The foundation of any building helps in supporting the structures above it. Contrary to popular belief, the surface of the earth is not totally static. Thus, the foundation helps in giving a building a firm grip on the earth. There are three major functions of Foundations and they are outlined below. The Foundation Helps in Bearing the Load of the Structure: This includes the dead load (constant load of the building itself) and live load (varying weight of people and objects that comes in and out of the building).
The foundation helps to protect the building against natural disasters like earthquakes, tornados, earth creep, etc. Since the foundation helps make the building firm to the earth, the effect of such natural activities is minimized.
Foundations eliminate moisture: Since foundations are mostly built of concrete, it helps in isolating water from the building.
There are three major types of foundations. The selection of the appropriate one depends on factors such as the type of house you intend to build, the soil moisture content, geographical location, climate conditions and budget. The types of foundation commonly constructed include basement, Crawlspace and Concrete slab on grade.
In order to build a foundation, it is important that the site is surveyed to understand the soil behavior and climatic actions. This will help in determining the type of foundation that will be best suited. Thereafter, the earth has to be dug. This process is completed by the excavation contractor. The footings (which are usually made of concrete) are then installed and sealed to prevent them from moisture. This processing is known as curing. Once curing is completed, the house can then be built on the foundation.
Most foundations are usually pour foundations i.e. a concrete base is constructed in the ground and the house is built on it. Such foundations usually cost about $7,00 - $16,000 for a family house of 1600 to 1800 square inch and about $13,000 to $40,000 for a 3,000 to 4,500 square inch house. Foundations can be used to lift a house and those types usually cost between $30,000 and $100,000 depending on the size of the house and other factors including, number of floors, soil structure, time, etc.
Some houses are built on faulty foundations while some eventually deteriorate with time. Bad foundations can ultimately lead to the collapse of a house. However, before it gets that bad, there are some warning since usually exhibited by faulty foundations and they include;
Cracked or crumbling foundation: When foundations begin to show sign of buckling, sagging, ruptures, it is an indication that something is wrong as foundations are built to prevent such structural abnormalities.
Soil shifting: This occurs when the soil surrounding the foundation expands rapidly when water is present but also loses such water quickly and contracts. This process applies great pressure to the foundation which ultimately reduces the integrity of the foundation with time.
Sagging Floor: The presence of a sagging floor also indicates a foundation failure.
Cracks: Cracks in the wall of the house and even buckling of walls is another indication of a foundation failure.
House foundation inspection helps in detecting faulty foundations and identifies the cause for such faults. The inspection is done by a contractor who evaluates your property and looks out for signs associated with faulty foundations such as cracks, soil shifting, wall buckling, etc.
Once the inspection is completed the contractor identifies the fault and makes recommendations on possible means of fixing the discovered faults. Most foundation inspections are usually performed free of charge but a fee of $150 to $200 can be charged if the house doesn’t belong to you.
Once the cause for a foundation fail has been discovered, it is important to repair it before it escalates to a bigger fail. Foundation failure is repaired by foundation repair contractor and they are best suited in determining the best approach to take in fixing a foundation failure.
The two major types of foundation repair include
Piering; which fixes concrete foundations by placing supports under the concrete to provide support and Slab jacking; which involves filling the space under the slab with a mixture which aids the foundation in floating back to its original position. The actual cost of repair is largely dependent on the fault and can range from $250 for less extensive damage to $10,000 for repairs involving piers.
To schedule your free consultation with one of the experts from Sunshine Builders, Inc. call 877-824-4476