Block is better…
If you’re considering foundation methods for your next building project you deserve to know the facts. For many reasons, block wall construction is your best option. Block wall systems have been in use for hundreds of years — standing up to the test of time. Quite simply, block is better.
Block walls are an integrated building system laid by skilled masons. Extensive research and testing is continually conducted on block and mortar components. High standards apply to these building components, as well as the building technique and actual outcome they produce.
Unfortunately, there are no consistent manufacturing methods or standards for poured walls, making the soundness of poured wall systems somewhat of an unknown quantity and quality.
Block wall systems can be verified for consistency and are approved by licensed inspectors.
Strength & Uniformity…
Both block and poured walls are continuous vertical concrete structures that share the same compressive strength from top to bottom.
Block walls are factory made to meet or exceed all building codes and specifications. They are square and level and can be readily constructed to fit plans for openings, veneer ledges and grade changes.
Due to the variables of forms and the act of pimping the concrete, poured walls tend to be inches out of square and very uneven at the top. Any plan modifications, after set-up, are difficult to produce.
Repairs & Warranties…
Stress cracks in poured walls will occur and can cause water leaks. The only known cure is synthetic resin patching. Besides this obvious blemish, it is unknown to what extent the strength of the wall is compromised or whether the patch will prevent further cracking.
Because of the air gaps in block, cracks are less likely to cause a water leak. Cracked joints can be repaired (tuck pointed) and cracked block can be replaced in the wall, giving the wall its original strength and look.
Most waterproofing warranties are explicitly null and void for any foundation walls with cracks greater than 1/16″. Stress cracks will occur in a poured wall which may need remedied. It will be obvious that cracks had been repaired which still make claims difficult to be honored.
Appearance & Insulation…
Block walls maintain their appearance over time. Skilled masons set the block to assure squaredness and plumbness, setting a level foundation for framers and other trades that follow.
Poured wall forms are subject to stretching and stress, making foundations an average of up to several inches out of square and uneven at the top. Framers must then take additional time and expense squaring and shimming to remedy these conditions. Unlike a painted block wall, which can serve as a finished room, poured walls exhibit burrs, bowing and uneven lines that require drywall for a more acceptable appearance.
Block walls offer twice the R-value of poured walls. They’re warmer in the winder and cooler in the summer. Poured walls align with the temperature of the ground and are much colder to the touch. This creats condesation and a “sweaty” feel and appearance.
Blocked walls absorb noise. Poured walls simulate an echo chamber because noise reflects off the surface.
Choose block for your next project and enjoy a less costly, lower maintenance and higher performing foundation wall.