I live in Tornado Central in a mobile home and it scares me half to death
when we have tornados in the area, so I'm thinking of building a shelter. I
only have flat land to build on, therefore the structure will only be partly
underground, and the remainder bermed with the excavated earth.
My plan is to use concrete blocks with mortar and rebar in the center and
Q-bond on both sides, but I am not sure if Q-bond waterproofs the blocks.
Has anyone used this stuff before? If you have to use a separate
waterproofing agent, do you apply it over or under the Q-bond?
There are pre-made in slab units that might be a better idea. Also suppose
you aren't home or are asleep or the tornado forms directly overhead so
there is no warning. Seems to me it is something not worth worrying about.
I plan to make it large enough to use as an office, spare bedroom and
storage space, so if the weather is unsettled I can just go down there for
the night. Also plan to keep valuable items stored there so if I'm not at
home, and the mobile is destroyed, I won't lose everything.
Of course in the case of a direct hit it would not matter where I was, would
it? But a near miss that would destroy the mobile home would not hurt an
To be safer, I would recommend a cast-in-place concrete shelter.
If you want to work with the block, I would rebar every cell and
slush solid. I would not depend on the Q-bond to provide the
total structural integrity. Q-bond (I'm not sure if it is one of
the cementitious or fiberglass products) is meant to take the
place of setting the blocks in mortar. It makes it more DIY
friendly. I would not depend on it for waterproof. Below grade,
you should have gravel drainage to either a sump or day light,
waterproofing membrane to keep the water out of the hidey hole.
Above grade, paint should provide the water proofness that you
Keep the whole world singing. . . .
Looked at Q Bond PDF.
It appears to be similar to "surface bonding" material I used on
Jacksonville FL fire station in the '80s.
I had a chance to see it abut 10 years later and it was in good shape.
I don't remember using any finish on it.
Parging foundations is an old means of dampproofing.
If the soil is reasonably well drained and the water table is not near
the floor level,
I should think you will be o.k.
Joints are always a problem with water infiltration, so detail them
Just thought I would add that we recently dug out our stoop which goes down
13 feet underground and was poured with the basement walls. After
installing a drainage pipe, rather than filling it with gravel and dirt I
considered making it into a tornado shelter with a door from the basement.
The basement itself is a daylight basement with lots of steel beams and
would not be a terrific place during a tornado. In any case I dropped the
idea and fiilled it with gravel and dirt before replacing the slab over it.
Could have been my panic room.
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