Do You Need to Maintain Your Piers?
It’s not just your foundation that you have to protect from the effects of hydrostatic pressure and unstable soil. When you have piers installed underneath your home, either to help with a settling foundation or as preventive measures, you’ll need to take their health into consideration as well. You can use this pier maintenance checklist to do just that.
What’s the Importance of Maintaining Your Piers?
If you’ve had piers installed around your home, you’ve likely had to deal with some kind of foundation shifting, settling, or slippage in the past. Under ideal circumstances, these piers will continue to support your home regardless of what may happen to the soil surrounding your foundation.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. There are several different types of piers you can invest in, and some aren’t as long-lasting as others. If you don’t work to protect your piers when they’re first installed, they may fall victim to the same hydrostatic pressure and unstable soil damage that originally caused your foundation to shift.
That said, maintaining your piers isn’t the easiest thing to do after you’ve had them installed. Piers, after all, are designed to give your foundation support by seeking out sturdier ground. Most piers are installed at least 10 feet or more below an existing foundation. With that in mind, you can’t make a point of excavating your lawn every few months or so to make sure your piers are stable.
You can, however, work with professionals to ensure your piers come into contact with as little hydrostatic pressure as possible. By taking steps outside your home to direct water away from your perimeter and otherwise support your foundation, your piers can continue to do their jobs for many years into the future.
How Can You Maintain Your Piers?
If you want to protect your piers from hydrostatic pressure or other forms of damage, you can take advantage of this pier maintenance checklist. As you’re getting started, you’ll want to:
Invest in Early Waterproofing Measures
Nothing protects your piers from damage like pre-installed waterproofing measures. Some of the best waterproofing measures to use for pier maintenance inside your home include interior drainage and sump pumps, as well as exterior drainage solutions.
When in doubt, you’ll want to make sure water is driven away from your home. This may involve investing in a form of exterior drainage or regrading your landscaping. Either way, the more steps you take to keep water away from your home, the longer your piers are going to last.
You can ensure long-term waterproofing around your home and piers by stacking your waterproofing measures. When you have more than one measure at work, the measures can cover one another should one begin to fail or need maintenance.
Clean Your Gutters
Clogged gutters and downspouts can send water spilling down onto the perimeter of your home, where it’ll have a direct route toward the piers you’re relying on for your foundation’s security. If you want to maintain those piers without having to invest in additional waterproofing repairs, cleaning your gutters on a regular basis can help you lessen the amount of hydrostatic pressure your piers have to endure. Also make sure your downspouts are in good working order, and that they move water away from your foundation instead of towards it.
Have A Professional Inspect Your Home for Damage
If you have had to contest with foundation damage before, you’ll want to consider calling an inspector out to your home at least once a year to keep an eye on things. Annual foundation, basement, and crawl space inspections will let you determine how well your piers are protecting your home. With the help of a professional, you can take additional action to protect your piers or rest easy knowing your foundation’s as sturdy as it can be.
It is also worth noting that when some contractors – like Tar Heel Basement Systems, for example – install piering solutions, they will wrap up the installation process by benchmarking. To ensure peace of mind in the solution, the installers will benchmark above each one of the piers. A laser level is set up, and small rivets are installed into the foundation. This allows future inspection to ensure the piers continue to work in stabilizing the home.
Don’t Let Damage Have Time to Grow
Problems with your piers won’t just disappear over time. If you suspect that something may be wrong with your piers, or that your home may have suffered from additional water damage, you’ll want to get in touch with a professional as soon as possible. With a contractor’s experience to guide you along, you can explore the means through which you can support your existing piers.
Above all else, do not try to DIY pier supports. While DIY measures can help you save money on some occasions, you’ll always want to work with a professional working in the Raleigh, NC, area to secure your home and waterproofing measures against additional damage. Contact the experts at Tar Heel Basement Systems today for a free inspection and repair estimate.