Protecting your home from foundation damage is essential both for the safety of your family and when considering your home’s overall value. Any piering systems you install, however, will need the same kind of protection as your foundation if you want them to continue doing their jobs.
Pier maintenance may sound complex, but with this checklist in hand, you’ll find the job easier to accomplish than you thought.
What’s the Importance of Maintaining Your Piers?
If you’ve had piers installed, you’ve likely had to contend with foundation damage such as settling before. Your foundation can readily fall victim to hydrostatic pressure and unstable soil if you don’t take steps to protect it. That pressure can cause your foundation materials to crack or sink.
Your piers are designed to stabilize and even can lift a concrete slab back into place. So, it is important to make sure these supports do not fall victim to the same hydrostatic pressure and other damage as an unprotected foundation can.
Pier maintenance can help you get ahead of that sort of damage. While you won’t be able to dig your piers out every few months, you can make small changes around your home. These changes, when combined, can direct water away from your piers and back out into your yard, where it won’t have as much of an impact on the soil around your piers or those piers’ internal stability.
How Can You Maintain Your Piers?
This pier maintenance checklist won’t encourage you to excavate your piers on a regular basis. Instead, you can take small steps while caring for your home to direct water away from your piers and keep them stable for years to come.
To start the maintenance of your piers off on the right foot, you’ll want to:
Invest in Early Waterproofing Measures
It is never a bad idea to waterproof your foundation or piers. By installing waterproofing measures at the same time as your piers, you can work to keep those piers sturdier for longer.
Some waterproofing measures, like interior drainage and sump pump systems, can move pooling water away from the perimeter of your home and out into drains or other parts of your yard. By keeping this water away from your home, these waterproofing measures will again limit the amount of hydrostatic pressure your piers have to contend with.
Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters is never fun. If you want to keep water away from the perimeter of your home, however, it is an essential chore. Gutters that are clogged or downspouts that aren’t attached appropriately can send water spilling straight onto the perimeter of your home. That water will have a direct line toward your piers, forcing them to contend with more hydrostatic pressure than they would have otherwise.
When you invest in underground downspouts and keep your gutters clear, you can direct that excess water out into your yard and keep it away from your sensitive piers.
Have a Professional Inspect Your Home for Damage
Foundation, basement, and crawl space inspections should be more common than they are, and yet most homeowners only call on a professional if they think something’s amiss in their home. If you get into the habit of scheduling annual home inspections, you can often get ahead of the damage that might otherwise cost you a lot of money in the future.
Home inspections after the installation of piers beneath your foundation are even more essential if you want to maintain your home’s value and structural integrity. An experienced contractor working in the Indianapolis, IN, area can spot any signs of reoccurring damage in your home and help you support your piers if they start to fail.
Something to keep in mind that will enable future inspections is that when some contractors – like Indiana Foundation Service, for example – install piers, they will use a benchmarking technique. The installers will set up a laser level and then install small rivets into the foundation above each one of the piers. This allows future inspection to ensure the piers continue to work in stabilizing the home, thus giving you peace of mind.
Don’t Let Damage Have Time to Grow
Sometimes, it’s easy to spot a problem with your foundation and hope that, after a few days, it’ll just go away. This, unfortunately, isn’t the case with your foundation, just as it isn’t the case with your piers.
If you believe your piers have fallen victim to damage, either due to hydrostatic pressure or to shifting soil beneath your home, don’t wait to call a professional. These sorts of problems won’t disappear over time. More often than not, they’ll get worse. If you act quickly, you can fix a damaged pier and keep your foundation steady for years to come. Reach out to the professionals at Indiana Foundation Service for a free inspection and repair estimate today.