Ultimately, you have to make your own decision about whether a basement in your home is necessarily a good or bad idea. You should weigh the various advantages and disadvantages from your perspective, considering your needs and tastes. A builder, architect, or home inspector can give you a wealth of information about the construction of your new home, but it helps to know the basics of basement construction. A water leak or moisture can be a major concern for basements, so here’s what you need to know about Types of Basements:
- Poured Concrete
Many people opt for poured concrete basements from Types of Basements because they are easy to build and sturdy. The basement walls are formed around a footing, which is then covered by forms. As the concrete dries, it forms a solid wall usually free of problems. When leaks do occur in poured concrete walls, they generally develop along the joints between the walls and the floor. Cracks in the walls can also allow water to seep into a basement over time.
The least-expensive method for basement construction involves the use of concrete blocks or masonry. These walls can be constructed in a fraction of the time it takes to create a poured concrete wall, and a steel rebar is generally used to reinforce their strength. Concrete block walls tend to be less water-resistant than other kinds of walls. Water can seep into the joints of the floor and wall tiles, as well as through the mortar that holds them together. Cinder blocks’ hollow nature means they can hold water for long periods of time. Even after the surrounding soil has dried, a cinder block can still be wet inside.
To save money and time on a construction site, many builders of newer residential structures turn to precast foundation walls. These walls are fabricated elsewhere and installed on-site when they’re ready. Precast panels are strong but not as common as poured concrete construction. Precast concrete panels are made with a high-strength, low-water concrete mix that makes them more water-resistant over time.
Stone or Clay Tile Walls
If you are considering purchasing an older home, you may find that the basement walls have been constructed using stone or clay tile. This was fairly common in past decades and is generally a sign that other building materials were not readily available. Stone and clay tile basements can be very strong but also tend to be less sophisticated and more rudimentary in nature. Ground water seeping into the basement is the biggest potential risk associated with these foundations. When cracks and gaps are present in a stone wall, an interior perimeter drain system may be necessary to address the issue.