Foundation as the most important part of the building needs adequate attention for you to be able to sleep in your house with your eyes closed.
For a built building especially after a few years you need to recheck and ascertain all is well. These are some of the considerations you must make.
(1)Settlement-Every houses do settle without exception especially when it is newly built, but the effect is more noticeable after a few years of completion. The severity of the settlement is based on a couple of factors like how well the house was designed and built, attention to details and others. Settlement can be very noticeable in some houses when one side visually begins to sink, which will require urgent attention before the house finally collapse, the attention of a structural engineer is required here. Beams and other measures may have to be introduced on that foundation for the house to be saved.
(2)Cracks-Cracks may also be noticeable in some buildings foundation, this may be caused by a lot of factors like
i-settling which may be caused by loosed soil and is noticeable when you started having horizontal cracking.
ii-Soil moisture around foundation can also cause cracking and eat deep into your foundation ,hence is important your backfill the surrounding wall of your building and protect it from onrushing water, also water from the soil have to be channeled to drains quickly. Desist from making water settle around the foundation of your building for too long. Expansion of soil when wet will create pressure on the concrete.
iii-improper mixture and inadequate water during mixing of concrete can also cause cracks when concrete begins to shrink due to curing after a while.
When preparing your concrete make sure you mix the elements-cement,snd,water very well before pouring.
(3)Water movement around the foundation as discussed in (2)
(4)Type of foundation– You need to to know the right foundation for a particular building and soil type, anything lower than what is required may result in foundation problems, for instance introducing strip or pad foundation where you are supposed to have raft foundation may cause problem in a few years.
(5)Professional Handling-If not for anything make sure a professional supervise your foundation being the most important part of the building, but if you doubt the competencies of your builder, then you also have reason to be skeptical about your foundation.
(6)Mixture ratio of the concrete is very important and the professional recommendations must be followed.
(7)Types of Soil-If the building is on vegetable matter or on dumpsite and it was not properly cleared and refilled with adequate strong soil, the probability of you having a weak foundation is high. So before you build on any dumpsite,debris and vegetable matter must be excavated and removed. Also every materials and debris used during construction of the building around the foundation must be removed to avoid them been buried on the ground which may disintegrate and weaken your foundation.
(8)Improper filling or Backfilling of the foundation when not given adequate attention will also affect the foundation. For some structures you’ll notice the surrounding soil sinking after few rainfall because the soil were not properly filled and well compacted. Foundations requires hardcores and it must be put in place to avoid too much pressure on the foundation.