The building of the stem wall is one of the first and most vital steps in building a home foundation and framework. It is an integral component of the property as it helps provide stability and a solid base for the structure. Typically, it is made using concrete blocks that are reinforced with steel. This wall sits on top of the slab and effectively supplies home builders with something to affix the walls and framework to.

stem wall construction

Depending on the building, the stem wall is typically built to the elevation of three cinder blocks. Each row of cinder blocks is set and filled with concrete. This is done at the same time as the concrete piece that tops the structure.

Concrete for a stem wall is poured all at once to create a seamless concrete wall to solidify the structure and protect against weather and water. The primary benefit of a stem wall is that it assists in stopping structural damage.

In areas vulnerable to flooding, as well as tornados, a building is more likely to remain structurally sound where the water moves past the framework as opposed to penetrating it. Water can destabilize the structure, which makes it much more susceptible to wind and weather.

A Concrete Slab Provides the Foundation

A concrete slab may be at or slightly below ground level, but the stem wall goes above the bordering ground level. Along with making it less complicated to attach walls to the block, the stem wall provides a raised platform for the main building's walls. This can be vital, specifically if the materials used in the building construction can be damaged by water or insects. By raising the walls of the structure slightly over the level of the slab and ground, you can lessen this kind of damage.

stem wall construction poured

construction images courtesy of Darrin Gray Corp.

Along with residential real estate, public buildings commonly include a stem wall as a means of anchoring the wall surface to the structure. Manufacturing plants are also constructed with one to increase durability. There are building styles that make usage of a wood foundation combined with a wood stem wall surface. While not serving all the same functions as the concrete wall version, it does still provide extra support for the framework.

A slab-on-grade version of a stem wall, integrates the concrete slab sub-floor, stem wall, and footing in one complete pour. This kind of structure has special requirements for the metal rods.

Epoxy Flooring Resins for Stem Walls

Brilliant Epoxy Floors is proud to also offer our epoxy resin coatings for stem walls. The same tough epoxies that we use on garage floors can be installed to go up the stem walls to provide an even better seal against moisture. Installed in your garage for instance, we create a solid, durable surface across the entire flooring area and then take the epoxy coating partway up the wall.

Stem Wall Epoxy Coatings