If you live in a house, you may not have footers underneath your concrete. Old construction of homes typically consisted of digging shallow trenches in the dirt and building the walls directly in those trenches. As a result, many old homes don’t have full basements. If yours does, however, you might notice that the basement itself has a ledge of dirt surrounding it. That dirt is literally meant to hold the walls in place.
Today’s newer homes are typically built with footers. People who want to upgrade their homes by adding a basement or work on other additions will also usually use footers. But, what are they, and are they absolutely necessary?
What is a Footer?
Footers are usually nothing more than concrete with some type of rebar reinforcement. The concrete is poured into a pre-dug trench, and the walls of a home are built upon it.
When you’re going to add a concrete slab on top of your footers, you want to make sure the slab doesn’t move and that it has enough support to do its job. Could you pour a concrete slab without footers? Technically, yes. But, it may not have the support it needs. If you plan on building a home or any type of construction on that slab, you run the risk of it sinking without footers.
What is the Purpose of Concrete Footings?
The very purpose of concrete footings is to support whatever foundation is placed on top. They will prevent sinking and settling. So, while some people may not believe they are absolutely necessary, a lot of it depends on the soil conditions where you live.
For example, do you plan on pouring a concrete slab in an area where the soil doesn’t drain very well? Or, do you live in a particularly wet or humid climate? If so, you’re at a greater risk of your concrete slab/foundation sinking without footings. Not only do concrete footings add more support, but they spread out the weight of the slab so certain areas won’t shift. A larger footprint area means a stronger foundation!
Concrete Foundations in Southeast Michigan
Whether you’re planning on building a home, a separate structure, or you’re upgrading your existing home, it’s important to know the ins and outs of footers. If you live in an older home, you may not have them and that could be causing foundational issues.
Thankfully, Debuck Construction can help. We pride ourselves on our years of experience working with concrete, and we can help you to make the best decision when it comes to your need for footers.
Feel free to contact us for more information or if you have any questions about footers. As you already know, Michigan can have interesting weather, and you don’t want to risk your foundation sinking or shifting into the soil because of it. Don’t wait until a foundation accident happens before deciding whether footers are needed.