Concrete and Cement

What are the pros and cons of a poured concrete basement versus a treated wood basement?

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September 13, 2011 9:06PM

Im also a Builder, and a lot of my business is repairing damaged

Concrete foundations. The weight of the Concrete foundation, as

well as its failure to move during the frost heave cycles allows

for cracks and eventually failure. (EVERYONE WITH A CONCRETE

FOUNDATION HAS CRACKS IN IT, CONCRETE CRACKS, THATS WHY THERE ARE

CONTROL JOINTS EVERY FOUR FEET IN SIDEWALKS IS TO KEEP THE CRACK

STRAIGHT) Lateley I have been building only PWF (Permanent Wood

Foundations). SIDEBAR:: It is a huge misconception that wood

foundations don't perform in wet areas. There original intent was

for areas that were too wet for building. The wood foundations work

like a boat (which if you remember were also all wood at one

time):: There is no question about the engineering of PWF's, only

about the longevity. I've heard everything from "the guy at the

wood treating facility might forget to mix the chemicals right, so

the wood wont last" That's like saying that the concrete driver

might get caught in traffic and hose down the crete to make it last

longer. WATER DOES NOT ROT WOOD!! I'll repeat WATER DOES NOT ROT

WOOD!! a fungus that thrives in wet wood causes rot. However, if

every wood cell is masked with copper cells, from the pressure

treating process, the fungus wont think twice about eating it.

Of Course everything is based on quality, there are cases where

inexperienced contractors build a poorly designed wood foundation

(Foundation Grade Lumber with a PWF stamp must be used), but if

built properly, wood foundations will last 100's of years. They are

warmer, LESS likely to leak then any concrete or block foundation,

ready to be finished, and a breeze to remodel, and in the RARE

instance that a poorly built PWF Fails, very easy to repair

compared to CONCRETE.

Remember that most of the eastern coastal towns are built on

wood foundations, not to mention the 200 year old logs that are

being harvested from the bottom of lake Michigan.

Most older builders will never give wood foundations a chance.

Many of them still wont use O.S.B, or they still put plastic on

interiors of walls under the drywall, and disregard several

technological advances in the field of construction.

Research for yourself. There are over 500,000 PWF's in the

Midwest alone.


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