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Old 03-13-2013, 12:55 PM   #16
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Concrete Foundation vs Cinder Block foundation


Daniel, actually almost 100 years. Our house was built around 1937, and is concrete block.

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Old 03-13-2013, 05:17 PM   #17
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Concrete Foundation vs Cinder Block foundation


interestingly enough, all posts in this thread are correct overall,,, no matter which you select, proper waterproofing is mandatory,,, not just to meet code ( which is a waste of time & $$$ ) but to ensure the life of the structure,,, you've only got the ground open once so di it right the 1st time OR pay $1,000's more later

next time pls supply more info - this orig question was just a shot in the dark to me
IF it were OUR home, we'd pick conc in a heartbeat !
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:24 PM   #18
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Concrete Foundation vs Cinder Block foundation


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Originally Posted by comalley View Post
Which is the best choice for my home? I plan to build on the side of a little mountain. There will be some tree removal involved as well as lots of dirt work obviously. The house will be partially under ground to prevent run off from going into the house. The surface of the ground has lots of sandstone. I'm assuming we will be digging that up and breaking through it throughout the process. I'm also afraid of the house settling because we will be building on disturbed earth rather than a flat already hard and packed spot....advice anyone??
I would never use a cinder block foundation I would do a monolithic pour of footings and stem wall all at the same time with rebar and vent blocks inside it. Strong lost for ever.
and I would make my stem wall at least 4 feet high that would give you a great crawl space.

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Old 03-13-2013, 06:47 PM   #19
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Concrete Foundation vs Cinder Block foundation


Anybody that still uses the decades old term "cinder block" does keep up to date on materials, standards the products of materials.

The main problem with people not doing things correctly, especially when it comes to design.

When it comes to severe applications year round in any climate, CMU are more efficient, more economical and can be used for more applications.

I have used concrete block with an 8500 psi net strength CMU that is always not available for poured concrete. - Plus they are essentially fully cured when received and a Type M or some Type S mortars are all that is necessary for construction. - No forms because they are a load bearing form left in place even if not grouted, but full grouting is for the back woods or there there not good producers.

Unfortunately the ASTM current standards are woefully low and most producers are 30% to 50% over the minimum strength requirements when delivered. - I am a voting member on the masonry ASTM standards and it is difficult to bring the "old" material standards up to the current production products. The next step is to educate the users of the CMUs.

Dick

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Old 03-13-2013, 07:17 PM   #20
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Concrete Foundation vs Cinder Block foundation


I generally have the chance to quote out home additions, attached garages, even new home foundations in either CMU or poured. I don't have a set of wall forms, but my Dad & brother both do, and my Dad has owned them since 1981. 9 times out of 10, I choose CMU for these foundations, for a number of reasons. It's not really cheaper most of the time here, we have a few large poured wall contactors that can put out 1000+ basements a year, and are extremely efficient at what they do. BUT, they generally use absolute minimal steel re-inforcement and stone backfill for drainage. There's plenty of other issues I've seen them have in the past as well; frozen footings and walls, placement of concrete that's hours old and never reaches design strength, lack of damproof coatings, etc....

Either one, if constructed well, will suffice.

One point that I would disagree with above is that poured walls are more resistant to water. Maybe in theory, and when compared to poorly constructed CMU wall, but not always. The benefit a CMU wall has over poured in water management is the open cavity in between the inner & outer shell. If water makes it through the outer shell, it should easily be handled in the cavity IF proper measures were taken at construction to allow the water to perculate down to the draintile rapidly. Years ago, masons used strips of rosin paper to stop mortar damming on the footing, and then most switched to placing a few inches of washed stone in the bottom of the first course to allow the water to flow through. THere a number of other systems available now, mostly derived from the commercial masonry above-grade arsenal, to keep any water leaks from infiltrating the inner shell of the block, and into the basement........
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:20 PM   #21
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Concrete Foundation vs Cinder Block foundation


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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Anybody that still uses the decades old term "cinder block" does keep up to date on materials, standards the products of materials.

The main problem with people not doing things correctly, especially when it comes to design.

When it comes to severe applications year round in any climate, CMU are more efficient, more economical and can be used for more applications.

I have used concrete block with an 8500 psi net strength CMU that is always not available for poured concrete. - Plus they are essentially fully cured when received and a Type M or some Type S mortars are all that is necessary for construction. - No forms because they are a load bearing form left in place even if not grouted, but full grouting is for the back woods or there there not good producers.

Unfortunately the ASTM current standards are woefully low and most producers are 30% to 50% over the minimum strength requirements when delivered. - I am a voting member on the masonry ASTM standards and it is difficult to bring the "old" material standards up to the current production products. The next step is to educate the users of the CMUs.

Dick

I'd have to dig for the report, but I have the results from cylinder breaks on a local manufacturer's Type M, performed by a third party testing facility. IIRC, they averaged over 5500 psi. I'm sure you've seen plenty of these in the past, but I was impressed.........
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:55 PM   #22
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Concrete Foundation vs Cinder Block foundation


Jomama -

The mortar strength is not the governing factor in masonry because the compressive strength of SPECIFIED mortar refers to that method of lab testing small sample for mortar and not the real effect on the real strength of a wall.

I used 8000 psi block (net area) to make prisms (2 block high) and 2200 psi mortar and the result was a hollow ungrouted prism (net area) that tested 4800 psi. These are representative of the real wall materials working together. - Compare that to an idealized concrete cylinder that does approximate the concrete mix design, but may not reflect the actual performance of poured walls. On those prism tests of the ungrouted 2 block high prisms (according to ASTM standards) the failure was shear failure through the mortar and block, reflecting the real load distribution.

When I was in Brazil, I met with engineer that designed some 20 story 6" CMU load bearing buildings with no steel or concrete columns and asked him what standards they used. - He said "We use your standards, but use them better and have better controls". The 3 upper floors did have some vertical reinforcement, but it was there to meet the minimum code requirements and not for structural purposes and the same amount of reinforcement or more would be needed for a poured wall of the same thickness.

Dick

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