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Foundation Basics

Your home foundation is in direct contact with the ground and joins the building's structure with the underlying zone of soil or rock. The foundation's job is to transfer the structure's load to the underlying soil or rock, without excessive settlement or movement.

Movement of the soil underneath a home can severely damage the foundation. That is why the soil beneath your home is often referred to as your second foundation.

slab-on-grade-foundationSlab-on-Grade Foundation:

A home's foundation is in direct contact with the ground and the building's structure sits on the underlying zone of soil or rock. The foundation's function is to transfer the structure's load to the underlying soil or rock, without excessive settlement or movement.

Movement of the soil beneath a home can severely damage the foundation. That’s why the soil beneath your home is often referred to as your second foundation.

Slab-on-Grade Foundations are shallow foundations that are usually constructed of reinforced concrete. Slab-on-Grade Foundations can be built quickly and are relatively inexpensive to build. The function of a Slab-on-Grade Foundation is not to resist or limit the amount of heave that might occur beneath a slab foundation, but to fluctuate with the shrink and heave. Slab-on-grade houses do not have basements.

Shallow foundations are susceptible to seasonal movement from rainfall, drought, freeze/thaw cycles, temperature changes and transpiration of moisture thru the roots of large plants and trees.

post-and-beamPier and Beam Foundations:

Pier and Beam Foundations, as the name suggests, are concrete footing and piers which support wood beams and floor joists. These foundations usually have crawl spaces underneath the home.

Pier and beam foundations in Southern California:

Crawl spaces are a source of many foundation problems. This intricate set up of beams, joists, footing and piers is spreading the weight of the entire house across it, so if it is not properly water proofed, bolted, leveled and so on, it can effect the rest of the house causing at best cracks and uneven doors and windows, at worst, severe structural weakness and loss of structural integrity. There are many solutions to the different Pier and Beam foundation problems. Often times cripple walls can be installed, the foundation can be bolted, concrete pads can be installed, and the piers and beams strengthened and the foundation leveled.
Deep foundations reach depths that are not normally affected by seasonal environmental changes and are considered to be out of the zone of influence.

There are a multitude of other types of both shallow and deep foundations, such as slab foundation footing or a caissons foundation system.

Contact California Foundation Works for a Free Estimate & Inspection today!

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