Once the Stem wall is built, rebar installed, and Integra bolts layed out, it is time for it to be inspected, and grouted.
On larger jobs, a concrete truck and a grout pump is used to fill up the block wall. Most stem walls are grouted completely solid. You can see in the photo below , a concrete truck, the grout pump, and the hose leading to Jason and Aaron while they place the “grout”. (Grout is concrete that has smaller rocks in it so it will pass through the hose and flow properly inside the wall)
Once the grout is placed, the grout is scraped level to the block, and the integra bolts are placed into the grout according to a plan outlined by the Integra Engineers.
Once the stem wall is complete, it is time for the plumbers and electricians to place their “underslab” piping in its position. Then the stem wall is back filled with dirt, and compacted, a layer of ABC (rock and sand) is placed on top of that leaving about 4″ remaining for the concrete floor to be poured to the top of the stem wall.
The photo below is of a footing that was recently poured for a custom home that we are building in Central Phoenix. (A footing is a foundation usually out of concrete that is used as a base to support the weight of your house. ) Many houses start out this way unless they are using a Post-tensioned slab. (We can discuss that at another time.) You can see rebar coming out of the footing that will provide a connection between the footing and the stem wall.
The stem wall is used to raise up the outside perimeter of your house to the future level of your floor. (See Photo below)
In the photo above, you will notice a channel running through the top row of block. This channel is an opening for the masons to place horizontal rebar into. When grouted, (filled with concrete) that top row of block is called a bondbeam. A bondbeam adds strength to a wall. It combines the weight bearing properties and rigidity of block, with the strength and bendability of rebar.