Unstable soils conditions are a basement’s worst enemy, whether expansive clay, compressible fill, or improperly compacted fill. They initiate a preemptive strike by leaving foundations unevenly supported, which causes settlement and cracking. They can also apply lateral loads to basement walls, causing them to bow inward. Many homeowners can vouch that the battle wounds from all of this damage can be catastrophic to real estate values and the safety of the people staying in the house.
Common Basement Wall Repair Methods
REPAIRING CRACKS WITH CARBON FIBER STAPLES
Cracked walls repaired with injected material may experience deformations and fatigue, failing over time due to foundation movement. Cross-stitching concrete crack repairs with staples entirely eradicate this deformation, and basement wall repair material’s long-term performance improves.
The staples are composed of solid carbon fibers that have been encased in a thermal-set resin and healed under pressure during the manufacturing process. Whenever the peel-ply cloth is separated from the staples, it leaves a prepared bonding surface ready for bonding to a prepared substrate. On gravely deflected walls, a manual vacuum lamination methodology guarantees a void-free bond of the staples. The average pin is 10 inches long, 0.38 inches wide, and has 1-inch legs. The nails can be utilized with various crack repair materials, including carbon fiber straps, and they add little to the total cost of the crack repair.
CARBON FIBER STRAPS
The pace and ease of installing an externally applied basement wall repair method carbon-fiber reinforcement grid system are significant advantages. It indefinitely stabilizes bowed foundation walls with minimal interference, no digging is required, and is significantly cleaner than alternative basement wall repair techniques. Installers apply the crack repair epoxy using a static mixer, eliminating the need to measure and mix. The process is finished once the epoxy cures (usually after 1 hour, depending on temperature).
Keep in mind that not all-carbon-fiber systems are installed the same way: some may not connect to the sill plate or floor, and some have a necktie that adheres to the sill plate, but the most robust systems connect the foundation base to the house framing. This is achieved using a galvanized sill plate tie and a pin moored into the footer.
Carbon fiber must be properly connected to the structure’s foundation to provide the most significant benefit. The carbon fiber must be attached to the structure’s footer and sill plate. The stress put on the foundation is evenly distributed by tying the carbon fiber into the system at multiple points. It is dangerous only to reinforce the wall where it is most bowed because you are shifting the stress load to a different part of the foundation, causing the wall to shear at the bottom or collapse inward as a whole.
Steel bracing is the conventional form of repairing bowed basement walls used by basement wall repair experts. One of the most popular steel-working methodologies is channel steel, robust and light steel. After being rooted to the foundation footing, this is connected to the floor joist above it. A screw jack is then used to secure the steel channel to the wall.
This method is an effective long-term fix for bowed basement walls. When the wall is badly bowed, steel braces are an excellent option, but can be expensive.
Helical ties are usually installed in deep soil that can withstand pressure, stabilizing the wall. These ties will alleviate the external stress on the wall. When there is significant movement in the wall, they can be used in addition to the carbon fibers. The helical ties will add to the stability.
According to basement repair experts, this basement wall repair option is not appropriate in all circumstances. They must be used in the proper locations and with the appropriate soil. In some cases, homeowners will be unable to use them due to the proximity of their bowed basement walls to their neighbor’s basement.
Basement wall repair experts at HydroHelp911 will thoroughly investigate the structural issues affecting your home to determine the best basement wall repair solution. Once the analysis is completed, the homeowner will be provided with a custom repair plan at no cost.
The type of repair we suggest is determined by the wall’s construction (concrete or brick), the damage’s consequences, and the home’s infrastructure. Personal project goals will also be evaluated to determine a long-term solution that fits any budget.
Meanwhile, look at This Is Why Gutters Are Important To Your Foundation!
When a house settles, or the ground underneath it shifts, more stress cracks form. These cracks generally do not jeopardize the house’s structural stability, but they provide an entry point for underground water, insects, and radon gas.
If you notice large, recurring cracks or bulging walls in your home, do not attempt to repair them yourself. The damages could indicate a more serious structural issue; consult a structural engineer for an in-depth evaluation.
Various masonry patching products, such as hydraulic cement, effectively fill cracks in concrete walls. However, if your foundation or retaining wall continues to shift slightly over time, these products may fail after a few years, leaving you with no choice but to chip them out and start over.
Pressure from the outside pushes the walls inward, resulting in bowed basement walls. Water is the most common cause of stress on basement walls.
During rainy seasons, the exterior soil adjacent to the basement wall becomes saturated with water. This soaked soil becomes heavy and expands. From the outside, this expansion pushes up against the basement wall.
This hydrostatic pressure issue is more pronounced in expansive soils, such as clay-rich soils.
Soil that has frozen.
Soil that has been frozen expands as well. When a large section of soil adjacent to a basement wall freezes, it can push up against the upper area of the basement wall.
Cumbersome items positioned on top of the soil adjoining to the basement wall can force down on the soil, causing it to push outward. Usual exterior items such as decks will not drive this, but heavy machinery or cars that may be parked for an extended period.
Here’s a rundown of how this system is put together:
The foundation wall is first prepared, which includes marking the location of each carbon-fiber strap and grinding vertically where they will be applied.
- The holes for the sill plate tie are then marked and drilled.
- The carbon-fiber strip is attached to the sill plate tie.
- The sill plate tie is installed in the predetermined location.
- The ribbon is then epoxied to the wall.
- Lastly, the carbon-fiber pin is epoxied into place and anchored into the footer.
Masonry walls that bow or curve from the outside to the inside are bowed basement walls. You should notice a convex or bulging wall if you stand inside the basement and look at the bowed wall. This issue is sometimes referred to as inward deflection. Basement walls that are bowed are frequently cracked as well. Cracks can be vertical or horizontal, but most are flat due to the direction of the bend in the walls. These cracks may widen during the rainy season and contract during the dry season. Because of the cracks, bowed basement walls may be stained with water, mold, mildew, or white efflorescence from mineral deposits caused by water leaks.
Interior repairs on tight, vertical cracks in concrete foundations can be done. We have successfully repaired thousands of feet of foundation cracks. More significant gaps and any cracks in older foundations should be repaired from the outside.
Horizontal cracks are considered significant structural failures. The weight of the soil against the wall, combined with the effects of excessive moisture and frost, can cause the wall to buckle at the crack. This is a slow but inevitable process in which the wall moves in slightly with each frost cycle. If detected early enough, horizontal cracks must be waterproofed from the outside and structurally supported from the inside. If the problem is not addressed quickly, total wall replacement may be the only option.