Caisson for the cellar - how to make it yourself. Summer residents and owners of private houses rejoice every autumn that they can harvest the crops they have been working on planting and cultivating since early spring. But in addition to a sense of pride in the fact that everything worked out, in addition to providing their family with delicious pickles and compotes, a new problem is added for most gardeners-summer residents. It lies in where to store fruits and vegetables.
This requires not only a special place, but also a special microclimate - constantly maintained at one level temperature, lack of moisture, safety of vegetables, fruits and pickles from insects, rodents, fungi and mold.
Until recently, the solution to the problem seemed to be extremely simple - everything was placed in a basement or cellar. But this method, which has been tested for centuries, does not justify itself in every case, especially when there is a high level of groundwater in the area. On horticultural forums, almost every season, basements / cellars are flooded, freeze through, or vice versa, they have high humidity and temperature, and you should also take care that there is protection from rodents and mold, there is a good ventilation system, water drainage and insulation. Such pressing issues have to be addressed when people notice that their crops, grown with labor and love, begin to deteriorate - rot, mold, or even become susceptible to destruction by pests.
But, oddly enough, there was a way out, and in the field of shipbuilding.
In order for moisture to not penetrate into the cellar and there was a constant temperature in it, it, first of all, must be airtight in every sense. The ideal option would be a caisson for a cellar - a capsule that is hermetically sealed and can even be in water without harming its contents. This type of cellar can be made from rings of concrete, but only on condition that the joints are fully sealed. Modern manufacturers did not stop and offered the following, which is much better and more profitable - a metal or plastic caisson for the cellar. In fact, this is a completely sealed container, which has an entrance hatch, which is located on top of the structure.
The volume of the capsule can be selected depending on the wishes and needs of the owner. In shape, standard capsules are made in the form of a square, circle or parallelepiped. The minimum size of the caisson is 150 * 200 cm 2 .
Manufactured caissons usually already have all the necessary elements - a ladder, a hatch, and some models even have boxes and racks in order to store vegetables even more conveniently. The walls of the capsule are 1.
6 cm thick - this value is considered optimal in order to withstand the load from the pressure of the outer layer of the earth.Also in the caissons there is supply and exhaust ventilation, and this ensures air circulation, helps to create a certain microclimate in the capsule in which condensation, fungus and mold do not form.
Caissons, which are on sale from different manufacturers, differ in the type of material used, but the inner filling is usually standard. You can make a caisson for the cellar with your own hands from reinforced concrete. The manufacture of a reinforced concrete capsule involves the use of rings of concrete, by analogy with the technology of a septic tank or a well.
In this case there are many advantages:
In other cases, it is necessary to properly equip the storage from reinforced concrete, but before that you will have to face certain disadvantages, as well as spend a lot of effort and money:
Thermal insulation and waterproofing will be required even outside the structure.
The metal caisson is quite popular because of its low weight, and most importantly, because of the 100% tightness of the product. The metal vaults offered by the manufacturers are immediately ready for installation. Models are made of steel solid sheets with a width of at least 2 cm, as this significantly prevents the risk of deformation under the ground.
The sheets are required to be welded in the form of a sealed cube, which should be equipped with a hatch and a ladder. It turns out that the metal caisson for the cellar is a miniature submarine that is not afraid of underground waters. The metal must be treated with special anti-corrosion compounds, and a bypass valve must be installed in case water gets into the tightness compartment.
Please note, that with good skills in working with metal, you can weld metal sheets with your own hands, just do not forget about the anti-corrosion treatment of the material.
Structures made of plastic have all the advantages of polymer materials and represent the largest segment of caissons on the market for devices for arranging a cellar.
The beauty is that plastic does not lend itself to moisture and does not require anti-corrosion treatment. Finished products are cast from solid sheets, so no waterproofing is required. Polymer models are quite light in weight, if compared with analogues, the installation does not require the involvement of equipment to lift a heavy load. Modern polymer capsules contain all the necessary elements, and the service life is 50 years.
As you can see, of all the presented product options, the most popular is the plastic caisson for the cellar.
Its economical price, lightness and complete tightness have made the capsule the bestseller among analogues. Metal caissons are equally popular and also receive positive user reviews. Models made of metal are successfully used by those who are not yet going to trust the crop for storage in a plastic capsule and want to equip the cellar as reliably and thoroughly as possible. In this race, reinforced concrete loses due to weight and high price, but even such structures have their admirers.
After purchasing 75% of the products, you can immediately start using, the only exception is the caisson made from concrete rings.
