What Are Footing Soils?
Underneath every house is a foundation, and underneath most foundations are something called footings. Footings are strips of concrete and rebar, usually about 16 to 20 inches wide that support the foundation and prevent it from settling—a sort of foundation for the foundation, if you will. Footing soils, then, are the soil structures that immediately surround these concrete footings and upon which they are built.
When laying the foundation for a house or another building, it’s crucial to ensure that these footing soils are sturdy enough to bear the weight of the structure. Almost all structures settle over time, and a certain amount of settling—say, ¼ inch to ½ inch—will not typically lead to any structural problems, provided the building is constructed correctly. However, if the footing soils upon which the footings and foundation are poured are soft and clay-like or overly granular, there is a higher likelihood that they will sink or shift over time, which could lead to uneven settling of the foundation.
Soils are rated using standards such as the International Building Code (IBC) or the Council of American Building Officials (CABO) code. These rubrics assign a load-bearing value to different types of soil (sands, gravels, clays, silts, etc.) When a building is going to be constructed, the footing soils will be tested and if the load-bearing value is deemed insufficient to support the weight of the structure, the soil is often mechanically compacted to reinforce it, thereby increasing its load-bearing value.
Partner with ESOG for a Lifetime of Support
For all your questions and concerns regarding your home’s foundation, the experts at Engineered Solutions of Georgia are just one phone call away. We’ve been serving homeowners throughout the southeastern U.S. since 2007, and have solved a number of different foundation-related issues such as shifting, settling, poor drainage, and more. Our in-house structural engineering team brings more than 150 years of combined industry experience to every project we undertake, so no matter what you’re contending with, we can help you devise a lasting solution.
To learn more about the foundation inspection and repair services that we provide to homeowners throughout Georgia and beyond, contact Engineered Solutions of Georgia today.