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 Ceiling cracks Sticking doors Sticking windows Uneven floors Sagging floors 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 Standing 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.