Freezes and Your Pier and Beam Foundation
If you live in Texas and have a concrete floor slab on grade foundation, you do not need to worry about freezes affecting your foundation. If you have a pier and beam foundation, you can have problems.
In most of Texas (that is everywhere but the Panhandle), the ground rarely freezes. When it does stay cold enough to freeze the ground, only the top few inches are affected. Because a concrete floor slab foundation is usually dug one to three feet into the ground, the cold cannot get under the slab. The ground’s natural warmth and heat from the interior of a home protect a slab and the plumbing in the ground under a slab.
With a pier and beam foundation home, the space between the floor and the ground (the crawlspace), can have problems. If a crawlspace is open to the cold air, pipes in a crawlspace can freeze. If waterlines freeze and burst, water can flood a crawlspace. In extreme cases, the flooding can cause foundation movement. Of course, when pipes break, the immediate problem of repairing the breaks gets attention first.
The best way to protect a crawlspace and the pipes in it from freezing is to cover the vents. Vents are openings in the sides of the wall that forms the edge of the foundation. The vents allow air to circulate and help to control humidity. Once the vents are covered, heat from the ground and from the house will be trapped in the crawlspace and pipes will not freeze. It is also a good idea to let water drip from your faucets. Dripping faucets will keep water flowing in your pipes and will help prevent freezing.
If you have a foundation problem, call Advanced Foundation Repair for your complimentary quote today.