How were foundations built before concrete?

Concrete! Such an amazing thing. This multipurpose material has transformed the safety and construction of contemporary dwellings. But though concrete has been commonly found in ancient construction excavations, it was not used for modern foundations until the 1900s! Understanding the history of concrete and its function as a foundational material helps us appreciate the significance of good foundation maintenance and repair. Thus, let us go on a time-traveling expedition to learn how and why concrete foundations came to be.

The Origins of Concrete Foundations

Concrete is used in homes, building, and subsurface infrastructure throughout civilization. Amazingly, this breakthrough chemical has origins that date back to 6500 B.C. Some of the earliest concrete dwelling constructions and floors were built by Nabataea merchants in Western Asia. In the Ancient Egyptian and Roman eras, builders discovered that they could add volcanic ash to the mix, allowing the concrete to set underwater. Sun-dried bricks were utilized to construct dwelling constructions before concrete. These sun-dried bricks were held together by mud or a similar mortar. The brick and construction game was radically modified with concrete! Yet, concrete was not employed in foundation building until thousands of years later.

Traditionally, builders raised dwellings on pad stones to keep them from sinking into the earth. This idea of putting the weight on the stones, rather than the earth, was the first step towards the creation of modern foundations.

concrete foundation

World War II and Concrete Foundations

Concrete foundations may be the physical expression of the phrase “Work Smarter, Not Harder.” The United States saw what can only be referred to as a “Building Boom” in the 1940s when veterans returned home after World War II. The need for the quick completion of sturdy, quality homes was urgent, and concrete foundations were the solution! It was a fortunate coincidence that pouring a concrete slab foundation was quicker, less expensive, and stronger than framing the floor with timber beams and supports.

Raft Foundations vs. Strip Foundations

As poured concrete foundations gained traction, they saw their own evolution throughout the 20th century. Raft and Strip foundations were the two most common forms.

  • Raft Foundations. In the early 1900’s, when poured concrete foundations were entering mainstream home-building, architects relied on “Raft” foundations, which were thick, reinforced slabs of concrete that covered a wide area. The advantage of raft foundations is that the whole structure’s weight may be distributed over a larger area, decreasing stress.
  • Strip Foundations. Strip foundations support a linear construction like a wall or a row of columns. This newer kind of concrete foundation can resist huge loads and is simpler to construct than raft foundations. They are long-lasting, and using a strip foundation makes it easy to insulate the flooring!

Before making any major foundation repair choices, it is critical to contact with your foundation repair experts. They can help you determine which steps to take to ensure your foundation stays strong and long-lasting.

raft foundation

Concrete Foundation Repair

One of the last advantages of concrete foundations is its adaptability during repair. Indeed, foundation restoration may be a time-consuming task. But it’s better than beginning again! A foundation may often be restored without rebuilding the whole structure. There are a few ways to repair your foundation without replacing your foundation.

  • Steel Pier Pilings. Foundation Pro employs cutting-edge foundation repair and stabilization techniques! Steel piers transfer the weight of the structure off of the weaker soils and onto the steel pier piling.
  • Concrete Staples. Larger cracks than a hairline usually need your attention. Carbon fiber concrete staples are designed to stabilize and support poured concrete slabs and are up to five times stronger than concrete.
  • Carbon Fiber Straps. Carbon fiber straps, like concrete staples, are used to reconnect two parts of a damaged concrete slab.
  • Slabjacking – Polyurethane Injections. If you have foundation issues, the concrete may need to be lifted. Foundation Pro injects high density, expansive polyurethane foam under the slab through a series of 5/8 inch injection ports. These injections are used to fill voids, stabilize soils, and elevate concrete.

Foundation Pro’s professionals have worked on over 4,000 houses in the Central Arkansas region and will thoroughly evaluate your foundation! If you need Foundation Repair, get a professional! Contact Foundation Pro right now! 501-753-1009


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button