Traditional rebar (but blue!) in place and ready for concrete to be poured for a foundation. Photo by Flickr user GeekMojo
Post-tensioning concrete foundations are the next wave beyond traditional concrete slabs. With post-tensioning slabs, high-strength steel strands or cables, typically referred to as tendons, create a grid of steel cables that actively support the slab. Traditional rebar construction is "inactive" only really helps keep the slab intact after the slab has cracked. Slabs with post-tension cables are usually thinner and this can cut down on curing time and, ultimately, construction costs.
With all that said, one must keep in mind that post tension foundations do not solve the underlying soil's ability to handle moisture. That is, just because a home or business is built on a foundation with post tension cables, it doesn't mean that the soil on which that foundation rests quits expanding and contracting as the moisture content changes. Post tension foundations can still shifting or even failing. You must still perform essential foundation maintenance, such as maintaining a consistent moisture content within the soil, keep tree roots at bay, and watching for signs of foundation failure like cracks in the wall, stuck doors and windows, wrinkled wallpaper, and popped or loose floor tiles.
If a builder tells you that a post tension foundation solves all your problems and you'll never have to worry, then run — don't walk — and find yourself another builder! Remember, the builder is trying to sell you the house, but you're the one who must live with the purchase for years to come.
Have questions or want more information? Then visit us at www.AceFoundation.com or give us a call at 972-272-1900.