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Poured Foundation Walls

A foundation wall made of poured concrete. These walls have fewer joints and take less time to construct than cement block walls.

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The construction of a foundation is the first major step in the home building process. 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, work with a certified 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 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. 

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. 

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