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The Importance of Your Concrete Foundation

The Importance of Your Concrete Foundation

If you’re building a new home, the concrete foundation is perhaps the most important component!  The foundation does more than just hold up the house; it also keeps out moisture, provides insulation from the cold and helps your home resist the movement of the earth around it.  These are pretty important functions that need to last forever!  If your foundation isn’t properly dug and poured, you could find yourself with a big problem down the road.

A good foundation often includes steel reinforcement within the poured concrete. To build a foundation requires digging a hole and pouring concrete, often with steel reinforcement. When we dig foundations, we consider many factors including soil conditions, water tables, and the quality of the backfill. Foundations must be built to last from excavation to the pouring of concrete. Just like diamonds, foundations are forever (or at least they should be)!

Here are a few fun facts:

    • The weight of an average house is 2000 lbs
    • The average foundation is between 6-18 inches
    • The average weight of delivered materials for a foundation is 160,000 to 200,000 lb.

Why foundations fail:

According to This Old House, foundations fail for a variety of reasons.  Some of these are:

      • Improper backfill:  Soils loaded with clay or organic matter hold water like a sponge. This increases the risk of foundation cracks a soil freezes and expands.
      • Cure time. Concrete must cure slowly in order for it to reach it’s proper strength which is usually 3,000 psi. Keep it damp for at least three days helps it cure properly.
      • Compacting done wrong. Concrete should be poured over crushed stone that has been firmly tamped or it is likely to settle or crack.
      • An interrupted pour. Concrete should be poured in one time. A stop/start may result in a “cold joint” between the fresh concrete and the prior pour which is likely to crack and leak.

Whether you are pouring a foundation, a patio slab, driveway or other concrete area we know the right steps to take to ensure your concrete is poured correctly.


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