#FoundationFactFriday: How heavy is your foundation?
Foundation Fact: The average foundation weighs 7 1/2 tons.
That’s heavy! Foundations are the structural key to supporting the weight of your home or business. It’s important that your foundation is strong and on solid ground to support the average 50 ton weight of a home and even heavier commercial buildings. In the first #FoundationFactFriday installment, foundation settlement was discussed and one of the solutions CFS offers to remedy such issues – helical piers – was discussed. Now, let’s get to the root of your home or business to discuss the structure of the foundation itself.
The type of foundation varies by geography, soil and building type. In the Carolinas’, homes often have slab, basement or crawl space foundations, while commercial buildings have mat, continuous footing, shallow foundation with beams or pile foundation.
Types of Home Foundations:
- Slab Foundation – Slab foundations are built directly on top of the soil. The ground is leveled and trench is dug around the perimeter, gravel is spread across the site and conrete is poured over a moisture barrier layer. The trenches allow room for concrete to be poured where load bearing walls are placed. Plumbing, heating and cooling systems are placed below the slab. This type of foundation transfers the weight of the building directly to the soil via the slab. Slab foundations are Slab foundations are popular among builders and homeowners for their relatively low cost, minimal excavation requirements and quick installation.
- Basement Foundation – Basement foundations are the deepest of the foundation types and have footings around the perimeter that are built below the frost line to avoid damages that could compromise the structural integrity of the home. Basements are ideal for storage, extra living space and easy access for maintenace to plumbing, heating and cooling systems.
- Crawl Space Foundation – Crawl space foundations are shallower than basement foundations and elevate a house a few feet above the ground. A footing is poured around the permieter of the site and short walls 16-17 inches deep to support theh home. crawl space foundation is one where the footing is poured as well as short foundation walls to support the home. The interior walls and ceiling of the crawl space are typically insulation as this is the floor to the above home. Utilities are acessible through crawl spaces.
Types of Commercial Foundations:
- Mat Foundation – Mat foundations also known as raft foundations are a thick soil-rock supported foundation that maintians the same thickness through the entire site of the structure. This type of foundation is classified as either shallow or deep foundation depending on conditions of construction. Mat foundations are used in poor soil areas where building weight has to be dispersed over a large area, or where columns are closely spaced.
- Continuous Footing Foundation – Continuous footing foundations also known as spot foundations are generally classified as shallow foundations that typically consist of columns or grade beams or a combination. The foundation footing is usually more wide than it is thick and spreads the structure’s weight into the soil supporting the foundation.
- Shallow Foundation with Beams – Shallow foundations also know as a a monolithic slab with grade beams is classified as a shallow foundation where a perimeter and interior trenches are excavated and grade beams are installed in the trenches. Rectangular and square footings get their support from grade beams. This typeof foundation is generally utilized on structures with lightly loaded foundations.
- Pile Foundations – Pile foundations are classified as deep foundations and consist of vertical piers instead of footings that are drilled deeply into the ground. Piles function as laterally braced columns that pierce through weaker soil into more suitable ground. Theweight is transferred to the soil through end bearing.
Carolina Foundation Solutions is comprised of a team of experts with over 100 years of experience in all the above mentioned foundation types. Are you experiencing issues with your foundation? CFS is your trusted solution to help you protect your biggest investment.
Call us at 877-770-7050 or fill out this form to schedule a FREE assessment.