This article about pier and beam foundation repair originally appeared on a website we recently acquired. The link to the original (archived) content is here, and full credit goes to the original author.
Some Pier and Beam houses have a concrete perimeter, giving the appearance of a concrete slab house, while others have piers around the perimeter. These houses normally have a relatively high step up to the front door, and air vents around the sides near the ground.
Signs of Pier and Beam foundation problems include:
Interior and /or exterior wall cracks
Soft or bouncy floor
High areas in the floor (upheaval)
Sources of Pier and Beam foundation problems:
Broken or cracked floor joists and/or beams
Warped or distorted joists and /or beams
Wood rot or insect damage
Improper drainage under the house
Inadequate crawl space ventilation
Decayed wooden beams and floor joists
Defective shimming - typically soft wood rather than steel
Pad and block piers undermined by water
Rotten Sill Plates
Shifting piers that no longer provide beam support
Inadequate number of piers for the house
Addition of second story without additional pier supports
Insufficient beams spaced too far apart
Shallow piers that sink over time
Pier movement upward and downward with seasonal soil moisture changes
Pier and Beam Foundation Repair Foundation leveling and repair may require changing out wood shims for steel, replacing defective wood, correcting water or drainage problems and occasionally replacing or adding piers.