Any building constructed today is going to be placed on top of a foundation, typically a concrete one, and these foundations are an essential part of any construction process. Office buildings, shopping malls, and residential homes large and small need good foundations, and building one is one of the first steps of any construction project. A number of foundation models are common for residential homes in the United States today, and a few different models exist. Foundation failure is an unfortunate possibility, however, based on the quality of construction and if certain hazards are present. Foundation repair crews may be found and hired online, and a foundation repair company may help with cracks, water leaks, and more. What are some of the common types of foundations used today, and how might foundation failure occur?
The Common Foundation Models
A variety of foundation types are used across the United States, and four of them in particular have proven popular and effective. The first is the stone slab model, and a slab foundation is exactly that: a solid slab of concrete upon which a house may be built. these simple foundations are common to Texas homes younger than 50 years, and they are often used when a house will not face hazards such as flooding or earthquakes.
A second type of foundation used today is the crawlspace, which is a concrete foundation that elevates the home 18″ off the ground. This creates a space underneath where homeowners and repair experts alike may crawl to inspect or repair the foundation or plumbing, hence the name. Foundation failure due to flooding is unlikely with crawlspaces, since their open space allows flood water to pass right underneath them. This makes crawlspaces a fine choice in flood-prone areas.
Pillar and beam foundations are another common model, and they are crawlspaces with the addition of wooden and concrete pillars and beams underneath them for added support. These foundations are popular among homeowners and they are price-friendly to build, but they may suffer serious foundation failure if an earthquake strikes. The pillars do not go very deep into the ground and may be damaged in earth tremors or quakes. So, a licensed geologist on staff may be consulted during construction to ensure that such a foundation is not built too close to fault lines.
Basements rank as another common foundation model, and they are known for adding a lot of square footage to a home for both storage and living space since they have so much room in them. Basements are resistant to both fires and earthquakes, making them suitable for areas that have nearby fault lines. However, basements may suffer from foundation failure if flooding occurs, and limestone formations are especially prone to this. A very old basement may need a lot of repair services brought on board to keep it in good shape.
Basement and Crawlspace Fixes
If foundation failure occurs, a concerned homeowner may look online for local repair crews who can take care of the problem. Like other contractors, foundation crews are bound to have their own websites, which will have articles, videos, and images showcasing what sort of work the company can do (along with contact information). Once a homeowner finds a crew that they like, repairs may be possible.
A crawlspace is designed for easy access, and foundation repair experts and plumbers alike may use that space to inspect and repair whatever they need to. Meanwhile, basements offer plenty of room for work, and this is often done to contain flooding issues. If rain or flood water is leaking into the basement from the ground level, foundation experts may reinforce and rework the foundation to seal any leaks. What is more, very old foundations made from limestone bricks may be bulging inwards and leaking water, due to pressure of water-heavy soil behind them. These may also be addressed. Bulging limestone walls cannot be forced back into their original position, but contractors may build concrete walls that can contain those bulging walls and their leaks. What is more, plumbers may be hired to install a sump pump at the basement’s lowest point, complete with channels to direct standing water there. These pumps may then draw up loose water and remove it from the basement entirely.