What is a Foundation Footing and Why is it important?

Example of a foundation footing. Your foundation is essential to your home’s stability, however a large part of what keeps it stable is the foundation footing.This is often taken for granted. What is a foundation footing, and what role does it play in the structure of your home? A footing is the part of your foundation that supports it and protects it from settling. Built with concrete and rebar, they typically are poured into a trench. A foundation footing is especially effective in areas with tricky soils surrounding it. 

Is a Footing and Foundation the Same? 

A footing is constructed in direct contact with the earth, as you can see in the photo to the right. A foundation is different as it is a structure that transfers loads from the superstructure to the ground, but is not built in direct contact with the earth. a foundation is flexible in that it can be used for both shallow or deeper depths, whereas a foundation footing is solely used in shallow depths. 

How is a Foundation Footing Constructed? 

It is very important that your foundation footing is constructed properly. During initial construction of your home, the foundation footing is poured. As a rule, it is composed of concrete with a rebar reinforcement, and is poured into a ditch that has been previously excavated. This is done with the intention of evenly supporting the weight of your foundation and the structure it supports, and it is imperative that it is constructed on soil capable of carrying the load above it. 

Why Soil is So Important

Foundation footings are generally seen in homes that have a shallow foundation. As a home ages, in many cases it settles evenly and slowly. There are cases however, where the soil below a foundation footing is unstable or has pockets of soft soil. In addition if the foundation footing is not poured properly these issues can be even worse. When you experience unstable soil, your foundation could be in trouble. Because your foundation footing is there to help evenly distribute the weight of your home, if the soil supporting it falters, your foundation could begin to fail. 

 Example of how a crack in your foundation may look.

What to Look For

If you have foundation settlement, you may experience cracking in your foundations floors and walls, and may notice shifting. You can also experience cracks in drywall, as well as sticking doors and windows. At the first sign of these symptoms, it is a very good idea to get an inspection so that your specific problem can be identified. Airlift Foundation Repair provides foundation repair solutions in Arkansas. We offer both inspections as well as free estimates. Contact us today with your concerns and questions, we are here to help! 

Get your free estimate today. To learn more about Airlift Concrete Experts, visit our YouTube channel. 

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