Spread Footings

What does Spread Footings Mean?

Definition of Spread Footings in Construction

The term spread footings, refers to the distribution of structural loads that bear down on a concrete footing. The spread footing is a structurally designed combination of reinforcing steel and concrete. This design will allow the load placed on the footing to be distributed throughout the square footage of the entire spread footing. Therefore, if a one foot square column is bearing down on the center of a four by four spread footing, the actual weight distribution of the one foot square column is now spread over sixteen square feet. This distribution of the load will reduce the overall load on the soils below the spread footing from the one foot column load to a sixteenth of this load, due to the added square footage of the spread footing. The lower the bearing capacity of the soil, the larger the spread footings must be designed to accommodate the load. If the distribution of the load results in spread footings that are too large and too unstable, the use of piles or other means of foundation support will need to be evaluated.