Concrete Footing

  • Monolithic solid concrete base for the beginning of the concrete block basement system.
  • Soil bearing capacity must be a minimum of 1,500 psi.

Concrete Block

  • Use certified ASTM C90 load bearing units. Test reports are available by request.

Reinforcing Steel & Grouting

  • US Grade 60 is the minimum requirement for steel reinforcing bar.
  • When required, reinforcing steel should be placed in the proper position in the block.


  • Type S or M mortar should be used in mortar joints.

Damp – Proofing / Waterproofing

  • Must be applied to the exterior of the wall from the top of the footing to the finished grade.
  • These are required by the IRC and several types of materials can be used.


  • If insulation is required, it can be easily installed on the interior, exterior or inside of the concrete block wall. There are three climate zones in PA with a minimum requirement of R9. Through the US Government authorized software program, REScheck, trade offs for the amount of insulation are dependent on other building elements. These elements include but are not limited to windows, doors, heating and air conditioning equipment.

Drain Tile & Stone Filter Fabric

  • Helps keep the water away from the foundation and must be below the top of the footing.
  • Drain tile can also be placed inside the structure below the concrete floor and covered with approved filter membrane.
  • The drain tile is placed on a minimum of 2 inches of clean crushed stone with a minimum of 6 inches of clean crushed stone placed above top of the footing.
  • Filter fabric is placed on top of the stone to separate the stone from the backfill.


  • Use clean backfill and slope grading away from the house as directed in the IRC.

Additional Recommendations Not Required by the IRC

  • We recommend a minimum of 2 feet of 1 inch clean crushed stone above the top of the footing.
  • A 45 degree bed of mortar on top of the footing to drain water from foundation.
  • Steel reinforcement may be added to the concrete footing for additional strength.

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