A firm foundation is essential to a building's longevity and stability. To succeed structurally, a foundation must perform several functions at once. It must transmit vertical loads to bearing soil; distribute those loads over a large enough area; resist lateral forces, cracks, and leaks; and anchor the building against uplift. building over a large enough area of soil to prevent settling. It keeps a building from sinking in soft soil in the same way that a snowshoe holds you up in soft snow. Carrying the Load Transmitting both live and dead loads downward is a foundation's first job. To do this, a foundation wall or column must be plumb and have enough compressive (crushing) strength to resist the