A foundation is a key element of a house or other structure. The foundation’s job is to provide a solid base for the rest of the building, and it must be able to handle all of the load-bearing capacity without buckling or cracking. There are many different types of foundations out there, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses. One common foundation type for houses is slab foundation.
Concrete Slab Foundation
Concrete slab foundations have been used since the 1950s for new construction because they provide a sturdy foundation at a low cost compared to traditional basements. A concrete slab foundation looks very similar to any other concrete foundation – it’s a large, thick slab of concrete that is typically 4”-6” thick in the center and poured directly on the ground all at one time. The edges of the slab are thicker (as wide as 24”) in order to allow for extra strength around the perimeter. Many foundations utilize post-tension cables, while others are reinforced with steel rods (rebar). These materials are used in order to make the slab extremely sturdy and capable of bearing the load-bearing weight of the house or other structure.
The concrete foundation is generally positioned on a layer of sand in order to improve drainage. However, most houses built on concrete slabs don’t have basements because moisture is allowed to sit under the foundation due to poor drainage, which can lead to foundation problems. Furthermore, it is very difficult for basement walls underneath a foundation to dry out if they have been saturated with moisture because concrete slabs are not porous, so the foundation walls can only dry from the inside out.
These concrete slabs do a great job of preventing soil movement and minimizing foundation settlement, which is a major benefit. However, if there is a poor foundation design or installation, foundation issues such as slab heave, foundation cracks, and other problems may arise. In order to prevent these problems from occurring, it’s important that homeowners be aware of what a concrete slab foundation entails before building a home on one.