When soil is composed of clay, it’s difficult to build on. Traditionally, concrete foundations are poured on the soil, only to sink or become damaged in 5-10 years. Foremost Foundations has a better solution for new construction – the Wafflemat Foundation-Forming System.
What is Wafflemat?
Wafflemat is an engineered concrete foundation forming system used on expansive and other types of soil where greater slab rigidity is required. Since 1993, it’s been used on millions of square feet of residential and commercial spaces across the United States all without a single structural failure.
Foundations using the Wafflemat system must be designed by a licensed Civil or Structural Engineer experienced in the design of concrete foundations on expansive soil, using soil test data provided by a licensed Geotechnical Engineer.
How does Wafflemat work?
Wafflemat foundations are usually built on a flat graded building site where the native soil is not disturbed. A series of interlocking Waffleboxes, 8½” or 12” high, 19” x 19” thermal-grade, heat-resistant, patented plastic forms, are set directly on the ground. The Waffleboxes are easily placed, connected, and create void space for the expansion of soils. There is no waiting time to create voids, such as with carton forms that require the paper in the forms to disintegrate.
A post-tensioned reinforced concrete slab, usually 4” – 5” thick, is then monolithically poured over the Waffleboxes. The pour forms deep beams running throughout the footprint and perimeter that support the structure directly on the soil and creates a very rigid foundation. The beams are designed to be wide enough so that the load of the foundation on the soil does not exceed the allowable soil bearing pressure. The completed Wafflemat slab then sits on the ground like a raft.
Wafflemat Foundation Installation Process
Wafflemat is the fastest foundation forming system to construct, taking 4 – 5 days as opposed to the 10 – 14 days it takes to construct alternative slabs.
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1. Pad Installation
A clean and level pad is installed so that the system can sit on grade.
2. Waffleboxes Are Set
Interlocking, thermal-grade, heat-resistant, patented plastic Waffleboxes are set directly on the ground.
3. Concrete Is Poured
Post-tensioned or rebar concrete is monolithically poured over the Waffleboxes to create concrete beams running throughout the footprint and perimeter of the system.
The Wafflemat Foundation system sits on top of the soil, much like a raft, helping to absorb heaving soils and eliminate structural cracks and providing you with an unparalleled foundation solution.
What are the benefits of Wafflemat?
Wafflemat foundation has key features that prove its superiority against other types of foundation systems. Not only is Wafflemat the most reliable foundation solution, but it has environmental and economic benefits as well.
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Voids act as “relief valves” that absorb heaving soils and eliminate structural cracking
It can be built very quickly with simple hand labor and tools
Minimizes soil excavation, off-haul, and in-haul
Minimizes waste because the process of estimating how much material you need is extremely accurate
It can be easily and thoroughly inspected in order to ensure a high level of quality control
It results in a much lower carbon footprint than other systems
Can be used in LEED projects and by production, custom, and do-it-yourself builders utilizing plans prepared by a licensed Civil or Structural Engineer
Works with either PT cable or rebar primary reinforcement
Minimizes the uplift effects of expanding soil on the foundation and house structure
Act as a built-in vapor barrier
Better implementation of hold downs due to height/thickness of section
Provides ability for retaining walls to be placed directly on slab
Made of eco-friendly materials (recycled polypropylene plastic)
Has the strength to resist swelling from landscaping, surface drainage, or flooding from any source
Does not require presoaking the construction pad
No need for footings, meaning no earth spoils
Requires no gravel, sand, or moisture barrier since a Wafflemat slab is typically 13” – 14” above grade
How does Wafflemat compare to Inground Ribs?
Unlike Inground Ribs, Wafflemat involves no trenching, off-haul, or concrete overage. It also takes about a week less building cycle time, is more cost-effective, and saves water. Additionally, Wafflemat provides proven advantages in engineering performance. Inground rib slab has no voids to accommodate any movement of soils, which is a major difference when compared to Wafflemat because heating soils with no place to go can cause big problems for a foundation.
Why Choose Foremost Foundations?
Foremost Foundations is your total foundation solution for new construction in Jackson, MS, and the surrounding areas. Our teams are knowledgeable, respectful, and ready to help.
We are licensed to install Wafflemat Foundation-Forming Systems, which were designed to withstand the test of time, even on Mississippi soil. A proper foundation sets the stage for the rest of a building’s construction. The Wafflemat Foundation-Foaming system is one of the most proven foundation systems ever developed for residential and commercial structures. In less than half the time it would take to install an alternative foundation, Foremost Foundations can construct a Wafflemat Foundation that conforms to International Building Codes and Post Tension Institute specifications.