When planning for a new building, it is essential to consider the structure’s strength early in the process. Installing footers underneath a cement foundation ensures the area will remain stable for years to come. Even though this first step is crucial to the structure’s safety, some builders may try to convince you that footers are not necessary. Here’s what you should know about these essential elements.
What Are Foundation Footers?
Foundation footers are slabs of durable concrete reinforced with rebar that strengthen the building’s structure. The concrete is poured into a trench below the foundation that surrounds the entire building. While footers are commonly used for residential and commercial constructs, they are also placed under decks, pergolas, and retaining walls.
Why Are Foundation Footers Vital?
Footers serve multiple purposes, as they support the walls of a building and prevent the foundation from settling into the soil. During construction, they also provide a flat surface that allows for a level foundation. A building without footers is susceptible to sagging walls, cracked floors, and a myriad of additional structural damages.
How Do Foundation Footers Work?
Before installing footers, builders use a soil test to determine its load-bearing value. This indicates how many pounds per square foot the soil can endure. Land with a lot of clay and sand generally has a load-bearing value of 1,500, while hard bedrock has a load-bearing value of 12,000 and can handle more weight.
After completing a soil test, the footers are installed underneath the foundation so that the weight of the building’s walls is evenly distributed. They are constructed to be wider than the foundation itself to prevent pressure on the soil underneath.
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