Don’t leave your bearers bare

Don’t leave your bearers bare.

Oiling the decks can be an arduous chore but it doesn’t end there the underside would benefit from a lick and a promise here and there also. We often tend to what we see and want it to look good however oils and paint also provide a more important role than making the appearance better. They serve a very solid purpose in preservation and protection.

The underside of our houses is not something to many people take to much notice of. It’s an out of mind out of site scenario however there is lot to be done here if your looking at protecting your home, furniture and occupants.

Constantly changing weather conditions in the tropical north have some very undesirable effects on construction. Wood rot and other timber deteriorations, vermin infestations and a greater risk of fire to mention some key players. Often things are taken for granted with timber. It can be very long lasting in the right conditions. Sealed in a roof or within a wall sealed from the weather and it powers on. Exposed to the weather in any way and deterioration can be seen as early as 10 or 20 years on.

Oiling or painting exposed timber and sealing the bottom of the house creates a dryer environment. Less moisture penetration and change helps preserve the timber bearers  and minimise rust and corrosion in the stumps and other parts of the understory. 

Sealing the bottom of your home also goes a long way to protecting you from fire and pest infestation by minimising or limiting what can access this area. Pests or vermin aside their very existence being unwanted also can have some negative effects on your home building their nests and playgrounds within your structure. Fire can be slowed by not allowing it a feee flow from the underside and relying on hard panel surfaces to ignite as opposed to well seasoned dry timber.

Good Foundations are a Solid Footing

Be sure to check your foundations before you lose your footing

For what may or may not seem obvious reasons it’s very important to maintain your foundations. Restumping and post maintenance in the Whitsundays is always a concern. Proserpine and surrounds have very deep topsoil and a lot of moisture and flooding for extended periods of the year. Bowen like Cannovale and Airlie Beach are constantly open to the weather and also subjected to heavy rainfall. The foundations, the ground, soil or compacted material around your post is of extreme importance. In fact anything within the drip line of your building is of concern. That is any and every part of the ground that is covered by your building is important. Important for many reasons but above all else and for the purposes of this discussion to maintaining the structural integrity of your home.

Foundation Integrity Loss

Two main concerns are in discussion. One is that the buildings posts or stumps lose much of their footings if the soil or material is loosened around the post. The other is water permeating through the subsoil. Extending to the underneath section of the building can and will lead to many problems. Problems such as sinking and or rusting in addition to adding to the aforementioned loss of your footings integrity. In the image shown below it can be seen how any sideways movement that is present be it from everyday wear and tear or storm driven in the case of a cyclone. The buildings movement pushes the solid compacted material away from the stump and it,s replaced with lighter silt aided by driving wind and rain.

 

post movement in a buildings foundations
post movement in a buildings foundations

 

The solution

No water is good water under your house. Keeping the area directly below the elevated section of your building will maintain its structural integrity and keep it strong through the local weather upsets. No water or rain should have access to this section of your building. If there is rain blowing in or some other seemingly uncontrollable case, then you should insure the drainage is such that its immediately taken away. It is by far worth the effort to make sure it can’t penetrate the subsoil.  Although in many cases it’s not a livable component of the building or in many cases not even useful however it needs to be maintained.

Drainage around the house needs to be checked and fixed. Building barriers such as part walls or lattice to keep the rain out. Ground levels under the building to insure good drainage. It can all be readily addressed and will go a long way to the longevity of your home. Some simple materials and building and landscaping up to and under your house. Ideally where the garden stops so do does the weather and also any vermin that can attack the structure of your home.