Written by Ducon Contractors and Homes.
Posted in Custom Homes, Home Building, Renovations,
To say a well-built home requires a good foundation is an understatement. The entire structure of a home rests on its foundation, so it must be built carefully and flawlessly; any problems with the foundation can impact the entire integrity of a home. A foundation also keeps out moisture, provides insulation and resists movement of the earth around it.
What things need to be considered before building a foundation?
A solid footing will ensure a strong foundation for a building stands the test of time.
Constructing a foundation starts with building a footing, the underlying layer of the home that’s usually built with concrete and reinforced with steel. But even before the footing is built, you must consider whether the location of that footing will work. A home needs to be built on strong soil otherwise the earth may not be strong enough to support it. It must also not be built on top of groundwater sources, otherwise it’s at extreme risk of flooding.
If you’re unsure of how viable your site is, contact your local conservation authority, as it may have resources to help you conduct a site analysis. The analysis could include soil inspections and provide advice on whether a basement is viable or if a smaller crawl space is less risky.
Once your footing has been inspected and passes all tests, you’re ready to build your foundation. However, once your foundation wall is built, it’s wise to conduct another inspection on it, prior to backfilling with cement, so as to ensure it’s steady and will settle evenly over time.
How do you ensure your foundation is waterproof?
Efforts to waterproof a foundation take place during and after construction. A sound building practice is to make sure that most plumbing or other outside underground lines enter the home from below the ground surface, not through the wall of the foundation. Any lines that enter through the foundation wall should be limited to one area such as a mechanical room and these entry points must be water-proofed carefully. When the structure of a home is complete, drainage systems should be built to pull water away from the foundation. This could include a gutter system or eaves-troughs that lead water off the roof and away from the walls.
Finally, upon completion of a home, it’s important for the homeowner to regularly inspect the foundation walls to ensure no cracks develop. If cracks do appear, it may be a sign that your drainage system has broken down and needs to be fixed. However, in the meantime, you can look for a sealer product (there is no shortage of good ones on the market) that is made for exterior foundations.
Why are foundations so important?
A foundation should be an impenetrable force, because if water can get inside your home, it can lead to mold or decay of materials that may comprise the structure of your home. There are many elements to a good home – the shell, the foundation and roof, for instance – but a good home undoubtedly starts with a good foundation.
For more information or advice on building a proper foundation, please contact us.