Now it is time for the concrete walls

Before Christmas we talked about building and pouring the footings for our concrete basement.

When concrete is poured into a form it is the very next day that the forms are removed and immediately after being poured the concrete starts to harden although it takes roughly twenty-eight (28) days for concrete to reach its strongest and hardest.  Many people believe that the to cure concrete it needs to have the water evaporate.  That is simply not true.  Concrete cures or hardens as a chemical reaction between water and ingredients within the concrete mix.  Therefore, it is important that the concrete be kept moist as it cures.  Typically spraying it with water is a good thing.  If you are pouring a floor it can easily be ruined if it rains.  The rain drops tend to make indentations in the concrete and the surface is then pock marked.

After the footings have been poured and their forms removed it is time to setup the forms for the walls.  These forms are usually two specially treated pieces of plywood spaced either eight or ten inches apart.  That void is then filled with concrete.

Take a look at today’s photograph and you will see the concrete filling that void.  Today’s picture shows the concrete coming from the truck through a “Pumper” that literally pumps the slurry of concrete through a long tube and into the forms.  These pumpers are used when the concrete truck cannot get close enough.  The pumper allows work to proceed on difficult locations where the cement truck is far away.  This is an exciting process to watch.

Once the concrete has been poured a series of vibrators are lowered into the form and the mix is vibrated so that air bubbles will be forced to the surface, this makes the cement much stronger.

The very next day after the walls are poured the forms are removed.  After the forms are removed the newly poured concrete wall should sit idle doing nothing except hardening for at least one week.

The two sets of forms are held together with “ties” that need to be removed.  The tie is a piece of steel or cast iron and they hold the two forms in place while the concrete is being poured.  Those ties protrude both inside and out of the concrete wall. 

There are several things that you now need to do to your foundation wall but we can discuss some of that tomorrow.  Stay tuned and stay warm.

Let us know if you find the information helpful.  We’d love to hear from you.  Call us at 802.985-5855

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