Concrete Slabs

Concrete Slabs

A mini-guide to concrete slabs

Concrete foundations are a layer of concrete that is typically poured over soil that has been well-prepared or the concrete may be poured over a layer of gravel. Concrete slabs are used as the foundation for building a structure, such as a house or other types of buildings. Concrete slabs are securely anchored into the ground to reduce the risk of structural damage from environmental causes such as shifting of the soil or severe weather. Structures that are built on a concrete slab do not have below grade space that can be used for storage or additional living spaces, but a concrete slab foundation is much less costly than basement foundation.

What is The Purpose of Concrete Slabs?

Other than providing a flat, level and stable surface for the occupants of the structure, the primary purpose of concrete slabs are to distribute the bulk of the weight that is placed on. For example, without a concrete foundation, load bearing walls would respond to the movement of the soil as well as sink into the soil due to the weight. For this reason, the soil underneath a concrete slab foundation must be prepared before pouring the concrete. For example, the soil will typically be leveled and covered with a layer of gravel and moisture barriers. The thickness of a concrete slab foundation is determined by a variety of factors, such as the anticipated weight of the load that the concrete slab will bear.

How is a Concrete Slab Anchored?

One of the most critical elements of concrete slabs is the footings or anchors of concrete that are poured into holes that have been dug into the ground specifically for this purpose. When the concrete is poured it rests either on the anchors or it is attached to them with rebar, which is reinforcing steel bars that are sunk into the footings while the concrete is still wet. This process will provide a high level of stability for the concrete slab.
One of the main benefits of a concrete slab foundation is the cost; concrete slabs are the least expensive foundation options. A slab can typically be installed much quicker than a basement foundation or a crawl space foundation. Like any other type of foundation there are a few disadvantages with concrete slabs, such as slabs tend to put additional stress on the backs, legs and feet of those inhabiting the structure, because the shock is absorbed by the body as opposed to the floor. In some situations, heating costs may be higher in concrete slab foundation homes because the floor has a lot of cold coming through it. When installing utility lines, the plumbing and electrical lines are usually run through the slab, which makes it difficult to access them.
If you are constructing a home or other building and need a concrete slab foundation installed, contact Kelly Contract Co.
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