What Is A Deep Foundation? Benefits Of A Deep Foundation?
What Is A Deep Foundation?
A deep foundation is a structural element designed to transfer the load of the building structure deeper into the earth to a subsurface layer, rather than relying on soils close to the surface.
This is especially important for buildings that must bear heavier loads and/or be constructed in areas with weak or shifting soil conditions.
A deep foundation uses piles, piers, caissons, or columns embedded in soils at depths below the frost line, allowing them to resist ground movement and wind uplift forces.
Depending on site conditions, different types of piles can be used such as concrete piles, steel piles, or timber piles that are driven into the ground up to considerable depths by hammering or vibrating machines.
Deep foundations are also used when construction is taking place on uneven terrain where shallow foundations are not suitable.
What Are The 3 Types Of Deep Foundations?
There are three types of deep foundations: driven piles, drilled piers, and Specialty Piles.
Driven piles include timber, concrete, and steel, while Drilled Piers come in the form of augercast and helical piers, specially designed to support heavier structures.
Specialty Piles are custom-made deep foundations typically used in areas where soils present greater challenges than usual due to their structure or soil conditions.
All of these deep foundations require considerable knowledge and experience to ensure their safe installation, ensuring the stability of all structures that depend on them for support.
How Do You Choose Between Shallow and Deep Foundations?
When choosing between shallow and deep foundations, the depth of installation is a key factor. Shallow foundations are usually installed at depths of 1 foot or less and are suitable for smaller, lighter-weight buildings.
Conversely, deep foundations need to be constructed at depths of up to 300 feet for hillside developments or those on poor soil, such as claystone or loose soils with high water levels that may require piles or caissons.
The type of construction project should also be considered when deciding between the two; deep foundations are best suited for large projects while shallow foundations are better suited to small ones.
What Are The Benefits Of A Deep Foundation?
Deep foundations offer a number of benefits, such as increased storage or workspace through the use of basements, added privacy for homeowners and occupants, increased property values, improved energy efficiency, and the ability to serve multi-purpose functions.
Basements have become an essential component in modern homebuilding and can help keep costs down by allowing the space to be used for more than just living quarters.
With added privacy from ground-level views, homeowners are able to enjoy their time within their homes without fear of public invasion.
Increased property value is also associated with basements as they allow for additional square footage which can either be utilized within the home itself or sold off should a homeowner decide to move.
Furthermore, deep foundations offer improved energy efficiency by providing insulation from harsh external temperature variations while also greatly reducing the chances of flood damage due to raised floor levels.
Finally, basements can accommodate multiple purposes including extra bedrooms, playrooms, and recreational areas depending on an individual’s needs.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A Deep Foundation?
Deep foundations have many advantages, including increased stability and the permanence of foundation repair. However, due to the increased materials and labor required to install piles at a greater depth, they also come with some disadvantages.
These include higher installation costs, difficult accessibility due to below-ground installation, the risk of construction delays due to challenging geographical conditions, and difficulty in quality control due to a lack of on-site inspections.
In addition, deep foundations are vulnerable to damage from natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods.
Finally, the drilling process used for installing deep foundations can cause soil disruption around the site that may lead to settlement issues when not carefully monitored.