A home’s foundation is the lower part of the structure that supports the weight of the building and transfers it to the ground. The foundation consists of footings, which are typically made of concrete and extend below the frost line to provide stability and prevent settling. The size and depth of the footings depend on the weight of the building and the soil conditions. The footings support the foundation walls, which are also made of concrete and rest on top of the footings. The foundation walls are typically about 8 to 10 feet tall and are reinforced with steel to provide additional strength. The space between the foundation walls is known as the basement or crawl space and provides additional living or storage space. The foundation and footings are critical components of a home’s construction, and proper installation is essential for the long-term stability and safety of the building.
- An average house weighs 50 tons.
- An average foundation weighs 7.5 tons.
- The foundation typically accounts for 8-15% of the total project cost.
- Poured concrete is the most common foundation material, accounting for 81% of all foundations, followed by block at 16%, and other materials at 3%.
- In the Northeast, 89% of foundations are full basement; in the Midwest, 75% are full basement; in the South, 66% are slab; in the West, 63% are slab.
Why do Foundations Fail?
There are various reasons why house foundations fail.
One common cause is the use of nonporous backfill, which can be problematic for soils with high clay or organic content that retain water and increase the risk of foundation cracks when the soil freezes and expands.
Rushing the curing process of concrete is another issue that can compromise the foundation’s strength. It’s essential to allow concrete to cure slowly to achieve the required strength of 3,000 psi, which can be done by keeping it damp for at least three days using techniques such as misting with water or wrapping it in plastic.
Insufficient compacting of crushed stone used as a base for the slab is also a contributing factor to foundation failure, as it can lead to settling or cracking of the foundation.
Finally, pouring concrete in a single go without interruptions is crucial, as stopping and resuming work the next day can result in cold joints that are likely to crack and leak, compromising the foundation’s integrity.
Contact Footing Lifters today – we are footing experts!