If you've bought an empty lot with plans of building a house or commercial building, you may be working with your general contractor on a variety of issues. When considering foundations, your contractor may be urging you to go with post-tension slabs rather than a traditional foundation. These slabs are made of concrete with steel "tendons" (cables) inside them. Sometimes the tendons are laid in the foundation before concrete pouring is done. Why might these slabs be worthwhile?
In any situation where you want to have enhanced strength, post-tension slabs are preferable. If you're considering a building that will ultimately be high-rise or will build in an area where earthquakes could happen, for example, these slabs are the smart choice. That's because should trauma happen to the structure, traditional concrete will crack. Post-tension slabs, however, because they are infused with steel tendons, will hold together the concrete and be less likely to falter.
All concrete structures are susceptible to cracking over time. This is largely unavoidable; you need to be vigilant, and the concrete must be monitored for cracks. Cracks will need to be duly filled and handled before becoming too bad. However, post-tension slabs can help you here. If the concrete does crack, the cracks will be finer or thinner than if regular concrete were used. Filling in cracks will be cheaper and less constant over time, no matter what kind of structure you build.
If you've been told the soil on a property is "expansive," it could mean that it's difficult for it to bear the weight of heavy structures. In the past, that could mean that nothing could be built on a site, which could mean a loss of thousands of dollars. Today, post-tension slabs can often be used to create a foundation and building that can survive for a long time. Have your soil professionally evaluated to discover whether a traditional concrete foundation is even possible.
Because post-tension slabs are strong and will bear weight better than traditional foundations, in some cases, you may end up spending less on your project. Fewer or small footings are likely to be needed, and that should save some money.
Find post-tension suppliers who may be willing to work with your own general contractor to give you a reasonable deal. You'll then be able to build a better, stronger foundation and structure. For more information, contact a company like Advanced Post-Tension, LLC.