Pier And Beam Foundation Or Slab Foundation?

Having your foundation repaired can get pretty pricey when it is something major, like the beams in a pier and beam foundation being spaced out past their limit of 12 feet. But it does happen and unfortunately, can lead to unexpected foundation failure. So, when choosing a foundation, it is good to be familiar with a few common types, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

Why does it matter? Can’t you just throw down any kind of foundation anywhere? Well, not exactly and should be highly discouraged. Take Texas, for example. Obviously, Texas is an enormous place. But because of its size, it is home to 60 soil types that, without proper soil analysis, can take that great home you have been dreaming of and turn it into a nightmare. Many homes in Texas, most in fact, that have not even hit 50 years of age yet, have been built with a stone slab.

Slab foundations are also known as concrete slabs because of the use of concrete. They can come in different variations like t-shaped, slab-on-grade and frost protected. It is a single layer of concrete with metal rods used to reinforce its strength. If you have ever seen a concrete support beam broken with rebar inside, that is the general idea of a slab foundation. Slab foundations can be easier on your wallet since many techniques like joists and crawl spaces are not needed, nor will you have to worry about mold and mildew. However, in places like Texas, it should be noted that constant soil freeze, unfreeze and expansion can cause damage if not prepared for. In hot weather with dry air can cause slab foundations to crack. Investing in a soaker hose can save a call for foundation repair by watering it. Remember to keep it 12 to 18 inches from your home’s foundation.

The best way to describe a pier and beam foundation is the same idea behind a pier on a lake; the pier is built above the water. You will find joists, a support beam, spaced usually around 18 inches apart. And just like the pier, the pier and beam or post and beam, is built with a crawl space underneath that elevates a house. With the use of a crawl space, which is at the very least one half inch of plywood, plumbing can be built within it giving drainage services easier access to the pipes, unlike a slab foundation. This also allows for an individual to oftentimes avoid residential foundation repair because of floodwaters as they will simply flow through the crawl space. However, it should be noted that crawl spaces can harbor mildew and mold without proper care.

Much of what goes into deciding on a foundation is researching the areas on your list. Weather patterns and soil play a major role in the longevity of your foundation.

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