A deck footing is the solid foundation that supports the weight of your deck. It is a very essential component of deck construction, as it determines how the weight from different deck sections will be transferred to concentrated points of contact to the ground.
More footings installed on your deck means each footing will have to carry less weight from the distributed load. If the deck footings are weak, then the attached posts are more likely to fail resulting in possible injury. This article gives full information about deck footings while looking into the types and the best way to build them.
Types of Deck Footings
The foundation of most decks can either be floating or free standing. Your deck can be the perfect candidate for a floating deck if it is 6 feet or less with proper joist bracing and post to beam. Not only does it help save time but also money and labor involved. Some of deck footing options include:
1. Concrete Deck Blocks
These are some of the most affordable deck foundations that go for as little as $10 per piece. Buying several of them allows you to spread out the weight of your deck evenly across the footing. You will also need to install ground anchors if you are in a high wind zone like much of the continental United States. The anchors should have tie-down cables over the framing of your deck to ensure it does not lift-off at some point.
2. Flat Concrete Forms
Flat concrete forms are very easy to use as they save a lot of space in supporting your deck’s weight. You do not have to spend more on a plastic bell-shaped form since its design incorporates a bell-shaped footing.
3. Ground Anchored Spikes
They are mostly used for fence posts. Others are constructed using modified load plates making them a viable option for deck footing. They are affordable and provide more lateral strength compared to surface block footings. You can install the ground-anchored spikes using a jackhammer or a sledgehammer.
4. Engineered Helical Piers
They are designed with a proven technology that ensures there is no budge in an event of a frost heave. They are most popular with home foundation repairs and are installed using heavy machinery. Engineered helical piers are one of the best options if you are connecting your deck to a house.
5. Ground Screw Anchored Footings
They provide a fast and easy solution when it comes to supporting a free standing or floating lightweight structure from the house. Using a lightweight hand-held impact wrench, the auger portion can easily be screwed directly into the ground without experiencing any defects. It can easily be reversed if you come across a rock before shifting its position.
How to Build Deck Footings?
Before you start digging, it is important to locate your utilities. The footings you choose help spread the heavy load of the deck to a larger surface of the soil, because the ground is able to provide adequate support. Deck posts can easily sink into the ground without footings because of the weight suspended from the deck’s surface.
Deck footings need to be installed lower than the frost line. This helps the deck to remain intact when the soil freezes during winter. The size and depth of your deck footings are determined by the climate and soil conditions.
A pier provides an upright support that connects the structural post above grade with the buried footing pad.
Frost footings need to be attached to a house to provide adequate support. Since most footings are installed underground, they are usually made of materials that are resistant to decay. Concrete footings can support the weight of a deck for a long period without experiencing any defects. Although there are different methods involved when installing deck footings, each type comes with its own set of benefits and downsides.
Deck footings provide the solid foundation of the entire deck, as they prevent the posts from sinking into the ground. There are different types of deck footings that can be used in the foundation of a deck. Whatever the choice you make, it is important to look into its benefits and downsides to ensure your deck lasts for a long time without experiencing any defects. It is also advisable to inspect your deck regularly to determine any signs of damage that can result in possible injuries or loss of property. If you are looking for high-quality deck footings, consider reaching out to professionals to assist you.