Types of Damage to Foundation Piers
You noticed some cracks in your walls or other sign of a possible issue and had a home inspector come and diagnose the issue. They found foundation pier damage. When your foundation piers are damaged or deteriorating, your entire home’s structure is at risk. This is one of those home repairs that shouldn’t wait.
Primary Causes of Foundation Pier Damage
Foundation piers are made of wood, concrete, or brick and the biggest reason for damage is deterioration over time. Even pressure treated wood is susceptible to rot when exposed to the moist environment of a crawl space. Some homeowners mistakenly believe that because their piers are made of brick and mortar or concrete that they won’t ever have an issue. Florida’s salt air and water can impact the strength and integrity of brick and even the strongest concrete over time.
Perhaps the biggest shock to many homeowners is that their foundation piers can be damaged simply by remodeling the home. Most of the homes with foundation pier construction (rather than slab construction) were built in the early 1900’s. Interiors of homes were very different at that time. Not only were rooms smaller but there was substantially less weight on the floors. When you remodel and open up the floorplan or add large heavy furniture and décor (think bedroom sets and granite countertops), the distribution of weight changes causing stress on the foundation.
Pests are another common cause of foundation pier damage. Many homeowners think because their foundation piers are concrete or brick and mortar that they aren’t susceptible to pests. Unfortunately this isn’t true as pests come in two varieties – termites and rodents. Termites by far cause more damage to a home with wood piers than any other animal. Your pest control company should regularly inspect under your home for termites and termite damage.
Rodents cause damage to all types of foundations. When a rodent finds its way into your crawl space, it will dig. Digging next to one of your support beams, whether wood, concrete, or brick, compromises it. The foundation pier was set into the ground a certain distance for optimal support of the home. When the animal removes the sand or dirt around it, the structural support is compromised and damage to your home occurs.
Inspect and Repair
You should inspect and repair your foundation regularly. If you don’t want to crawl under your home or don’t know what to look for, contact Heavenly Foundations Inc to schedule an inspection. We are foundation specialists and provide homeowners throughout Tampa Bay with the best recommendations regarding foundation maintenance and repair. Call (727) 228-6144 or use our convenient contact form.