Foundations and Footings- Crescent Bar and Quincy Home Inspection
Every home needs to have a system in place to carry the weight of the home to the ground below it.
Almost every house has a foundation and most foundations have a footing (we hope). These are items we really do not think much about and are critical on the long term performance of the home. The main function of the foundation and footing is to do nothing and transfer the load to the soil and hold everything in place as it was built.
Most modern construction uses a stem wall and spread footing design though pier foundation are not uncommon.
In most soil conditions footings are typically 12 to 24 inches wide and can adequately carry the weight of an ordinary house.
Footing requirements are usually covered in the building code and sized in accordance with the bearing capacity of the soil and the weight of the building and will vary from area to area.
In those areas subject to seasonal frost, the bottom of the footing is installed below the frost line to prevent movement due to frost heave.
If the home is being built on soft clay or if there is soft areas under the footing or where water is not properly controlled there could be trouble around the corner. Outright failure is very uncommon but excessive settlement in areas is not.
If a home settles slowly and mostly evenly settlement may be no big deal. If settlement is uneven there most likely will be some damage. Just a 1/4 of an inch of uneven settling is enough to cause cracks in many finishes such as masonry, tile, sheetrock or plaster.
Another issue as homes settle over time the floors may become uneven, depending how it settled repairing unevenness can cause damage to finishes. This is very common in older homes.
Correcting foundation issues can become very expensive and almost every situation is different and may need further evaluation.
Having a home inspector that understands the fundamentals of load transfer is very important.
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NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…
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