What is the difference between Poured Concrete vs. Block Walls
- i. Block Walls
- 1. A block wall is made from Portland cement, gravel and sand. Block walls use larger pieces of gravel.
- 2. This can sometimes put the wall at risk with constant moisture build up or heavy moisture climate conditions.
- 3. Blocks are often hollow and sometimes filled with concrete for additional strength.
- 4. Used for landscaping, retaining walls, basements, and houses.
- 5. According to the Milwaukee Builders Association study, Block Walls are:
- a. Accepted by the public
- b. Masons are familiar with this process
- c. Cracks can be repaired easily
- d. Partition walls are easier to build
- e. Acoustical absorption
- ii. Poured Concrete Walls
- 1. According to the Milwaukee Builders Association study, Block Walls are:
- a. Stronger
- b. More waterproof
- c. Finish is more versatile
- d. Fewer Call backs
- 2. It comes as a ready mix in a concrete truck and is poured in place.
- 3. Scheduling. All things considered, it takes less time do poured concrete walls than it does to do a block wall.
- 4. According to the Concrete Foundations Association of North America, the following are the benefits of a Poured Concrete Wall
- a. Poured concrete walls provide builders and owners with stronger, drier, better basements. They offer performance that block walls simply can’t match, at a competitive price.
- b. Strength: Poured walls have a compressive and flexural strength several times that of block & far exceed required safety factors.
- c. Water Resistance: The increased strength, density, and joint-free construction of poured walls dramatically reduce basement water problems. A water-tight basement means less call backs for the builder or developer… less warranty problems.
- d. Fire Resistance: Solid wall construction affords at least twice as much protection against fire as hollow core concrete block.
- e. Design Flexibility: Poured wall techniques are adaptable to most home designs & offer choice of either brick or smooth finishes.
- f. Maintenance Ease: Poured wall construction is virtually maintenance free.
What are some of the Pros and Cons of Poured Concrete Walls?
- i. Pros for Block Walls
- 1. Blocks are easily accessible
- 2. Accepted by the public as the norm
- 3. Partition walls are easier to build
- ii. Cons for Block Walls
- 1. More call backs for repairs or cracks
- 2. Structural failure to the elements because not have as high of a flexural and compression factor
- iii. Pros for Poured in place concrete walls
- 1. Walls can go up faster
- 2. No joints Withstands a variety of conditions making it more durable.
- 3. Stronger because it is solid concrete with reinforced.
- 4. Poured Concrete walls are resistant to fires and are used as fire walls in some buildings.
- iv. Cons for Poured in place concrete walls
- 1. Curing time over block curing time is longer
Is there a building code for poured concrete walls?
- i. The code book for concrete builders is called: 2018 International Building Code
- 1. The IBC regulates the foundations, footers, and walls for structural and load strengths needed
How thick should a poured concrete wall be?
- i. 8 inches is minimum
- ii. 10 inches thick on walls taller than 8 feet
How thick should a poured concrete wall be if it has significant soil up against it?
- i. Higher PSI for extra strength
- ii. Poured concrete foundation walls that are less than 8 feet tall and have soil outside that is 6 or 7 feet deep against the wall can often be 8 inches thick and function quite well.
- iii. As soon as you go higher or have greater depths of soil pushing against the wall, you need to increase the thickness to 10 inches.
- iv. Wall Footing Thickness. For masonry or concrete construction, the minimum foundation wall will be 6 inches.
- v. The minimum reinforced concrete footing thickness will be 6 inches or 1-1/2 times the length of the footing projection from the foundation wall, whichever is greater.
When do I need to use rebar in a poured concrete wall?
- i. In most residential situations, #4 rod at 12 inches o.c. will be plenty for 8-inch-thick footings up to 4 feet wide. The steel should be placed about 3 inches up from the bottom of the footing.
How thick should a slab be?
- i. Standard concrete floor slab thickness in residential construction is 4 inches.
- ii. Five to six inches is recommended if the concrete will receive occasional heavy loads, such as motor homes or garbage trucks.
- iii. Around the edge of the slab, the concrete forms a beam that is perhaps 2 feet deep. The rest of the slab is 4 or 6 inches thick.
- iv. A 4- or 6-inch layer of gravel lies beneath the slab.
- v. A 4-millimeter sheet of plastic lies between the concrete and the gravel to keep moisture out.
How high can I make my poured concrete walls?
- i. In typical residential construction, concrete is commonly placed in a wall to a maximum of 10 to 12 feet in height during one concrete pour. This is done in multiple lifts of around 4 feet or less.
- ii. In commercial construction walls may be higher -14 to 18 feet and in some commercial applications, as much as 21 feet.