A concrete basement provides additional living space and storage for your home. There are a number of different ways that a basement might be constructed, and the method used will depend on the soil conditions and the standard construction of the area. Whether you have moved into an existing home with a basement or you are in the process of building a brand new home, understanding the various types of basement construction will provide insight into your home's foundation. We have three different types of basement construction you might run into in your own home.
Poured Concrete Basements
This may be the most common type of concrete basement construction. Poured concrete basements involve creating a structure to hold the concrete, and then pouring the concrete into the structure on site. This type of basement is durable, fire resistant and weather proof. The walls are not prone to leaking because there are no cracks or openings throughout construction to let air and water through. The quality of the basement construction will depend in part on the mix that is used. Too much water in the mix can weaken the walls and make them more prone to wind and water pressure. Make sure the concrete contractor used for your basement is experienced in this type of work so the right mixture is poured for your foundation.
Another option in basement construction is ready made concrete slabs that are constructed at a different location and transported and installed into the basement space. Heavy machinery like large cranes is used to put the concrete slabs into place. The advantage to using ready made slabs is that the concrete is poured and hardened in a climate controlled environment. The disadvantage is that the basement is assembled in sections, so you need to make sure that space between sections is properly treated. This type of construction also necessitates a third party involvement, since the average concrete contractor will not have the space or equipment to create the concrete slabs himself.
If you live in an area with clay soil, basement foundations can become unstable as the condition of the clay fluctuates. For this reason, many concrete contractors will install floating basement walls under these conditions. Floating basement walls do not actually connect to the flooring; instead, they are suspended from floor joints under the main level of the home. This allows some breathing room for the ground to rise and swell without causing structural damage to the home. Most homeowners don't even know they have a floating basement, because the space between the walls and flooring is covered with floorboards.
The type of concrete basement you have will depend on the soil conditions under your home and the preferences of the builder who constructed the house. It is good to understand the type of basement construction your home might have in case you ever have problems with your basement structure. A properly constructed concrete basement will provide a firm foundation for the lifetime of your home.