Not all buildings have the same type of foundation. Different ones work best in specific areas. In Houston and surrounding areas, concrete slabs and pier and beam foundations are commonly used to support buildings.
If you’re wondering why all home foundations aren’t the same or which type is best for you, keep reading to learn more.
Factors to Consider in Foundation Selection
It’s tempting to base your foundation choice on cost or what you think is best. The downside, you may choose the wrong one. Home foundations need to be suitable for the location, along with the area’s climate and soil conditions.
Before you make a final decision foundation, you’ll want to consider the following factors.
Houston climate is warm and humid most of the year, with a few cold spells in the winter.
Slab foundations are ideal in warm and cold climates. The solid concrete slab helps protect underground pipes from freezing. It’s not a huge problem in Houston, but these home foundations are common in planned communities. They are inexpensive and easy to install, keeping the construction process moving along.
Slab foundations are best suited for Houston’s warmer weather. These home and commercial foundations are less prone to shifting and settling than pier and beam ones. However, your location may make a pier and beam foundation a better option.
The structure’s location plays a role in the type of foundation used. Slab foundations work best when the ground is level. You have less risk for soil erosion when the structure isn’t constructed on a slope.
A pier and beam foundation is the best option when the building is built on or near a slope. The structure sits on piers driven deep into the soil. Sometimes, these structures can appear to be resting on stilts.
Homeowners in areas prone to flooding also want to use pier and beam foundations. The elevated height prevents water from seeping into the home. This type of foundation also provides stability even when soil erosion occurs.
The type of soil under the building affects the kind of foundation you want to use. For example, hard soil in level areas is best suited for poured concrete slabs.
Houston’s periodic heavy rains not only cause flooding but can also cause erosion in areas with loose soil. Sinking and shifting foundations are common problems unless it’s a pier and beam design. If the soil for your building foundation is loose, go with a pier and beam foundation.
Before deciding on a home foundation, you’ll want to take a look at the structure itself. So here are a few structural considerations.
- Consider how the building is used. For example, you should use commercial foundations for high-occupancy structures.
- The building’s life span. Foundation differences include longevity.
- The structure’s height and the number of floors determine the type of foundation.
- Structural load, building location, soil, and climate all affect what type of foundation is best for the building.
- The materials you select, like stone, steel, brick, concrete, etc., will determine the type of foundation you want supporting the building.
Repair Methods for Different Foundation Types
Pier and beam foundations are usually cheaper to repair than slab ones. Slab foundations may require excavation or tunneling to repair foundation settlement.
Another solution is to use polyurethane void filling foam for any voids underneath the slab. It’s less expensive because no excavation or tunneling is required, and the repairs last for years.
Pressed piling is one of the most common foundation repair methods in Houston. This technique can also raise sinking foundations. Installing pilings along the structure’s perimeter lifts and stabilizes the foundation.
Houston Foundation Repair Solutions by URETEK Gulf Coast
Multiple factors affect the type of foundation you want your building resting on. But even with the right foundation, problems can still occur.
When your commercial or residential foundation begins to shift or settle, the professionals at URETEK Gulf Coast are here to help. Contact us today for more information about our Houston foundation repair services.