The Problems With Building Your NEW HOME On Concrete Footings
Many home owners in Manitoba naturally accept the fact their basement walls will eventually crack and let moisture in. Heavy clay soils surrounding Winnipeg probably warrant some of this reputation. Having said that, home owners who have homes built on soil with less clay and more sand have the same issues. Ask any builder and they will tell you it’s because they are building their home on concrete footings. See below for an explanation of the problems associated in resting the foundation of your home on concrete footings.
Concrete footings are designed to support a cement foundation wall structure for a home or building. They are poured continuously and are usually 75 cm wide and 25 cm thick.
In Manitoba, outside of the city of Winnipeg, concrete footings are the traditional choice of home builders installing poured-in-place and ICF concrete wall structures.
Inside the city of Winnipeg, mainly due to the high expansive clay in the soil, builders will often choose to support foundation walls systems with concrete piles; although there are areas within the city where concrete footings seem to work, such as portions of new St. Vital. Clay has a high moisture absorbing capacity and can swell in wet seasons and contract in dry spells or seasons. Concrete footings are usually the choice for builders in areas where the ground has a higher sand content giving it a much naturally higher weight bearing ratio than wet clay.
Problems with concrete footings start with the simple fact the concrete is poured straight on the ground:
- It is difficult to make the footings level.
- Any tree roots or plant material covered by poured concrete can rot and make the footings uneven.
- Because the footing is poured directly on the soil, load transfer of the heavy concrete foundation walls is directed to the soil directly beneath the footing, making the weight bearing capacity of the soil a critical component for ensuring a solid foundation without the potential for a lot of settlement cracks occurring. Hence the reason most builders don’t recommend concrete footings for new homes built on heavy clay soils.
- Concrete footings are porous and will absorb extra moisture after a heavy rain. This water pools beneath the footings and cause erosion of the soil beneath, sometimes causing severe instability in your foundation. For this reason alone, it is wise to consider an alternative to the concrete footing for supporting your heavy concrete foundation wall structures.
Manitoba home owners naturally accept the fact their basement walls will eventually crack and let moisture in. What they may not know is, there are alternatives.
Learn more about the alternative choice to concrete footings here.
Looking for a warmer basement, without structural cracks? Contact us to learn why building your new home foundation on crushed rock footings is IMPORTANT to you!