Why exterior concrete foundation has no colour?

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Posted by: from Innisfil
2/17/2016 at 8:28:37 AM

Why do builders leave the exterior concrete foundation bare? The least that they could do is match it's colour to the rest of the exterior walls. Haven't they invented any other concrete colours other than the normal colour?

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Date/Time2/18/2016 at 11:16:10 AM

Hi Marietta,

I don't think I have ever heard that question asked before!

The short answer is: It does have colour. It is the colour of concrete.

Exterior veneers on homes are required by Code to be above grade by several inches and for good reason. The top of the foundation is where the (in most cases) wood structure begins and having that joint located at grade (ground level) would be a recipe for disaster as water would almost flow into the structure without the damming effect of the extended foundation wall.

Having said that, there are actually an incredibly wide variety of colourant additives for concrete as you can see for concrete countertops and stained concrete flooring, however these are thin and relatively small areas.

The colourants are not a paint on the surface, they are actually a dye that colours the entire concrete mixture.

The exposed basement foundations that you see from the ground up to the exterior veneer is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. House foundations are typically 8", 10" or 12" thick and extend to the top of the footings below your basement slab (floor) and extend the entire way around your house.

While it could be done, the cost of colouring several redimix truck loads of concrete for the exposed 8" would outweigh the reward, however, that is subjective and ultimately up to the Client.

You might be better off applying a paint to the exposed surface (after proper preparation of course).

I am attaching a couple of pictures of examples of coloured concrete.

I hope this helps.

Jason Irving

Cedarfalls Building Consultants Limited

Why exterior concrete foundation has no colour?

Why exterior concrete foundation has no colour?
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Marietta in Innisfil
Date/Time2/18/2016 at 7:54:14 PM

Thank you for your response, Jason. Well, explained.

Perhaps in the future, they would come up with variety of colours (as options), other than the regular concrete colour, without going thru dying it.

Thank you again.

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