If you’re buying a new home or renovating an old unit, chances are the foundation on which it stands has poured concrete walls. This type of wall is common in many modern buildings across Virginia Beach, VA. Builders and homeowners prefer them over cinder block walls due to their many positive attributes. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of poured foundation walls and show you their pros and cons.
What Is a Poured Foundation Wall?
It’s a type of retaining wall that’s created by pouring concrete into wooden forms. This wall has better lateral strength than standard block foundation walls and is more resistant to soil and water pressure.
Because poured foundation walls have no joints, they are easy to waterproof. Another advantage of poured walls is that they take less time to construct. Their versatility also makes it easy for builders to carry out last-minute changes on-site.
What Purpose Does a Poured Foundation Wall Serve?
Poured foundation walls have many uses. Let’s look at the major:
One of the many functions of poured foundation walls is to hold the weight of the entire structure. These walls are up to the task as they have a compressive and flexural strength that’s many times that of block walls. That’s not to mention builders reinforce them with steel, which increases the capacity to bear vertical and lateral loads.
Apart from bearing horizontal loads, poured foundation walls also resist wind, snow, tree roots, and other environmental loads that have the potential to damage your foundation and home.
Whenever you build a foundation wall, you’ll want it to withstand weather and the elements. The increased strength and joint-free design of poured walls can dramatically reduce basement water infiltration. A water-free basement means fewer calls back for the foundation contractor and less warranty issues.
Heat loss is more than an inconvenience for many homeowners in Virginia Beach, VA, and Maryland. Lucky for them, poured foundation walls are designed with heat retention in mind. These walls provide their homes with the necessary thermal insulation, which minimizes heat loss.
Another important aspect of poured foundation walls has to do with fire protection. Concrete is virtually indestructible and will hold out against wildfires than other building materials.
How Thick Should Concrete Foundations Walls Be?
Concrete retaining walls should be at least 12 inches thick. The dimensions of your wall will depend on the minimum reinforcement cover and basic structural requirements. Both can add several inches to your wall’s thickness. But these aren’t the only determining factors. Soil type, reactivity, and severity of exposure play a role as well.
How to Build a Poured Foundation Wall
The process of erecting foundation walls goes like this:
- The perfect spot for your foundation is identified;
- Next, the foundation is marked out using stakes and masonry strings;
- The trenches are marked out and it is ensured that all lines meet at 90-degree angles;
- Flat-bottomed trenches are excavated to support your walls;
- The concrete for the foundation walls is poured into wooden forms and left to harden;
- Rebar is used to reinforce the footings, joints, and weak points; and
- The poured concrete is left to cure completely.
How Good Are Poured Foundation Walls?
Like every type of man-made wall, poured foundation walls have their benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a look.
- Excellent waterproofing properties
- Easy to construct and cures fast
- Strong and solid construction
- They create flexible floor walls
- Easy to paint and to texture
- Require footings and perimeter drains
- Likely to leak
- Chipping concrete
Poured foundation walls might be a good choice for homeowners who want to create strong, water-resistant, and versatile walls. Whether you erect these walls or opt for another type boils down to your budget, environment, and of course, personal preference.
If you’d like to waterproof your poured foundation walls or repair cracks, contact JES Foundation Repair for a free on-site evaluation and quote. We’ll carry out the necessary wall repairs first before waterproofing.