Our advice site has devoted many articles to the foundation of the house. We wrote about tape, and slab, and pile, and columnar foundations. Now we decided to collect in one article all possible problems with the base of the building and measures to prevent them.
First, let’s figure out what problems may arise with a specific type of foundation..
Let’s start with screw piles:
- The building base was not prepared correctly. Drainage works were not carried out, piles were screwed into peat soil in winter, there is no solid foundation made of ASG;
- The piles are not deep enough. In Russia, it is necessary to deepen the piles below the level of soil freezing, by 1.8–2.8 meters;
- No concrete is poured into the piles. The gross mistake of the builders, the foundation is very unreliable;
- The selected piles are less than 108 millimeters in diameter. These are suitable only for outbuildings and baths; more solid products are needed for a residential building;
- The builders made defects during installation, for example, they tried to level the piles by unscrewing them back.
Shallow and deep concrete foundations can also be problematic. In the case of a deep laying, it is necessary to carefully approach the issue of drainage and continuous waterproofing, otherwise the basement may flood. A shallowly deepened foundation should be built, taking into account the forces of frost heaving, it is imperative to make drainage, drain water from the house, insulate the basement and make a warm blind area.
In addition, with these types of foundations, as well as with monolithic-slab, the following problems may arise:
- The use of low-quality concrete mortar;
- Absence or poor quality of reinforcement ties;
- Defects during grouting, insufficient compaction of the base.
Problems with a monolithic foundation of a house, in general, are similar to the above three types:
- Rusty, low-quality fittings;
- Poor foundation preparation. Compaction of sand and gravel backfill is necessary with a vibrating plate! If the workers do not have it, the base may not be dense enough;
- Violation of the technology for preparing a solution or working with a ready-made factory concrete solution;
- Long breaks in work without proper preservation of the base and pouring concrete in winter without observing the necessary technologies;
- Insufficient insulation or rejection of it.
As you can see, most of the problems with the foundation of the house are associated with the human factor, lack of necessary knowledge, mistakes of builders, neglect of the requirements of SNiPs and technological standards. What all this can lead to, how to find out that the foundation of your house is not reliable enough:
- In the panel house, the roof began to leak, at the location of the posts. The repair did not help, the next year everything repeated. Most likely, the foundation simply “walks”, so the seams of the panel house diverge;
- Cracks appeared in the corners of the stone house. You need to find out if this is a serious problem or a minor defect. The portal described in detail how to do this;
- In a wooden house or “frame” doors and windows began to twist, they do not open and close well.
In your own home, foundation problems are easier to spot. And if we are talking about buying a finished home? We advise you to pay attention to the following points:
- The skewing of windows and doors can be detected already at the first inspection. Just open them, slam them, make sure everything is in order;
- Check the GWL. It is enough to dig a hole up to a meter deep near the house. Filled with water – trouble. True, to be sure of this, you will have to come to inspect the house and the site again, at least in a couple of days. And the owner may be against the fact that you are so bossy on his site;
- A small hole dug directly near the foundation will allow you to determine if the building has a sand cushion. Yes – excellent, so the builders followed the installation technology;
- If the house is on screw piles, get access to them and knock – there is no sound of emptiness – it means that they are filled with concrete inside, everything is done correctly;
- Be sure to go down to the basement, there should be no mold, water on the walls, streaks on concrete;
- The house should be bypassed with a building level to make sure there are no distortions;
- An ordinary tennis ball will help to check the evenness of the monolithic foundation – if in every room of the house it quickly rolls in the same direction – the shrinkage was uneven, there is a distortion that, unfortunately, cannot be eliminated;
- Of course, the foundation on concrete should be free of cracks and fallen out, collapsed bricks. However, if the house itself is already old, and the foundation has clearly just been repaired, it means that the owners tried to hide the existing defects. And it’s not a fact that they did it with high quality, because the house is still for sale.
How to prevent foundation problems:
- Determine the characteristics of the soil in order to choose the right type of foundation. First, engineering and geological surveys, then the beginning of construction;
- Study all the features of the construction of the selected type of foundation and supervise the workers. It is especially important to know the materiel, if you are building a house with your own hands. But even if a construction team with a good reputation is selected, control will not hurt, do not give the performers the right to make mistakes, because it will be very difficult to fix problems with the foundation. And often it is simply impossible;
- Don’t skimp on materials, waterproofing, insulation. Choose the correct grade of concrete, monitor the quality of the solution and its pouring.