So how do you know that the new foundation you’re putting under your historic home is strong and up to snuff?

Well, following current building codes and building with permits that assure that an inspector will check them out at every step of the construction process helps.  As noted before, we’ve also used concrete with a high percentage of fly ash which makes the final hardened concrete harder while simultaneously requiring less water.

But another key process step is testing.  Yes, you have to test the concrete you’ve poured.  There are a number of companies that will do this for you, but the basic steps work like this:

  1. Build your forms
  2. Tie reinforcing steel bars (rebar) in forms
  3. Decide on the concrete mix (i.e. % fly ash?)
  4. Pour the concrete into the forms and…
    ALSO pour into a few cylinders for testing
  5. Send cylinders to a testing lab
  6. Wait standard curing time – usually 2-3 days
  7. The lab crushes a cylinder and records the pressure needed to do so (i.e. 5000 psi)
  8. If the number’s good, crush a couple of more and record the average
  9. If the number isn’t what you need, you can wait another day or two and try again

What’s the worst case scenario?  The concrete never reaches the needed strength and you have to pull it out and try again…ouch.  Believe me – you do NOT want that to happen.