Concrete Basement Construction – The benefits of poured concrete
This week – we look into the benefits of a poured concrete basement and make some comparisons to other common basement materials. This information will help you put your project in the right direction and maximize long term value for your new home.
Putting a concrete basement into your new custom home is one of the very best investments you can make. Basements provide inexpensive space for a many purposes, from an office to a guest bedroom, or just another place for you or your family to relax. Concrete is the most popular material used for basements, and for good reason. In fact, it is becoming more widely used as finished flooring for basements because of it’s resistance to moisture. On top of that, concrete offers many design options and is becoming a modern trend for interior design.
Types of Basements
(And why poured concrete is your best choice)
Masonry basements: Held together by brick and mortar, masonry is usually a very durable way to construct a basement. However, it’s durability highly relies on the quality of materials and workmanship. If it is not crafted to perfection, you may be taking a risk.
Precast panel basements: These concrete panels are lifted into place by a crane. Because the concrete is not poured into the foundation this way, it is less water resistant than poured concrete.
Poured concrete basements: Poured concrete foundations are solid through and through. This is because the concrete flows from the ready-mix trucks right into the foundation forms. This way, the solid concrete is better able to resist cave-ins caused by water, earth, or wind. Because it is joint free, there is more fire resistance as well.
Basement Construction Checklist
Assuming you’ve done your homework and selected the right professional for the job (see our article on How to Eliminate Bad Contractors) it is still important to communicate with your contractor regularly to check in on their best practices. We’ve outlined a general checklist that our concrete basement construction team uses to keep our standards high.
The best way to prevent moisture problems is to implement the TUFF-N-DRI Basement Waterproofing system from Tremco Barrier Solutions. Not only will this keep water out of the basement, but will also control humidity and improve air quality.
Installing the correct drainage systems around the foundation of the home is huge in making sure water does not gather towards the foundation. Valroc Development Ltd. specializes in a variety of drainage services that will ensure water is going to the right place.
Exterior insulation protects from the extremes of soil and climate change, and is key in reducing the potential for cracking. The wall maintains a consistent temperature and does not expand or contract much due to thermal causes. Since the wall’s temperature is maintained similar to indoor temperature, humid interior air is unlikely to condense on the walls of the basement.
Concrete Slab Moisture Protection
The larger the basement, the more susceptible it will be to water pressure. That’s why we recommend a minimum 10cm layer of gravel spread evenly under the slab for drainage purposes. By digging a 15 to 20 centimetre trench in an X pattern, filling it with clean gravel, and connecting it to the drainage system, water pressure will be relieved from the center of the slab. As the water table rises, the pressure is released through the pathways and then into the drainage system. The top of the perimeter drain should be below the bottom surface of the interior slab in order to drain properly.
The average basement uses about 400 gallons of water in the cement necessary to complete the project. The slab contains approximately 200 gallons of water as well. Within the first 3 months to a year, most of the water will escape. This depends on a variety of factors including weather conditions. Since the water used to construct it can cause high humidity, it’s very important to circulate the air or run a dehumidifier 1 to 2 months after completion. This high humidity can lead to mildew if it’s not dealt with. By insulating the outside of the foundation walls with an insulation board, the wall temperature will be much closer to that of the basement. This is the best long term solution for humidity.
With these in mind, you’re well on your way to having a quality concrete basement that will provide much needed space for years to come. Looking to have your concrete basement built better? Look no further, Valroc Development Ltd. is an award winning concrete team with the knowledge and expertise to pull off the perfect project. Call Valroc today!
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