Waterproofing basement

Basement Construction Types: Poured Concrete Vs Masonry Walls

Basement construction can refer to a number of methods and some methods are used more than others. The foundations of a basement must be strong in order to keep the foundations overall robust in severe weather conditions. The elements can cause never-ending problems for homeowners, but with the right guidance and support you can choose the most suitable method to fulfil your requirements.

A basement can add huge potential in space and value to your home if the job is done well. Making the most of the available space enables you to extend your home and create more living or storage space. No matter what the use, it needs to be constructed correctly to ensure the foundations are strong. A poorly constructed basement can have an adverse effect.

Poured Concrete

Basement walls need to be strong to withstand anything and to maintain their strength. Concrete is stronger than other options for basement walls, which means it tends to be the favorable choice in basement construction types. Poured concrete is used to make basement footings for the foundations of the basement. Reinforced steel bars are usually put in place to add structure and framework. As there are no seams, this would be the most effective and stable choice to ensure there are no weaknesses. The absence of seams makes this method of pouring concrete able to withstand more pressure from water and soil from outside. No joints mean the structure is more waterproof.

Hydrostatic pressure from outside can build up behind the concrete creating cracks in the wall where water may seep through causing damp and damage to the interior. The construction period is slightly longer than other methods as there’s a lot of preparation involved, such as preparing fabricated forms and organising the use of cranes.

Masonry walls

Masonry construction, or block work, is the most traditional option in basement construction types, and the least expensive. This method is faster than concrete pouring and reduces construction costs. There are a variety of blocks used to create a wall with overlapping concrete blocks. They are sealed together with grout, then a steel rebar is usually used to reinforce to add extra strength to the construction. The construction will be square and level. Block work is used for convenience and a strong construction.

As it is built as a wall the disadvantage is that it will be more likely to bow due to the pressure against it. The mortar used to bond the walls together is sometimes porous creating weak areas. The seams can be susceptible to leaks.  If the block work is not filled with concrete and rebar it can be weak.

Each type has its own positives and negatives. It’s always important to consult with a professional for advice before you make decisions for such work on your home. Experience and training are required to ensure the correct method is used for the best results. The right materials and method must be used to ensure the job completed is successful. If each procedure is completed properly they can both be successful and the results can be an asset to your home.