Foundation is a critical part of your home—it protects the structure from ground movement and moisture and bears the building’s weight, keeping your home anchored in place.
As crucial as the foundation is, few homeowners think about it. They often don’t consider different types of building foundations, as not all are designed for use in the same situations. Here’s what you need to know about the four common types.
Different Types of Home Foundations
Home foundations are usually divided into four categories. Each type has its advantages and downsides. Understanding the differences between the various types gives you a better understanding of your home.
Concrete Slab Foundation
Concrete slabs are the most common type of foundation used by builders. The name is an accurate description—the foundation is a slab of poured concrete. Steel rods reinforce the concrete. After the concrete is cured, the home is built on top of the slab.
Concrete Slab Foundation Pros
Concrete slabs are cost-effective, quick, and easy to install. The slab also lays flush against the ground and soil is mostly protected from weather fluctuations. Concrete slabs also eliminate termite problems underneath your house.
Concrete Slab Foundation Cons
Some of the downsides to concrete slabs include a lack of ventilation between the foundation and ground, causing inside temperatures to be warmer. It’s also more difficult to make under slab plumbing repairs
Crawl Space Foundation
Homes may be built with crawl space foundations so that they are elevated above a floodplain. Smaller homes often have crawl space foundations that act as small basements, around 3-4 feet high. Concrete pillars are inserted into the foundation to support the above structure.
Crawl Space Foundation Pros
If high groundwater is a recurring problem, a crawl space foundation is an ideal solution. It’s durable, protects against soil erosion and water. The space also allows for airflow, helping your home stay cooler in the hot summer months.
Crawl Space Foundation Cons
The airflow from the crawl space can cause a rise in heating costs. Water can also pool underneath the home. To prevent these foundation issues, the crawl space needs to be properly graded for drainage and have airflow.
Pier foundations use small square or circular concrete pads that are placed in specific locations around the home. The pads are secured with steel rods or wood posts that are then connected to the structure to give it support. In essence, the home is built on concrete pillars.
Pier Foundation Pros
It’s durable and provides exceptional structural support. You can also avoid some of the downsides that come with crawl space and basement foundations.
Pier Foundation Cons
The cost of a pier foundation is the biggest disadvantage, as it is one of the most expensive. You may also have to worry about sagging floors as the structure settles.
House foundation options also include using a basement, though this option may not be practical in coastal areas. The basement foundation is built by creating a perimeter around the home of concrete pillars that support the structure.
Basement Foundation Pros
You get added living or storage space with a basement foundation. It can also provide a safe place if you live in a region where tornadoes are common. A basement foundation also helps keep homes cool in the summer.
Basement Foundation Cons
Basement foundations are the most expensive, higher than a pier foundation. You may also end up with significant maintenance issues. Basement foundations can flood.
URETEK Gulf Coast Can Help with Your Home Foundation Repair in Houston
Houston homes go through a lot in one year. Hurricanes, humidity, freezing temperatures, and other issues can cause problems with your foundation.
Regardless of the type of building foundation, URETEK’s skilled team of experienced Houston foundation repair professionals can help. Whether it’s a crack in a concrete slab or a saggy floor from a pier foundation, we have the right personnel for the job.
We offer a ten-year warranty on most residential foundation types, giving you added peace of mind. Schedule a free consultation with URETEK today before your foundation issue becomes an expensive problem.