We all know, instinctively, that a good foundation is crucial to any building project. Indeed, it’s such common knowledge that it is used as a metaphor for stability in dozens of different scenarios. We talk about relationships needing a solid foundation of trust, for instance, or basic knowledge in a given subject acting as a foundation for further learning. Even our children’s early years education is labelled as foundation years.
Today, we’re talking about the original definition of the term and why it remains as important today as it ever did.
What is a foundation?
Building any kind of structure directly onto the ground is almost certainly doomed to failure. With even the smallest buildings weighing in at several tons, unprepared earth simply won’t be able to take the weight. Before you can even think of building, you need to lay a solid foundation – often of reinforced concrete – that will stand the strain of all that weight, whilst keeping the structure stable for the duration of its existence.
But there’s more to it than that.
Benefits of a solid foundation
Of course the main purpose of a foundation – supporting the building – is also its main benefit. However, its role is far more important than just being a standing stone. A good foundation, properly laid and installed, also serves to keep moisture of the property by forming an effect dam against ground water. This helps to prevent issues of mould and damp, particularly in the lower levels or basement of your property – either of which could seriously undermine the structural integrity of the entire house.
Likewise, the foundation isn’t just holding the house up, it’s also acts as a stabiliser to prevent lateral movement (that is, movement from side to side). We’re not just talking slippage and subsidence here – although both of those are certainly made worse by poor foundations). We’re talking about things like storms, rains, high winds, and other inclement weather conditions that can batter a building from one side or another. Like the third little pig in the popular children’s story, you might think that your house is safe from a bit of blowing, and you’d be right. However, it’s got nothing to do with it being made of bricks: it’s all down the foundation it’s been built upon.
Speaking of bad weather, large areas of Essex are at potential risk from flooding, as the Essex County Council website shows. In the event of a serious flood, having a solid foundation to your building may not be enough to save your possessions from water damage, but it will ensure that the property will still be standing, its structural integrity intact, once the waters have subsided.
We often think of heat-loss occurring through the roof of a building, thanks to the well-known phenomenon of hot air rising. While this is certainly true, heat can also be leached off through contact with a colder surface – such as the earth into which a building has been constructed. The porous qualities of reinforced concrete act as an insulating buffer to prevent this.
Get in touch
Here at M J Groundworks Services, we have more fifty years’ experience between us when it comes to all manner of essential groundworks, including laying foundations, making us the most reliable and dedicated groundworks companies currently servicing the Romford and Essex area. For a quality foundation that you can depend upon, give the team a call on 07885 577 899 for a free, no-obligation quote.