How Can You Avoid Foundation Failure?

Keeping Your Post-Frame Structures Upright

Unfortunately, foundation issues can catch property owners flat-footed, sending them scrambling to secure their structure’s frame and foundation to avoid complete structural failure. While such foundational problems can’t always be predicted, there are measures you can take during construction to help avoid them. So, when considering your next post-frame construction project, ensure contractors use suitable materials and implement certain checks and building methods to help avoid foundation failure. Here are some tips for doing so from Anthem Built:

Loose soil, not a great area for constructing a post-frame structure in Illinois

1. Check Soil Before Construction

As post-frame construction is straightforward and quick to implement, the land on which a structure is built is not always considered. However, as with any construction project, soil composition is important for a structure’s foundation and stability. In areas where soil is weak or expansive, the base of a post-frame structure can shift and sink. Even if one or two columns are shifting, it can place pressure on your building’s frame. Soil shifting is prevented by:

  • Requesting a geotechnical investigation to assess the strength of soil
  • Placing footings below columns to help with the even distribution of the building’s weight
  • Proper site preparation, removal of all sod and vegetation, stormwater management, etc.

2. Use Properly Treated Posts

The foundation of your post-frame structure is inexplicitly connected to its frame and column. When one fails, the other will soon follow, compromising the integrity of your structure. However, your structure might be doomed from the start if you aren’t using the right materials! Specially treated wood columns, for example, are crucial if you wish to avoid wood rot, thus protecting your building’s frame. However, not all treated wood at a lumberyard might be up to the standards of post-frame construction. Only lumber treated to a minimum UC-4B rating is suitable for use in your pole buildings.

3. Use Anthem Built Products to Reinforce Posts & Foundation

Anthem Built designs and manufactures products unique to the post-frame industry. Our components help streamline parts of the post-frame construction process while improving a structure’s overall strength and stability. While many of our products play a role in repairing and restoring a post-frame structure undergoing foundation failure or wood rot, the same products can be used during construction to prevent such issues in the first place. Examples of helpful products used to prevent foundation failure include:

The interior of a post-frame structure with protected columns helping reinforce the building's foundation
  • Repair Sleeves & Column Covers – Anthem Built’s Repair Sleeves and Column Covers create a durable shell that reinforces and protects wood columns. The wood column is strengthened using galvanized steel, and the outer shell prevents further rot and deterioration.
  • Repair Sockets & Galvanized Grade Boards – When affixing columns to a concrete base, our Repair Sockets provide a more secure connection between the concrete slab and wood. This connection protects wood columns’ bases and helps keep columns straight. Additionally, Galvanized Grade Boards connect to multiple columns, preventing issues of sinking and shifting.

How Can Anthem Built Assist?

The key to avoiding severe foundation failure relies on the initial construction of a structure and the materials/components used. If you inherit an old pole barn, stopping foundation failure might be more reactive than proactive. However, if you control your post-frame construction, find everything necessary to ensure a strong, stable frame and foundation with Anthem Built. We supply specialized products to improve post-frame construction, column repair, and foundation replacement. To learn more about our products or find an installer near you, call 815-780-0206. Or, if you wish to become an Anthem Built Installer, fill out our online form.