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What is a concrete foundation footing and why should you care?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, April 06, 2020

In this episode, we have the Crack Daddy, Adam Tracy, with us and he explains everything we need to know about concrete foundation footings.

Narrator: Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Daddy, Adam Tracy. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: What is a concrete foundation footing and why should you care? Today we have the Crack Daddy, Adam Tracy with us and he is going to tell us everything we need to know about concrete foundation footings. So, Adam, have we always had concrete footings in home construction?

Adam: No. Actually, in the grand scheme of home building there are a relatively few pieces of the foundation. If we look back at stone foundations, they obviously did not have a footing. What they did was just widened out the stone wall at the base to take some of the load of the house that’s going to be put on top. The idea of a footing is really to spread the load or the weight of the house into the soil, so that way we don’t have estimate settling cases and they have a flat platform to build on.

The newer construction with concrete, as of somewhere in the late 70’s into the early 80’s, it became required in most jurisdictions where you have frost, or potential for frost, and when you have that they ended up basically pouring a 2-foot (generally) by 1-foot rebar. Rebar is steel reinforced footing that will be at or below the frost line. Once that sets up then they pour a concrete wall on top of that.

Once that sets up they then pour the floor that basically meets between the footing, the wall, and the floor. Now what happens with those is they end up settling even a little bit. A lot of times they’re in a gravel bag and the gravel bag gets compacted in order to take the weight of the house and all the construction materials on top. The challenge is that sometimes they settle, and when they do settle this is typically when we’ll see the most garden variety of foundation wall cracks but you get settling crack. Now, construction is mostly meant to avoid that but oftentimes it just happens because the weight of the house starts to further compact with soils and it drops lower. Now prior to the current constructions there’ll be no footing, or just the gravel bed, and so we see a lot of issue in houses that are earlier vintage concrete that have more significant cracks because they didn’t have a platform to spread the weight of the house out into the gravel bed.

Narrator: Thanks Adam for telling us everything we need to know about concrete footings. If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation repair and waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich or Adam at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email them at info@a1foundationcrackrepair.com. Thanks for watching and keep that basement dry.


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