How Was Your Foundation Built?

With new home construction, the assembly of the foundation is an important part of the process. The foundation of a home is going to have to do its job for years to come, so new construction of a building is the perfect time to make sure the foundation is built correctly and with high quality materials. Here’s what you need to know about foundations and new construction.

Why the Foundation is Important

A house can weigh between 80,000 – 160,000 pounds and larger buildings can weight much more. This amount of weight requires adequate support from the foundation. A foundation does more than support the house though. It helps to keep the floors and walls from separating. The foundation also helps to insulate the house, keep out moisture, and help to keep the earth around it from shifting too much. If a foundation isn’t installed properly or the best one isn’t chosen for the new building, the building is going to suffer.

Avoiding Foundation Failure

The foundation can fail in a number of ways. If the concrete isn’t poured in one session, this leads to what is called a “cold joint,” which is the space between the first poured layer of concrete and the second. This can cause cracking and leaking. Another way the foundation can fail is if the crushed stone under the slab hasn’t been properly compacted.

The more tightly it is compacted the better, so it will be less likely to crack or crack. If non-porous backfill is used, this could contribute to foundation failure as it will hold more water and increase the chances it will crack.

Getting the Foundation Done Right

Building a strong foundation requires a number of steps, each one as important as the next. Rushing a foundation job or getting it done as cheaply as possible won’t be beneficial in the long-run. Whichever type of foundation is chosen for the new home or building, requires the following steps:

  • Have the soil conditions checked. This will ensure the proper type of foundation is used. Some soil conditions may require special foundations.
  • Have the lot surveyed. This is important for knowing whether the entire foundation can be installed properly. The corners must be determined so that the foundation walls can be fit flush. This will help to create a strong foundation.
  • Install footings. After the excavation process, the footings will be installed. Care should be taken when pouring the concrete whether it’s into trenches or wood forms. Large-scale pours, especially, require a contractor who has experience with this kind of job.
  • Seal the footings. A high-quality sealer will protect the footings of the foundation from moisture. Moisture will cause them to weaken.
  • Treat foundation walls with another coat of sealer. This will provide an extra layer of protection against moisture from seeping into the foundation.

When it comes to new construction of homes and commercial buildings, the quality of the foundation is going to determine how well that building withstands the test of time. Are you concerned that your foundation isn’t in good condition and not built to last? Contact Foundation Support Specialists for more information.