When high waters surge and swirl around a home’s foundation, it is critical to keep the slab anchored to the ground. Stem walls protect against uplift by connecting the foundation down into the ground.
Why Stem Walls Work
Stem wall foundations are successful because they are integral. They marry the slab to the foundation and the walls to the slab and stem wall. The pour itself is continuous, which means that it is seamless. As a result there is no seam between the stem wall and the slab. There is no seam where water can enter and weaken the connection between the stem walls below ground and the slab on grade or the walls that are anchored into the slab. A stem wall and integrated slab structure is more likely to maintain its integrity when water surges and winds pull. This type of construction is ideal for areas prone to flooding. When high water comes, it moves around the foundation, unable to get under the slab and lift it up. This type of construction has been found to be more reliable than simply raising the foundation or building on fill .