All modern buildings are constructed on top of concrete foundations, may they be large office buildings, banks, or residential homes large or small. During a construction project, one of the first steps will be to dig up space for the foundation, then pour concrete and allow it to cure. Then, a house may be constructed. It should be noted that there is more than one way to do this, and a number of foundation models are in use today based on a home’s local climate and geology. Unfortunately, foundation failure is a possibility, so a responsible homeowner will call upon foundation repair services or a foundation repair company to handle the hardware issues. Different models may call for particular work from these foundation repair services, and a homeowner may find local crews or foundation repair services online if need be. What are the common foundation models, and how to they differ?
The Four Common Foundation Models
A number of foundation types are built and used across the United States, but four in particular are common in the industry and support many homes. One such model is the stone slab, and a slab foundation is just that: a simple, solid slab of concrete upon which a house may be securely built. These slab foundations are common for homes in Texas younger than 50 years, and they are used if a home will not face hazards such as earthquakes or flooding.
Another common type of foundation is the crawlspace, and this foundation model gets its name from its elevated concrete platform. A crawlspace will lift the home 18″ off the ground, and this makes for a low but wide space where professionals may crawl for inspection and repair work if needed. Not only is this a convenient repair space, but the crawlspace is also a form of flood protection. In the even of a flood, waters may pass harmlessly under the home rather than into it, which of course makes crawlspaces a fine option in flood-prone areas.
A third option for foundations is the pillar and beam model, which is in fact a crawlspace that has wooden and concrete pillars and beams under it for extra support. These foundations prove popular and cost effective to build, but the pillars do not go very deep into the ground. This means that they are easily damaged by earthquakes, so before construction begins, a geologist should be consulted for nearby fault lines. Otherwise, these foundations are similar to standard crawlspaces.
The fourth major type of foundation is the basement, and these particular foundations are known for adding quite a bit of extra square footage to a home due to their full-scale rooms. Unlike crawlspaces, basements are fully-formed rooms useful for both living space and storage, and these foundations are also resistant to earthquakes and fires alike. However, since they go deep into the ground, basements may suffer from flooding damage, and very old basements may have faulty walls in them. A concerned homeowner may contact foundation experts to handle this work.
Contacting Foundation Repair Services
If need be, a homeowner may look up local foundation repair contractors, whether by getting references from a hardware store or an online search. Any good foundation repair crew will have their own website, and this website will have articles, videos, and images that showcase what the company is capable of (and contact information should also be available). A homeowner may look up and compare multiple contractor crews and choose which one is right for them.
Repair professionals can use a crawlspace to inspect and repair a foundation underneath, and plumbers can work on pipes in the same area. Meanwhile, a basement may urgently need foundation experts to protect it from flooding damage, whether new or old. Very old basements have limestone brick walls that are bulging inwards due to decades of water-heavy soil pressing on them, and these faulty walls have cracks and leaks. Concrete walls can be built to contain those faulty old walls. Meanwhile, foundation experts may reinforce the foundation against further flooding from outside if need be, and plumbers may be hired to install a sump pump. This pump may collect loose water at the basement’s lowest point, then draw it up and deposit it outside the home to prevent buildup.