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Learning About the Pier and Beam Foundation in Your Houston Home (May 6th, 2016)

Even if you’re the most fastidious of homeowners, you may not know about

the particular needs of the pier and beam foundation for your home.

Unfortunately, many don’t find out about—let alone think about—their

foundation needs until a foundation repair expert needs to be called.

At Atlas Foundation Repair, we believe in educating homeowners so that

minor issues don’t develop

into larger, more expensive

problems. With that

in mind, this blog post is

designed to inform you

about the pros and cons

pier and beam foundations,

as well as compare them to

other options such as

concrete slab foundations.


A pier and beam foundation

involves the use of a concrete

pier that is reinforced with steel beam. For a typical Houston home, a pier and beam foundation (also known as a post and beam foundation) is a type of elevated substructure that typically includes a crawlspace that supports the

foundation. This crawlspace may include electrical and plumbing units used

to support the home. Thanks to this accessibility, repairmen can reach these

units more easily to make the necessary fixes.


Another advantage to a pier and beam foundation is that it provides a degree

of stability for a home in Texas built on shifting soil. But foundations of this

type—or more specifically, the wood beams they rest on—will inevitably

deteriorate if not maintained. Mold, mildew, and roach or rodent infestations

are just a few of the potential pitfalls to a pier and beam foundation. Over

time, the wood beams can cause the home’s foundation to sink, shift or

settle, which can lead to significant home repair issues.


Most homes in the Houston area, particularly those from the 1950s and

1960s, were built on pier and beam foundations. By the 1970s, home

building technology had progressed to the point where foundation repair

companies were able to build foundations out of concrete slab. These slab





foundations have the advantage of increased durability and are particularly suited to clay soils. They can also be built quickly and inexpensively. However, foundations made from concrete are nearly as prone to shifting soil conditions as its pier and beam foundation equivalent. When the soil becomes overly damp, it expands outwards and upwards underneath the

home. Also, such slab foundations don’t leave room for a basement space (which, admittedly, is not much of an issue for Houston homeowners, since our city is at sea level).


For our money, a pier and beam foundation is superior to concrete slab foundations in that the former are both easier to repair and easier to make repairs to if your plumbing and electrical units “live” under the foundation crawlspace. Moreover, the steel beam construction ensures that the foundation is less liable to shift under the home than would a concrete slab

foundation. While a pier and beam foundation can be pricier, a qualified foundation repair company like Atlas Foundation Repair can do wonders in terms of delivering work that will have you and your house standing tall for many years to come.


Now that you’ve been armed with information about pier and beam foundations, we hope you’ll be able to recognize when your foundation may require your immediate attention. Should you experience sagging floors, shifting beams or any other symptom of home foundation disrepair, don’t hesitate to call Atlas Foundation Repair in Houston. For more information, contact us today at 713-641- 4844 or visit our site to schedule a free evaluation!