There’s a saying, “A home needs a good foundation.” While this quote may be talking about family and having good relationships with each other, it is also true that a home literally needs a good foundation to last as well.
There’s a saying, “A home needs a good foundation.” While this quote may be talking about family and having good relationships with each other, it is also true that a home literally needs a good foundation to last as well. Let’s take a minute to discuss the main types of foundations that homes in Wichita, Kansas, usually have.
The four main types of foundations are:
- Concrete Slab Foundation
- Basement Foundation
- Crawl Space Foundation
- Pier Foundation
A concrete slab foundation is fairly self-explanatory; it is a slab of concrete that lies directly on the ground and is reinforced by steel rods and drainage pipes. Basement foundations are built using a concrete perimeter of pillars that support the building’s above-ground structure. Crawl space foundations are usually no more than three or four feet high, and concrete pillars are placed around the perimeter to support the structure above. Pier foundations are constructed using small circular or square pads of concrete that are located in strategic points along the outer perimeter of the home. These pads are inserted and secured into the ground using treated wood posts or steel rods. These posts or rods are then connected to the home for support. The type of foundation may depend on topography, soil type, local climate, water table, and how the owner plans to use the space. No matter what kind of foundation a person has for their home, it will have its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s look at some of these.
Concrete Slab Foundation
- Minimize the risk of flooding and gas leaks such as radon.
- Less of a chance that mold and mildew will inhabit your living spaces.
- Less probability that a slab foundation would experience slumping from water erosion.
- Strong, cost efficient, and durable.
- Slab cracks that can compromise the structural integrity of the home.
- Shifting soil can cause flooring to be uneven.
- Invasive tree roots and earthquakes can cause problems since a concrete slab foundation is directly on the ground.
- Additional square footage providing extra living space.
- Can provide shelter and protection from some natural disasters such as tornadoes or other severe weather.
- Easy access if repairs are needed.
- Flexibility to be built on a sloping grade – ideal for a walkout basement.
- A basement is more expensive to build than a slab foundation or crawl space.
- There can be a higher likelihood of a radon issue – but can be addressed with preventive techniques and mitigation equipment.
- Potential for flooding without a sump pump in place or deteriorating basement drains.
- Foundation cracks can occur and allow moisture in and cause significant damage.
- Egress windows can be a source of water leaks.
Crawl Space Foundation
- Work well in dry climates, areas prone to flooding, and in sloped regions.
- Work well in earthquake regions and with soils that are prone to sliding.
- Easier access to plumbing and wiring and for pest control situations.
- Well insulated crawl space can provide good ventilation.
- High humidity, moisture, and other water issues can occur causing odor and poor indoor air quality.
- Mold, mildew, and other allergens can be an issue due to high humidity and moisture.
- Wood rot can occur and cause structural damage, sagging floors, and wall cracks.
- Causes minimal disruption to the soil environment.
- Protection from flooding since the home is raised on piers and elevated off the ground.
- Repair costs may be less than with other foundation types, depending on the damage.
- Easy access for electrical and plumbing as well as repairs for electrical and plumbing.
- Piers can tilt over time and contribute to foundation failure.
- Concrete piers can collapse and crack over time.
- Floors over pier foundations may experience sagging floors over time as beams shift.
- Piers can be adversely affected by earthquakes and hurricanes.
THE BOTTOM LINE ABOUT FOUNDATIONS
With any foundation in Wichita, Kansas, there are going to be advantages and disadvantages, so no foundation is perfect. What type of foundation a home has will depend greatly on the area, building conditions, climate, weather, and other factors. There are a lot of outside factors that can’t be controlled that can impact a home’s foundation and cause loss of structural integrity. If you have noticed foundation cracks or noticed other signs of foundation issues, please give FreshCo Cleaning and Restoration a call. We can conduct an inspection that will let you know anything that is going on with your foundation and put your mind at ease.
“Prompt, dependable, and efficient.”
— Michael C in Wichita, Kansas