3 Foundation Types

There are a few different foundation types. Each one works in a slightly different way. Every building needs a foundation so that it does not fall apart and the base does not topple over.

Concrete Slab Foundations

The most common form of modern foundation is made from a solid slab of concrete. Concrete is a very strong, man-made material which will last for a very long time.

To make a concrete slab, a frame is first constructed from wood. A hole is excavated, and the frame is then placed around the inside of this hole. The frame will contain the concrete while it is still wet. Concrete is mixed using a machine. It is then poured onto the slab. Metal reinforcements are often added to the concrete to ensure that it keeps its shape.

While concrete is perceived as being very strong, it has some weaknesses. If the weather is very cold, water can penetrate the concrete. The water eventually freezes and causes cracks. It's important that you look for any signs of damage so that you can repair it as quickly as possible.

Concrete slab foundations are currently the most common type of foundation. They became common during the 1950s when they were used as a quick and cheap way to lay a foundation. They also solved many of the problems associated with water collecting under the property.

There are a number of types of slabs, including a Type 1 Slab, which is 4 inches thick and a Type 2 Slab, which is similar but requires metal reinforcement and a thicker concrete beam.

Wooden Foundations

Though not as strong as concrete, wood has several advantages. Because it is a completely natural material, it is much more resistant to temperature changes, including freezing conditions.

Wooden foundations are also pressure treated, which makes them last a very long time. Pressure treatment also prevents the wood from rotting or being eaten by pests. Pressure treated wood has a life expectancy of more than 100 years.

Although wood is better at coping with cold conditions, wood foundations are much more susceptible to water and fire damage than concrete.

Pier and Beam

Pier and beam foundations are often seen considered outdated, although they were very common in houses built before 1960. In this type of foundation, concrete piles or wooden pillars are driven into the ground at certain intervals.

The wooden joists of the house then sit upon these piers, which will keep the home off the ground. A concrete strip is normally formed around the perimeter of the house to prevent water from entering. Over the years, however, water will get inside, causing problems with dampness for many pier and beam houses.

The most important thing for keeping your foundation in good condition is to ensure that the drainage is sufficient. Water accumulation in the crawl space can cause the soil under the property to expand, resulting in serious problems.