Fun Fact: It costs more to build a pier and beam foundation than a slab foundation.
Pier and beam homes are homes with wooden floors and a space between the floor and the ground. Unlike slabs, which sit on the ground, pier and beam homes can get standing water under the foundation. THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM.
When water gets into a crawl space and stands there, or maybe just keeps the ground really wet, the wood beams and joists rot. In some cases, dry rot takes place. Dry rot takes place inside of a wood beam or joist and may not be visible. When the damage gets bad enough, the floors will collapse.
For some homes, the bottom of the crawl space is actually lower than the yard. Naturally, when this is true, water will flow into the crawl space.
To deal with the problem, first do everything you can to keep water away from the sides of your foundation. Work on surface drainage. Slope the ground away from your house and direct the water into drains or swales. When you can identify where water is getting in, for instance through cracks in your beams, seal the openings.
If a lot is too flat for surface drainage, use French drains and a sump pump to collect and remove water. Circle the house with the French drain. The bottom of the French drain must be lower than the crawl space. Connect the French drain to a sump pump. Use the pump to move water to the street.
If water continues to get under your home due to a pier and beam foundation, you will need to install a drainage system under the floor. The ground under the house will need to be sloped to a central collection point. At the collection point, which will be the lowest point under the floor, install a float activated sump pump with an alarm. The alarm will go off if the pump stops working.
If you need pier and beam foundation repair, make your first call Advanced Foundation Repair.