Concrete block or precast concrete foundation

The foundation is a crucial element for building your home. Your home’s foundation guarantees the strength of the building structure. Two types of constructions can be chosen for your home’s foundations: precast concrete and concrete blocks. While equally effective for your structural strength, the choice of your home’s foundation will involve similar crack repairs nonetheless.

Discover the differences between these two types of foundations.

How to tell apart a precast concrete foundation and a concrete block foundation

It is relatively easy to see the difference between these two types of foundations by their external appearance and contrasting elevation. The photo on the right below shows a concrete block foundation resembling brick. The photo on the left has a smooth surface and is therefore a precast concrete house foundation.



Precast concrete technique

Precast concrete foundations are very prominent today. They are also the most commonplace. This is explained by the fact that this type of foundation is usually very airtight and weather-resistant.

The technique used for this type of foundation involves pouring concrete into a formwork. During stripping, vertical marks become visible on the concrete at regular intervals. The marks are caused by the shapes of the formwork used. On each vertical line, there are tie rods (steel rods). These hold the shape of the formwork together, on each side of the concrete wall more specifically.


Ligne vertical et tirant de coffrage

Vertical line and tie rod

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Concrete block foundation technique

A concrete block foundation consists of masonry units bonded by mortar joints. The interior of the concrete blocks is empty and the air within acts as a natural thermal insulator.

Typically, house foundations are more often subject to the risks associated with frost when soil is wet or poorly drained. This is why some professionals recommend that you always isolate this type of foundation from the outside.

House foundation: crack repair

In Quebec, with its difficult winters, Foundation Crack Expert Group most often recommends using the precast concrete technique instead of concrete blocks to reduce the adverse effects of climate on your home’s foundations.

At present, the precast concrete technique is far more common for house foundations. Moreover, with this type of foundation, you do not have to worry about frost since it cannot penetrate deep into the foundation and cause damage to the structure.

However, whatever the type of foundation installed, cracks or deteriorations will sometimes appear. In order to carry out more effective repairs, you need to determine the type and source of cracks in your walls or in your house foundation. Additionally, for professional repairs to be effective and long-lasting, it is important to know if your foundations are concrete blocks or precast concrete.

At Foundation Crack Expert Group, we recognize that cracks rarely require emergency intervention. Nevertheless, cracked foundation inspection is necessary to prevent water infiltration into the building. Our experts will choose the right product to seal your cracks based on the situation.

Do not hesitate to contact our specialists to benefit from all our expertise.