Is Flooding An Issue? A Pier And Beam Foundation Might Help

What is the most obvious characteristic of the state of Texas? Its sheer size. Texas is one massive state. With a characteristic like that comes with a layered challenge citizens of Texas experience: soil, 60 different types, to be specific. The challenge comes from choosing a location to build your home or the problems you face already living in a home built on soil that is hard to deal with. Homeowners unfortunate enough to live in a place built on problematic soil can result in a hefty bill replacing and or fixing your foundation. Even if you have not had issues yet, it certainly does not hurt to have an expert soil analysis done to prevent further damage or even minimize a problem that could be inevitable.

Texas specifically has large volumes of clay. This can be a serious issue because clay adheres to the weather it experiences. One year in Texas you could be surviving a hot and dry summer only to be blasted by a cold, unforgiving winter with the following year having a summer schedule of cool and wet weather. The game weather plays like musical chairs only serves to contract or expand against your foundation and causing massive damage.

In the case of flooding damage, slab foundations and pier and beam foundations have their respective advantages.

What is slab foundation? Slab foundation is as it sounds: a floor made of concrete with steel embedded within at choice locations. Choosing a slab foundation is usually cheaper than pier and beam, and still minimizes damage from floods. It should be noted that slap foundations tend to crack and chip in extended exposure to dry weather. Investing in a soaker installed 12 to 18 inches from your foundation will give you the opportunity to prevent damage by watering it.

A pier and beam foundation is popular in areas experiencing heavy rains and flooding, nearly bypassing flooding damage altogether. Beams are built into the general shape of a foundation and can be spaced apart as far as 12 feet. The “pier” part comes into place when the foundation is elevated. The elevation, essentially, creates a “pier” for the passage of flood water with the use of a crawlspace. The subfloor is at the very least, one half inch plywood. Joists are built at choice locations and are usually 18 inches apart. It should be noted that while slab foundations do minimize flooding damage, pier and beam foundations usually do not but experience their own issue in the form of moisture. It is imperative you control moisture levels inside the crawlspace to avoid foundation problems and the dread of foundation repair.

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