Pier and Beam Foundation Repair

Pier and Beam Foundation Repair - Terms

BAND JOIST
In homes or buildings with frame construction over a basement or crawlspace, the floors are usually supported by framing members called joists, which rest atop the foundation sill. The outside ends of these joists, and the space between them, are covered with a band joist or “header”.

BOIS D’ARC POST
A pier support used entirely under frame structures, composed of a section of a bois d’arc tree.

BUILDERS PIERS
Builders piers are poured before the foundation is laid at a spacing of 4-8 feet apart and can be as shallow as 3-4 feet deep. The piers were designed to assist in holding the grade beam in place. Due to their low level of placement, it is not uncommon for builders piers to fail to support the structure. Therefore, additional pressed pilings may be necessary to stabilize movement. Sometimes the piers are attached to the foundation. If so, they may need to be severed (at an additional cost) in order to lift the foundation during repairs.

FOUNDATION BLOWERS
Fans attached to the outside or inside of foundation vents. They are designed to increase air flow throughout the crawl space.

FOUNDATION VENTS
Help remove moisture that can lead to damp rot and eventually costly damage, as well as attract termites. Also referred to as Masonry Vents.

GRADE BEAM
A reinforced concrete beam placed directly on the ground to provide the foundation for the structure. It is usually supported by concrete piers.

JOIST
Any of the wood, steel, or concrete members set parallel from wall to wall or across or abutting girders or beams to support a floor.

SCUTTLE HOLE
A small opening to the crawl space under a structure. Common places a scuttle hole are found are in closets, utility rooms or pantries. The entrance can also be through the exterior grade beam around the side or back of the structure.

SHIM
A thin piece of material, used to fill small gaps or spaces between objects. In repairing foundations, steel shims are used to fill the small gaps between piers and the beams they are supporting.

SONOTUBE
Brand of forming tubes have been the industry standard for more than 50 years. Sonotube concrete forms are an economical way to create columns for structural support and residential structures.

SUBFLOOR
A subfloor is the immediate layer of planks or plywood that is laid over the floor joists.

VAPOR BARRIER
This is often used to refer to any material, typically a plastic or foil sheet, that resists the transfer of moisture from the ground to the substructure.

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