Concrete Block Foundations must be built correctly to support the structure that it is designed to hold up. If the foundation is built incorrectly or with improper materials, the results can be very costly. Block foundations are strong, easily built and with the right sealer, completely waterproof. More importantly, they are an excellent choice as a foundation for your home or business.
Block foundations built correctly are stronger compared to poured concrete foundations. Although very similar in composition they do differ slightly. The size of aggregate is larger in poured concrete, and smaller in concrete blocks. Poured concrete isn’t solid at time of construction, but concrete blocks are. Commonly, “rebar” or reinforced steel bars can be used to add strength to concrete blocks.
Strength is a very important aspect when building a foundation. In most cases, foundations are basement walls. These concrete block walls are frequently known as retaining walls for homes. The most important structural element of your home is the foundation. They must be strong and properly supported before you place large amounts of soil against them. With out proper structural support, backfill soil can rapidly break or push in a concrete wall.
Block foundations need to be able to withstand enormous amounts of tension. This is where the “rebar” comes in to use. With the use of reinforced steel bars and mortar to strengthen the foundation walls, concrete block foundations become a strong reliable choice when building a house.
With a little know how and some elbow grease, concrete block foundations can be done with out the help of a licensed contractor. The basic steps and masonry techniques can be located in your local library or on the Internet.
When concrete blocks are properly filled with mortar and rebar at time of construction it provides a great insulation barrier to outside elements. Also, the width and depth of this wall is great for dampening sound coming from inside or outside the wall.
Benefits of using concrete block walls for your foundation:
• Ability to do it yourself
• Doesn’t require heavy machinery or pour machines
• Stronger then poured concrete
• Concrete blocks are pre-made, giving you high quality concrete.
In the end choosing between concrete blocks or poured concrete can be difficult. Both have benefits and both have drawbacks. Having the ability to build a foundation or concrete block wall yourself is definitely a benefit. The result is a direct financial savings, as you don’t need a contractor.
One thing they have in common is that to be completely waterproof you need to use a high quality waterproof sealer. It is also recommended to use an extra layer of insulation on the outer portion of the concrete block foundation to increase the insulation for your wall.