Innovative Answers to Unique Challenges
Pier and beam foundations present unique foundation repair challenges. Geo-Tech recommends that only a trained specialist or engineer should propose a plan of pier and beam repair due to the many variables involved. Unlike slab foundations, pier and beam foundations have many “moving parts.”
For instance, if a pier and beam homeowner sees cracks in sheet rock or a brick veneer, there could be several causes. The grade beam may have deflected (fallen) and caused the cracks. The supports might have sunk into the ground. A joist could be cracked or broken, the still plate rotted or a beam may not be functioning properly.
Most pier and beam foundations have a concrete grade beam or masonry foundation wall that supports the exterior wall of the house. Interior piers are used to support the beams, which in turn support the floor joists that your floor and subfloor rest on. If the home has a masonry foundation wall then it is most likely a base-and-block foundation.
Ideally, interior piers will be made of concrete cylinders or concrete blocks. Wood should never be used as interior supports, except for supports made from the Bois d’Ark tree. We have seen 100-year-old farmhouses supported by Bois d’Ark stumps that are still going strong.