The Superior Walls Precast Foundation System was researched, designed, and engineered to be a better method of keeping the basement or lower level of a house warm, dry, and livable. The major model building code (IRC) states regulations in terms of measured performance rather than in rigid specifications of materials whenever possible. This allows new materials and forms of construction to be evaluated by national standards without having to adopt unwieldy amendments for each condition.
Superior Walls Foundation System specifies that drainage follow the details outlined in the codes by placing an exterior drainpipe away from the base of the foundation wall that is drained to either daylight or to a sump pit. This assists in drainage of collecting groundwater, which assists in eliminating hydrostatic pressure against the wall and the floor slab. An internal drainpipe may also be used, when not required by code, for additional drainage assistance or as a radon gas displacement.
The American Concrete Institute (ACI) “Manual of Concrete Practice” Report 350R-2 dated 1998, states “Usually it is more economical and dependable to resist liquid penetration through the use of quality concrete, proper design of joint details, and adequate reinforcement rather than by means of an impervious protective barrier or coating.” According to experience, specially formulated concrete mix design and advanced casting techniques provide Superior Walls with a concrete that is watertight, damp proof, and designed for protection against degradation or spalling, even when exposed to the most severe soil or weather conditions. ACI states that water permeability is a direct function of the water/cement ratio (a lower w/c ratio results in lower permeability). Superior Walls concrete mix design provides a water/cement ratio of 0.40, whereas the maximum water/cement ratio of concrete intended to be watertight is 0.50. Additional Bituminous* material or other coatings on the outside face of the wall (where it can deteriorate over the life span of the structure) is not needed because water resistance is integrated into the design. The Styrofoam insulation is bonded to the inside of the concrete (where it is protected from the backfill) and provides an elastic moisture barrier and damp proofing for the life of the structure.
Panel joints are sealed with a high-performance one part polyurethane sealant designed for long term waterproofing that meets federal specifications. This requirement specifies that the sealant be a non-sag, gun-grade compound, resistant to 50% joint movement. One bead is applied between each panel as they are installed, then after panels are bolted top and bottom, a second bead is applied on the outside, and a third bead is applied on the inside of the wall.
By building these qualities into the wall itself, the requirements of the codes are surpassed. Since 1981, over 85,000 foundations have been installed without any additional coating, and still remain dry and warm. The quality of concrete used in Superior Walls, provides warranted lifetime* protection against freeze/thaw cycles and water vapor transmission. The urethane sealant used between panels provides superior protection against water penetration. Therefore, no additional damp proofing materials are required. The closed cell polystyrene material in the Dow Styrofoam provides a vapor and condensation barrier for Superior Walls. A Fifteen (15) year leak free and dry warranty* is also included with every Superior Walls Foundation System.
It is not unusual for concrete to develop shrinkage cracks during the curing stage. These hairline cracks are typically less than 1/32 inch in width and WILL NOT affect the structural integrity of the house or increase the possibility of water penetration. The exposed area of the foundation may be coated for cosmetic reasons, if desired.
*See Limited Warranty for Additional Information, Contact us for details