Understanding your homes foundation

Foundations 101: Maintenance and Components

The foundation of a house can be considered the most important component of any structure. Continue reading to find out what makes a house’s foundation and how to keep it strong.

Table of Contents

Parts of a House Foundation

The foundation of your home supports the structure’s weight, provides a level and flat surface for building and keeps wood-based construction materials from the ground (which helps prevent rotting).

Concrete foundations with poured concrete are very popular, especially if a basement is present. This foundation is very common in North America. It includes:

  • Concrete footing
  • Concrete floor slab
  • Foundation walls (poured concrete, concrete masonry units) are the norm.

To add strength to walls, rebar (reinforcing stainless steel bars) is installed on top of the footings. The concrete is then poured in the wood or metal forms. Anchor bolts are then inserted along the perimeter of the concrete to prevent it from setting and hardening.

Waterproofing a House's Foundation

Waterproofing is an important part of any foundation. It’s the last thing you want to see in your home or foundation. Waterproofing will be applied to exterior walls that face the ground. A perimeter drain with perforations will be installed to direct water away the foundation.

A polyethylene vapor barrier is also installed between the concrete floor slabs and the ground. To allow water to drain from the foundation, the soil grade will slope away from your home.

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How to maintain your home's foundation

Foundation repairs can be costly and no homeowner wants to make expensive repairs to their home. These are some tips that will help you maintain your foundation

Make sure you have clean gutters and downspouts

Another home feature that helps keep your foundation dry is the downspouts and gutters. Make sure to check them often to make sure water is not leaking from your home.

Puddles are to be avoided

If you see Puddles form near your foundation Contact a professional immediately after heavy rains or snowmelt. There may be many causes.

Be on the lookout for cracks

Not all cracks can be bad news for your foundationSome cracks are not. Cracks can be more serious if there are inoperable doors or windows, as well as excessively sloping floors or surfaces. Cracks in basement walls can also be a sign of problems, especially if they are horizontal and accompanying bowing or leaning.

Inspect your Plumbing Every Year

Water damage to your foundation can be caused by leaking sprinkler systems or sewer lines. It’s smart to have them checked each year.