Usually the manufacturing company or the company that implements these installations offers immediately a turnkey installation. The buyer only needs to choose the place where the installation will be performed, and qualified specialists will do the rest for you. But if you do not want to spend extra money and have some experience and skills, then the settings can be done with your own hands. The installation of a finished plastic product, metal or concrete, is carried out in several steps and each has certain nuances. But the most important step is choosing the location for the caisson.
Naturally, the most convenient place to place a vegetable store is a cellar under the foundation of a house or in a garage. This will make it possible to go downstairs for groceries, and at the same time not go out, which plays a special role in the winter season. In addition, the installation of a caisson under the housing will automatically simplify the installation of the ventilation system.
Important! It is possible to install a caisson for the cellar under the house only at the stage of housing construction, namely immediately after laying the foundation.
The best option would be to include the caisson in the house project so that you can foresee everything in advance and avoid mistakes, losses time and additional costs.
If you want to build a house and have not yet started doing it, then it's time to think about storing the future harvest. Most often, only experienced summer residents think about storing supplies, when housing has been built long ago, and the harvest is very large, as well as experience in quality care. It will not be possible to build a plastic or metal caisson into the existing cellar, since this will require disassembling part of the house. The same goes for installing concrete rings.
For this reason, to install the caissons, choose any convenient place for the site, which, according to the dimensions of the future structure, is suitable for installation.
In the future, it will be possible to build a utility building on it, and this will make it possible to be under the roof when going down, and you will also have additional space in order to store tools.
The simplest option is to dig a hole with an excavator, but if it does not exceed it by 300 cm in depth, you can dig everything with shovels. To do this, mark the boundaries of the future pit with pegs and a cord. The width of the pit should be calculated based on the size of the container and add another 50 cm to them around the perimeter. The additional space will make it possible to carry out installation work, and also serve as a place for laying the thermal insulation material.
If the groundwater is practically on the surface, then during the work, slow flooding of the pit cannot be avoided. In this case, in the center of the pit, a water collector should be organized - a small hole the size of a shovel joint, into which water will collect. The hole should be deepened as the pit is dug.
When the foundation pit is ready, you can lay a "cushion" of waterproofing on the bottom - a mixture of clay that will help retain water. Top with sand and tamp well.
Clay and sand will also serve as the lower thermal insulation. An anchor plate can be used to strengthen the structure and keep it from being pushed out in heaving soils. Such a site should be poured with concrete in a pit using reinforcement and mortar. In this case, it will take several weeks - this is the only way concrete can gain strength. It is much faster and easier to use reinforced concrete factory slabs.
The caisson should be attached to the slab using brackets or steel cables. As a rule, the finished products already have lugs for fastening, and when self-pouring, the slabs should be embedded in concrete.
Before immersing the devices inside the pit, take care of ventilation openings and outlet points. Also, do not forget that when making holes with your own hands for ventilation, all seams and joints should be hermetically sealed. To install the product, you will need two round logs, a winch and several people as assistants.
At the edges of the pit, logs should be vertically lowered, which in the future will play the role of limiters and guides.
Using a winch and logs, lower a metal or plastic caisson to the bottom of the pit. The position should be adjusted and leveled by rocking the structure. Another step is that the pit from the already installed structures should be covered with sand and clay from all sides, since they will serve as excellent hydro and thermal insulation materials. Each layer that is laid should be well tamped, close to the manhole cover.
The final stage will be the installation will be the most enjoyable work - internal. These include installing stairs, adjusting ventilation, installing racks and pallets for your future harvest.
In order for the cellar caisson to be convenient for storage with your own hands, it should be equipped with various useful devices. The number of drawers and shelves, as well as the location, is determined by the manufacturer and may be included with the product. If you did everything with your own hands or there is no additional equipment for the caisson, then such elements should be made yourself.
This is especially dangerous if the caisson is not in the house or the owner of the plot lives alone and it will not be possible to call anyone for help.
Lighting is an equally important item in the arrangement of the caisson. Typically, standard models do not provide wiring, so it is better to use a portable light or flashlight. But there is another option, many times better, namely the installation of battery-powered bulbs. Since you will rarely appear in the caisson, this will insignificantly affect the batteries, which means that they will not be "put down" soon.
Warm air will help dry the room and at the same time, particles of poisonous gases will be eliminated. You should also inspect the cellar, identify and eliminate defects and cracks, if the caisson is concrete. Also check the functioning of the ventilation system and clean the room.
For more information on how to install a plastic cellar caisson, watch the video.
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