BASIC FOUNDATION TYPES AND A USEFUL QUOTE
Residential properties are usually built on one of three types of concrete foundations:
- FULL BASEMENT
A full basement is an enclosed space at least six feet high. They may be constructed of poured cement, cinder blocks or even stone in older homes. A basement can add significant square feet to a home for storage, a garage, a work area or as finished space. The air can be conditioned (heated and cooled) or unconditioned. Poured basement walls often develop hairline cracks from settling of the surrounding soil. If treated, usually with injected liquid polyurethane, when they first appear, they are less likely to leak. Cracks wider than 1/4″ may indicate a structural problem and often will require a carbon fiber repair. Basements are not typically found in very sandy soil, especially near coastal beaches and waterways.
A crawl space is usually only a few feet high and only features footings for the home to rest on but not a poured floor. They may have a dirt floor or often gravel, especially if HVAC units are present. If ventilated from the outside, moisture and mold issues may be present. A crawlspace may also become a home for insects and pests. Crawlspaces are often used to help reduce construction costs. those without floors should not be used for storage.
A slab-on-grade foundation is a concrete pad laid over stronger footings which will bear the weight of the home. Because there is no basement, entrances and access for electrical, water, drainage and HVAC must be integrated with the slab. There are two implications. First, those drilled holes and the gaps between them and the lines and pipes installed can be a source of leaks. Secondly, if any repairs are ever needed, the slab must be accessed and broken up. Slab-on-grade foundations are less likely to display termite or insect infestations as there are no wooden joists.
A USEFUL QUOTE
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt