What is Involved in Creating a Strong Basement Foundation?

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  • Written By: Emily Espinoza
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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In order to create a strong basement foundation, there are several steps that must properly carried out. First, the land needs to be properly surveyed and excavated. Then, footings, walls and the slab must be poured and constructed properly. Finally, it is imperative that all footings and walls are properly sealed to protect the entire basement from moisture.

Before a basement foundation is started, a local surveyor should survey the land to ensure that the foundation area is the proper size and in the proper place for the lot selected. After the survey stakes are in place, it is important to consider the soil before starting excavation. Different types of soil sometimes have different requirements. It is also important to make sure that the top of the footing is below the frost line and that the bottom is above the water table. Making these allowances for the local soil will prevent cracking and flooding problems in the future.


After proper excavation has been done, the footings that form the perimeter of the foundation are created using wooden forms and poured concrete. Footings are also sometimes added inside the perimeter in order to support load bearing walls within the structure. Wooden forms and poured concrete are also used to create the walls of the basement. The thickness of the walls should be based upon the load they will need to bear from the house above and on the tendencies of the surrounding soil. A slab between 3 inches (7.6 cm) and 4 inches (10.16 cm) thick that forms the floor of the basement foundation is then poured between the walls.

One of the biggest challenges facing a basement foundation is moisture. It is very important to use a high-quality sealer on all footings and walls to prevent moisture problems. A foundation drainage tile system should also be installed on the outside perimeter of the footings. This system is made using perforated pipes embedded in gravel and helps to drain water away from the foundation. Once the entire basement foundation is complete, the trenches around the walls should be filled with soil that drains well.

It is important to follow certain procedures and to consult with experienced professionals when constructing a basement foundation. It is a project that requires a great deal of planning, work, and expertise to be done properly. A basement foundation provides the structure for an entire building to sit on, so it pays to take all of the necessary precautions.


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