When building your house, your contractor is likely to walk you through the different types of foundation walls. One of these is the poured foundation wall. This type of wall is strong enough to hold up the entire weight of your home. Let’s explore the ins and outs of poured foundation walls so you understand their pros and cons.
What Is a Poured Foundation Wall?
A poured foundation wall is the cleanest and most versatile type of wall material available. It is made by pouring wet concrete mix into temporary wooden frames known as forms to shape your wall. The concrete mix is usually of high strength with low water to cement ratio. This type of wall is affordable, maintenance-free, and strong, and can offer a lifetime of service if it receives proper care.
How Is It Built?
Let’s look at the steps that contractors follow when building a poured foundation wall.
Step 1: Build Forms
First, aluminum or wooden forms are placed on the footings then clamped together. What this does is help maintain their shape while concrete is being poured.
Step 2: Add Rebar Reinforcement
Once the form is set, rebar is placed vertically inside the wall channel. The rebar supports and strengthens the poured foundation walls once the molds are moved.
Step 3: Pour the Concrete
Concrete is poured into the blocks simultaneously. This ensures even bonding and prevents seams from cracking, which happens when fresh concrete is poured on a layer that has already set.
Step 4: Allow for Curing
The concrete is left to set. How fast this happens depends on the slurry used, the time of the year, the humidity, and the heat.
Step 5: Take Down the Form
After a week or so, the temporary forms are removed to allow the concrete enough time to cure. The concrete will continue curing (losing moisture) until it is dry enough.
If insulated concrete forms are used, they should be left in place.
Pros and Cons of a Poured Foundation Wall
While homeowners tend to be selective with foundation walls, each type has pros and cons. Let’s start with good things about poured foundation walls.
Strong and durable: Poured foundation walls can stand up to natural forces that threaten your foundation. You’ll no longer have to worry about the weather wearing down the mortar, leading to leaks. Also, the absence of joints gives these walls greater lateral strength compared to block foundation walls.
Water-resistant: Because these walls are joint-free, moisture is less likely to seep through them. This reduces the opportunity of mold, mildew, and rot to form in your home.
Versatile: This type of foundation wall is flexible enough to fit any foundation design. You can color, texture, or embed the walls with objects. What’s more, you can make last-minute changes.
Low maintenance: These walls can also withstand lateral pressure better. With waterproofing, they may go five to 10 years without a single crack appearing.
On the flipside, hydrostatic pressure may push water into your basement through cove joints that are common in poured foundation walls. Your home is at greater risk if the yard is not properly graded. Poor grading will allow water to run back towards your home’s foundation walls and this can lead to water damage.
Protect Poured Foundation Walls
While these walls are sturdy on their own, it’s better to have them waterproofed from the inside out. Waterproofing adds a layer of protection against moisture. This is something that Foundation Recovery Systems can help you with.
Be sure to schedule a free basement waterproofing inspection and find out whether your foundation walls are protected. We will seal any cracks so water won’t cause problems.