The concrete foundation of a home is meant to last indefinitely. It not only supports a 50-ton or more house and prevents structural shifting, but it also offers a moisture barrier and provides insulation. If you are preparing to build your dream house, use these tips to pour the foundation correctly and avoid issues such as cracked or weak concrete.
Top 5 Tips for Laying a Concrete Foundation Correctly
1. Measure Depth
Measure the depth of your concrete foundation; the average foundation will be three feet below the soil. Test the moisture of the ground first, as a high water content requires digging deeper. You can use a DIY method or request professional service for optimal results.
2. Prepare Ground
Remove everything that will interfere with digging and pouring your concrete foundation, including medium-sized and large rocks, branches, and anything else that will be in the way. Use an excavator tool instead of a shovel to save yourself hours of labor. You will need to dig for the footings as well as the foundation.
3. Compact Soil
Use a compactor tool to flatten the soil and remove all air pockets. Go over the foundation with the compactor several times and keep checking if it is level, as you may need to add more soil. Add a layer of gravel or sand to prevent moisture from affecting the concrete as it is being poured. Finish with a waterproof polyurethane layer for extra protection.
4. Add Footings
Install rebar footings, or concrete support beams, to prevent issues with crumbling. Work with an engineer to decide how many footings your building requires for stability and safety. If you are building a wooden house, you must use anchor bolts to keep the wooden walls intact. If you are working with brick, you need to install concrete pillars at the corners.
5. Mix & Pour Concrete
Mix your concrete with the right amount of water to ensure the correct consistency. Pour the foundation using a 2x4 straight edge tool to keep the concrete level. Smooth it while wet and allow the product to cure. Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions for curing time—one of the most common foundation problems is building on a slab that has not fully dried.
Since 1941, Hilltop Basic Resources has provided Cincinnati and the rest of Ohio with high-quality building materials. The only ready-mix concrete supplier in downtown Cincinnati, this reliable company also has locations in Southwestern Ohio, Southern Indiana, and Northern Kentucky. Call (513) 684-8200 or visit their website today for more building product information.