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What Is a Concrete Footing?

foundation support jack and concrete footing

Although footings are essential in modern construction, homeowners often take them for granted. Some footings are built on unstable soil layers, while others have incorrect dimensions, compromising foundation health.

Learn more about concrete footings and why they are essential for a healthy home foundation.

What Is a Concrete Footing? 

two crew members in crawl space with concrete footing wheel

A concrete footing is a structural element made from poured concrete and reinforced with rebar. It supports the foundation and prevents settlement. Footing dimensions vary based on the type and size of the structure being built. When installed correctly, footings provide robust foundation and structural support. 

How to Build a Concrete Footing 

Professional concrete footings are built using these steps:

concrete bag dust worker wheel barrow
  • Ground Verification: Dig trenches or holes for the footings according to the design specifications.
  • Formwork Setup: Use wood or other materials to create forms that define the shape and size of the concrete footing.
  • Mix Concrete: Prepare concrete according to the recommended mix design and quantities.
  • Pour Concrete: Pour the mixed concrete into the formwork within the designated timeframe.
  • Level and Vibrate: Use vibration to level the concrete surface and remove air bubbles for a durable and uniform pour.
  • Cure Concrete: Allow the concrete to cure by protecting it from the elements and maintaining proper moisture levels.

Contact a foundation repair expert to learn more about the concrete footing construction process.

The Factors Impacting Footing Construction 

Constructing a strong concrete footing involves more than just digging and pouring concrete into forms. Builders consider several factors, including:

soil and grass
  • Soil Type and Impact: Footings are built on various soils, with native soil generally preferred for its strength, though engineered fill or compacted backfill can also be suitable.
  • Soil Compaction and Settlement: Proper soil compaction beneath the footing is crucial to prevent settling. Loose soil can’t support the structure’s weight.
  • Soil Bearing Capacity and Engineering Assessment: A professional will assess the soil’s bearing capacity and recommend wider footings, additional supports like piers, or soil replacement as necessary.
  • Replacing or Improving Soil: Weak soil may require replacement or aggregate (crushed rock) mixing to improve load-bearing capacity. Denser soil generally has a higher bearing capacity.

Are Concrete Footings Necessary for Your Home?

JES work truck

Concrete footings are essential structural elements that support the foundations and prevent settling. While not all structures require footings, they are crucial for buildings with significant weight or areas prone to certain environmental factors like weak soil and flooding.

For more information about concrete footings, contact JES Foundation Repair. We offer free inspections and customized foundation repair solutions.

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    Foundation Repair FAQs

    It is generally recommended to have your foundation inspected at least once every few years, especially if you notice any signs of foundation problems such as cracks in the walls, uneven floors, or doors and windows that stick. Regular inspections can help identify any potential issues early on and prevent them from escalating into more significant problems. Additionally, if you live in an area with unstable soil or experience extreme weather conditions, more frequent inspections may be necessary. 

    JES Foundation Repair offers a range of foundation repair solutions tailored to different types of foundation issues. Some of the solutions they provide include helical piers, slab piers, carbon fiber repairs, crawl space encapsulation, and basement waterproofing. Their team of experts will assess the specific needs of your foundation and recommend the most suitable solution. 

    Foundation pier installation is a specialized task requiring expert knowledge, skills, and equipment. It is not advisable to undertake this task independently. Rely on JES Foundation Repair’s expertise for assured quality installation of foundation piers.

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    Shaye Glisson

    Shaye Glisson

    Shaye is an SEO Content Writer for Groundworks with over twelve years of experience creating helpful content across various industries, including home services and retail. She is a Gulf Coast native and writes from her firsthand knowledge of the area's hurricane and flood impacts on the local community. In her free time, Shaye enjoys exploring the local food and music scenes.

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