Why Concrete Foundations are Important

Doug EnrightJanuary 27, 2015

Concrete foundations are used for most buildings to ensure they can be built upon. Houses, commercial buildings, and everything in between are built once a concrete foundation is laid. Concrete has been used for foundations for over a century, once builders realized how it could be used to secure a building’s construction long into the future.

More About Concrete Foundations

Concrete foundations come in three types: T-shaped, slab-on-grade and frost protected. Let’s look at each of them and see what they can do for a building.

T-shaped is one of the most common type of concrete foundation, offering production in areas of the world where the ground freezes. Once the frost line is found in the ground, walls are added on top of them, allowing an extra layer of support for a concrete foundation. The T-shaped foundation is set once walls are placed, then concrete poured between the walls.

Slab-on-grade is another type of concrete foundation that utilizes a single layer of concrete, that’s usually a few inches thick. This slab is poured much thicker at its edges to create a footing. Reinforced rods help strengthen the edges and sits upon crushed gravel for drainage. Wire mesh is cast within the concrete to help prevent cracking. With insulation, slab-on-grade concrete foundations can handle frozen conditions.

Frost protected foundations are specifically designed to handle heated structures. It utilizes two sheets of insulation, usually polysystrene-based, to help prevent with freezing. This insulation is used on the outside foundation wall while on the other side a bed of gravel is used. This helps keep heat in and helps it rise through the building, even on the coldest of days.

Concrete foundations may vary in how they’re used, but the basic application is the same. You use a bed of gravel, you pour concrete in a box, and you let it support your building. Without a concrete foundation, or any type of foundation, a building will fall.

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