowner should be sure and check to see if foundation damage occurred.
Damp Crawl Spaces
Another disadvantage of pier and beam foundations is that the crawl space beneath the home can easily become moist. This can lead to mold and mildew which can require that wooden beams and joists be replaced. Excess moisture under the foundation can also create foul odors inside the house.
For those who own homes in Dallas with pier and beam foundation, it’s important to have a trusted foundation repair company on-hand to assist with any foundation repair needs. Be sure to choose a company that is very well-versed in working with pier and beam foundations like HD Foundations.
For additional questions, or to schedule an appointment with us, contact HD Foundations today!