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Post and Pier Reinforcement

We Specialize in Post and Pier Reinforcement in Los Angeles | Orange | Ventura

A post and pier (sometimes called post and beam or pier and beam) foundation involves wood posts or concrete piers set into the ground and bearing the weight of the building on foundation beams.

While easier to build and less costly than the more common perimeter concrete foundation, it is not appropriate for all buildings.

It is best for building sites with a low likelihood of earthquake or hurricane force winds because the house is not as deeply or as heavily embedded into the ground.

All foundations can have problems in wet clay soils, especially when they shrink or expand . Post and pier foundations can be pushed out of alignment  in some situations. For this reasons your building  may require an engineering analysis for such foundations. But, for houses in stable, solid soil a post and pier foundation can serve as well and last as long as the building above it. With modern materials such as pressure treated wood and preformed metal brackets and straps this old style foundation is both easier to build and stronger than ever before.

Grade Beam Footing

A grade beam footing is a continuous reinforced-concrete member used to support loads with minimal bending. Grade beams are capable of spanning across non-load bearing areas, and are commonly supported by soil or pilings. A continuous grade beam is frequently constructed by digging a trench at least 8" wide to the depth needed to span the distance between supports. Grade beam footings different from continuous spread footings in how they distribute loads. The depth of a grade beam footing is designed to distribute loads to bearing points, while the width of a continuous spread footing is designed to transfer loads to the ground.

The most common problem with post and pier foundations during an earthquake is the tendency of posts to shift off piers and beams to shift off posts. Failure at either of these points can cause the substructure, and sometimes the entire house, to collapse. But steps can be taken to strengthen post and pier foundations. Bolting posts to piers and beams is the most common method. Lateral support can be achieved by installing 2"x4"s as diagonal bracing from one post to the next.

Pre-drilled steel T-straps are recommended for attaching beams to posts. For attaching posts to piers, pre-drilled, shop-fabricated, heavy gauge, bent sheet metal connectors are recommended

California Foundation Works can inspect the condition and will offer the best solution to make your broken slab into a solid foundation, here in Southern California where it is particularly important.

The following are symptoms indicate if you need additional support in your floor system:

  Unleveled floors
  Broken floor tiles
  Sloping floors
  Bumps in carpet
  Cracks around windows and door frames
  Sticky doors or windows that are difficult to open and close.

Contact California Foundation Works for a Free Estimate & Inspection today!


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