Concrete, Block or Slab Foundations; Choosing the Best Alternative

The foundation represents the life of the structure and thorough analysis must be done at the beginning of construction. Basic consideration in slab construction include climatic factors, position of the water table, winter conditions, probability of frosts, storms and strong winds. With these in mind, you may decide to choose between the slab placed on grade type or “below the grade- basement slab foundation. Each of the two types has different tolerance to changing environmental conditions.


Both types of foundations are held by the concrete footings. The footing is the wide trench dug and filled with a layer of concrete mix from where the blocks and the wall will rest. The nature of the footing made depends on the characteristics of the building, soil characteristics and size of building. The purpose of the footing is to prevent shifting and gradual sinking of the wall.

Poured Walls

This is the most common form of basement in construction. It is favored because of impermeability to water and forms a seamless wall. The mix is introduced into a mould that has been reinforced with steel bars for extra strength to be achieved. It is important to have the wall done as a continuous process for good bonding to be achieved and cracks are avoided from different setting paces.

The concrete mix can be prepared using self-loading mixers, which achieves greater efficiency and uniformity of the mixture. The mix is poured and left to set for a one-week period after which the forms are removed.

block making machinesThe toughened block foundations have cedar blocks formed well together and united together with mortar. In extreme climatic conditions they can be applied as a stem wall supporting a complete slab above . They act as good material to separate the slab from the ground layer and good prevention of water intrusion.

The use of block walls is also common in construction. Blocks made using the block making machines are set to lower than the grade, enhanced with concrete is introduced to create a continuous slab impervious to water and is a good foundation.

While pouring the mix, vibrator equipment is used to force all slurry mix into place, eliminate all air pockets and ensure voids are completely removed before setting of the material. Storm water drainage can be done using concrete pipes, which are both hardy and durable.

Special pipe making machines are used in their manufacture so as achieve accurate and long lasting pipes. These pipes are also hardened by use of circular wire cages made using Cage welding machines.

Cage Welding MachineCage welding machine

After appropriate footings are made, soil/dirt is well compacted, and a six inch layer of gravel is applied. PVC sheet is placed to act as the vapor barrier. A layer of sand is then placed on the barrier, followed by a wire mesh for reinforcement, after which the mix is poured.

Making an informed choice of the floor is a critical factor in construction. Creation of these floors and other concrete products is now achieved efficiently through innovative concrete making equipments which achieve high precision and durable products.