The construction of a foundation is the first major step in the home building process. It sets the tone for the rest of the project. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make during the construction of the foundation is whether to install poured foundation walls. If you choose to build a poured foundation wall, you must understand both its strengths and weaknesses.
What Is a Poured Foundation Wall?
It’s a type of foundation wall that is built by pouring wet concrete into wooden forms. The construction of a poured foundation wall involves placing wooden forms on top of spread footings. The concrete is poured into the forms to harden and cure. Typical walls are six to 10 inches thick. When set up properly, these walls can be strong and give you years of service.
How to Build a Poured Foundation Wall
Building a stable poured concrete wall requires skill and experience. So, consider working with a certified Colorado building contractor to ensure you get a stable structure. The steps involved in building a poured foundation wall include:
Step 1: Footing Construction – A hole is dug into the ground and the concrete footing is poured.
Step 2: Build Wooden Forms – Next, wooden forms are set up on the footing and clamped together. These forms help to hold the liquid concrete together until it cures.
Step 3: Place Rebar – Steel rebar is then laid in the footing and inside the forms to remove weak points and joints in the poured foundation wall.
Step 4: Pour the Concrete – The concrete mixture is prepared and poured into the footing and form area within a day to prevent seams from forming in the concrete.
Step 5: Allow for Curing – The concrete is left to cure. In warm weather, it may take up to three days for the concrete to cure and up to 10 days to properly set in.
Step 6: Remove the Forms – As soon as the poured concrete wall is dry and cured, the wooden forms are removed before the basement floor slab is poured.
Pros of Poured Foundation Walls
As a homeowner in Colorado, you must know the positives of this type of wall.
- Easy to build: A skilled foreman working with a small team of workers can set up the concrete forms in the morning and pour the concrete mixture in the afternoon then strip off the forms before carpenters get to work.
- Strength: With a compressive strength of 2,500 or 3,000 psi, poured foundation walls are much stronger than traditional cement blocks.
- Water-resistant: Poured foundation walls can resist water due to their amplified strength, compactness, and joint-free nature.
- Versatile: Another upside of erecting poured foundation walls is that contractors and builders can mold them into almost any shape.
- Little maintenance: There’s almost no maintenance work required to keep these walls in good shape. The most upkeep you may need to do is occasional painting and sealing.
- Durable: This wall can also withstand fire, water, pests, rot, and other elements that would easily degrade or damage other types of walls.
The Cons of Poured Foundation Walls
The main downside of a poured concrete wall is that it can be more expensive to install than a block foundation wall. Poured foundation walls require the installation of large, prefabricated forms, which most times necessitates the use of cranes and unique fasteners.
Also, poured foundation walls are prone to cracking when the foundation settles or sinks into the ground. Hydrostatic pressure from the oversaturated soil outside the foundation may push moisture into your basement. Failing to repair these cracks allows water to seep into your basement creating the perfect environment for mold, rot, and water damage. Over time, these cracks can cost you thousands of dollars in foundation repairs.
Protecting Your Poured Foundation Wall
You can protect your wall from water damage or moisture issues by investing in a little preventative maintenance. For instance, sealing your foundation from the inside out will add an extra layer of protection that stops water infiltration.
Lucky for you, the experts at Complete Basement Systems can provide you with a range of professional basement waterproofing solutions to keep moisture at bay. We use industry-approved solutions that are backed by a manufacturers’ warranty for your peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule a free basement waterproofing inspection and repair quote and get a lasting fix to your water issues.