Foundation Settlement - Pier, Beam, Joist Repairs In Ga
Pier, Beam, Joist, and Sill Repairs - Floor Leveling, and Foundation Settlement
Pier and beam houses can be defined as structures that can be crawled under, that is, structures that have a crawl space. There are a number of foundation problems that are unique to pier and beam structures. Unlike a slab foundation with concrete floors, a pier and beam structure has wood floors, and a wood sub-structure. The disadvantage of this is that the wood is susceptible to rot after prolonged contact with water or soil, and also to deterioration from termites and other critters. The solution is to prevent any ground to wood contact, and to prevent moisture contact with the wood. Once the wood is rotted, it must be replaced.
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Joists are usually installed on 16'' centers, and beams or girders are rarely installed further than 12 feet apart. Engineers and architects know the proper spacing, and they know the larger the beam or joist, the greater the spacing that can be allowed without sagging and settlement, depending on the amount of weight above. In cases where poorly spaced or undersized joists, beams or girders are recognized, aditional lumber can usually be added to give it strength, without the added expense of replacing any lumber.
Some pier and beam foundations lack beams or sills around the perimeter of the structure entirely. Usually only a flat sill is all that supports the structure between the pier supports and the floor joists. In these cases, the floor will be wavy and bow in many places under a properly sized girder is added.
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Evolution In Action Foundation and Structural Repairs - Savannah Ga, Atlanta Ga, Macon Georgia, and Charleston South Carolina
Crawl Space Foundation Repair Cost in Charleston, Macon,Atlanta Ga, Savannah, Ga Foundation Settling Repairs in Charleston SC, Macon, Atlanta Ga, and Savannah, Ga
Foundation Leveling in Charleston SC, Atlanta Ga, SC, Macon, and Savannah, Ga Foundation Jacking In Charleston SC, Macon, Atlanta Ga, and Savannah, Ga
Crawlspace Foundation Repairs in Charleston SC, Atlanta Ga, Macon, Savannah, Ga Sagging Floor Repairs in Charleston SC, Macon, Atlanta Ga, Savannah, Ga
Foundation Estimate in Charleston SC, Atlanta Ga, SC,Macon, and Savannah, Ga Foundation Pier Repairs in Charleston SC, Macon, Atlanta Ga, Savannah, Ga
Foundation Beam Repair in Charleston SC, Macon, Atlanta Ga, SC and Savannah, Ga Foundation Joist Repairs in Charleston SC, Macon, Atlanta Ga, Savannah, Ga
Pier & Beam Foundation Repairs in Charleston SC, Macon, Atlanta Ga, and Savannah, Ga Foundation Sagging Repairs in Charleston SC, Macon, Atlanta Ga, Savannah, Ga
A main concern of a pier and beam structure involves undersized or poorly spaced lumber. A 4'' by 6'' wood beam or girder is usually the minimum size for a beam or girder supporting the structure. A 4'' by 4'' can sometimes be used, but it increases the chances of sagging or settlement, and the floor above may dip. If the supporting piers are placed closer together than the standard 6 feet apart, sometimes a 4'' by 4'' can be used, and a 4'' by 6'' can also sag if the piers are placed too far apart.
Floor joist sizes range from 6'' to 12'' in pier and beam foundations. The standard is an 8'' joist, but in some houses a 12" is used. The larger the joist, the longer the span it may reach without causing a sag or causing the above floor to shake.
Poorly spaced piers are always a main concern with pier and beam foundations. The standard spacing of piers is about 6 feet apart. This rule will usually prevent sagging of the wood structure above. Also, if the pier supports do not cover enough area on the ground, they are likely to settle into the ground. If the piers rest on a base, or a concrete footing, it covers more area, and it will distribute the weight more successfully. More piers will, of course, share the weight of the structure more successfully than less piers.
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"Spacing and size of the floor joist, beams, and girders can reduce the possibility of sagging and settlement"
"Pier and beam structures can also be defined as crawl space foundations"
"Inadequate pier design and spacing is quite common under pier and beam homes"
Inadequate pier design is quite common under pier and beam homes where an inexperienced contractor has tried to install a makeshift support. The most common defective supports used are wooden stiff legs, which is a piece of wood stuck in the ground under the structure.
Sometimes stacked up bricks are used, and even sticks of pipe. If the support does not cover a large area at the bottom, it is usually a poor support, and needs to be replaced. Under a pier and beam structure, depending on the weight of course, a poured in place footing about 1 foot in the ground, and about 2 feet by 2 feet, will usually support most pier and beams, if they are placed on no further than 6 foot centers.
Usually the largest expense in repairing a pier and beam structure is when there is little or no space in the crawlspace. Sufficient crawl space needed is usually a minimum of 18'' under the floor joists, but 24'' minimum is more desirable. Sufficient crawl space allows air to flow freely under the structure, keeping it dry. It also allows inspectors access under the structure, with plumbers, engineers, telephone repairmen, air conditioning installers, electricians, and our most favorite of all - - foundation contractors. If they don't have access under the house, then they cannot inspect, install, or repair. It is time consuming, and therefore very expensive removing the floors to gain access to the crawl space. There are some cases where you can dig out the soil under a pier and beam foundation. But, there is also the added danger of water accumulation in the area dug out. If enough area is dug out, it may also undermine the pier supports, and new pier supports must be added.
"The amount of space under the structure is critical when inspecting or determining the price of repairs"
The next largest expense in repairing a pier and beam structure is removing crowned floors. Most dips in the floor can be removed by simply jacking the low areas up, but when the floor is crowned the wood may be permanently
bowed, and a simple jacking procedure will not take the crown out. Evolution In Action has been successful by surgically cutting out the bowed lumber, and replacing it. Sometimes this can be done without cutting any of the floor above. Other procedures to remove the bows are time consuming, expensive, and will rarely reach the intended results.
"Evolution In Action has been successful cutting out the bowed lumber and taking the crown out of floors"
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Crawl space drainage problems are more severe in pier and beam structures than under slab foundations, because a concrete slab placed against the ground, with no voids under it, will block water from traveling under the structure. A pier and beam foundation (crawl space) is an open channel for water to travel under the structure, causing settlement or upheaval wherever it accumulates. The water is also a haven for bugs, bacteria, molds, and algae. Standing water can also cause a musty, unhealthy smell inside the home.
"Standing water in a crawl space can cause a musty smell, bugs, bacteria, and molds"
Evolution In Action Crawl Space Foundation Repair Company Specializes in Foundation Settling, Foundation Jacking and Leveling, Sagging Floors, Foundation Repair Cost Estimates, Foundation Inspections, Beam Repair, Pier Repair, Sill Repair, and Joist Repairs in Georgia and South Carolina.
There are numerous architectural defects under pier and beam (crawl space) structures that can severely affect the functionality of the structure. In these cases, the architect, builder, or repair contractor built or repaired the building in a way that seriously affected its structural integrity. See: Common Architectural Defects in Foundation Construction - How Architects Under-Design Homes
There are not many gray areas with foundation settlement. Find out how does foundation settlement affect structures.
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