Contractors put a great deal of thought into whether the foundation they are laying will be strong enough or not to support the home they are building on top of it, and for good reason. There is more to guaranteeing a strong foundation beyond the actual construction. For example, whenever a home is being built with a footing foundation and pier or a step footing foundation, it is very important to also consider the condition of the soil throughout the foundation’s entire footprint. If the builder fails to take the time to fully understand and make adjustments to the soil’s condition under the footing foundation, it may lead to serious problems over time for the homeowner. To avoid future expensive foundation repair, it is critical to pay close attention to the soil under the foundation before it is built.
Why Soil Is So Important For A Foundation
Soils typically are able to support a regular house foundation footing without any problems. However, there are certain situations where soil condition surrounding the property is inconsistent – and that is where the problems can start. For example, when the soil under one of the softer than under the other footing, the part of the house over that footing might settle deeper and faster than the other parts of the house – which can lead to needing to have serious foundation crack repairs that might need to be made.
The quality of the soil right under each of the footings is very important. since the soil pressure is at its highest for a depth that is about equal to the footing’s width. For example, a 16-inch footing typically means that the soil-bearing pressure is at its greatest at the first 16 inches of the soil under the footing. After the initial 16 inches, the pressure diminishes by around half. Then after the following depth of 16 inches, by around two-thirds.
The Importance Of Soil That Is Thoroughly Compacted
Although in this example the initial 16 inches are the most important, it is quite easy to see how having sandy or soft soil a little deeper than this can impact how the foundation settles. For this reason, it is critical to ensure that the soil is compacted thoroughly before you start to build the foundation. If you encounter sandy, soft, or clay soil anyplace on the property throughout the excavation process, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced engineer before proceeding further.
Other Details to Take Into Consideration
Although one of the critical considerations before you build a foundation is the density and quality of the soil under your footing, it is not the only one.
The following are some other factors to consider:
Footing dimension: The wider that the footing is, the more it can spread the house’s weight into the soil. More stability is provided by wider footings.
Footing placement: A footing placed off-center may create issues for the wall since the weight won’t be evenly distributed. Undue stress will also be put on the structure.
Water contained in the soil: It can be a huge red flag is water is found in the soil during the excavation process, so if you encounter any during the excavation process for your foundation, make sure you consult with an engineer. The form bottom might need to be filled with stones and compacted into the mud in order to provide more stability.
You would like to maximize the stability of your house, but, unfortunately, Mother Nature does not always cooperate. Before your home’s foundation is poured, be sure to keep these considerations in mind to avoid serious problems in the future.
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