When you hear carbon fiber, you probably think of the material used in building cars, planes, and even sporting equipment. But did you know that it is also highly useful for basement wall reinforcement? Given its superior strength-to-weight ratio, the lightweight carbon fiber material lends strength and support to damaged basement walls. Take a look at our carbon fiber installation video, or if you prefer, read the article below.
What is Carbon Fiber?
Carbon fiber is a material made of carbon atoms bonded together in long chains. It is exceptionally strong and lightweight, making it ideal for applications in which extra weight is detrimental. Carbon fiber repair products are a commonly used basement and foundation repair method to address various issues such as bowing walls, cracked concrete walls and other structural issues.
What Are the Steps for Carbon Fiber Basement Wall Repairs?
As with any repair method, carbon fiber repairs are only effective if the proper steps are taken during the process. Site preparation is a key factor in the success of carbon fiber strap application.
PREP THE BASEMENT WALLS
In order to get a good adhesion between the carbon fiber straps and the wall, the masonry must be completely dry and free of any debris. The wall can be scraped or sanded to create a flat surface. If there is any evidence of moisture, the wall must be dried thoroughly. As a final step, the wall is blown using compressed air to remove any fine particles of dust.
FILL IN THE WALL CRACKS
An epoxy is used to fill in all of the cracks in the wall, even the ones where the carbon fiber repair straps will not be installed. The epoxy will give some strength to the cracked areas and will create a smooth wall surface so that any future foundation cracks will be easily identified.
MAKE A PLAN
Carbon fiber strap reinforcement can add strong support to a concrete block wall, but only if it is applied correctly. The pattern and size of the wall cracks, the length and height of the wall, and the amount of bow or lean must be considered when creating a design for the straps. Applying the carbon straps to the wall in a haphazard pattern will not be useful. The HydroHelp911 system designers are experienced in assessing the cracks in a wall and determining where the carbon fiber straps need to be applied for maximum efficiency.
APPLY THE CARBON FIBER STRAPS
A thin layer of resin or epoxy primer is applied to the wall and the carbon fiber straps are placed on top. The adhesive will penetrate the carbon fiber and essentially become part of the material, enforcing the strength. The straps are rolled to remove any air bubbles and ensure that there is good adhesion to the wall. The material will cure fully in 48 hours, at which time the wall can be painted or covered with insulated wall panels if desired.
Do Carbon Fiber Basement Wall Repairs Require Any Maintenance?
Once the repairs to a wall using carbon fiber are complete, no additional maintenance is required. That is, provided the original issues that damaged the wall have been identified and remedied. If the wall was bowing due to the effects of hydrostatic pressure, then waterproofing the area is crucial to prevent the damage from recurring. A drainage system may need to be installed, or the area may need to be graded to ensure that water drains away from the house, not toward it.
Get a Free Quote for Carbon Fiber Wall Repair
Are your basement walls cracked or bowing inward? The foundation and waterproofing experts at HydroHelp911 can help you navigate the options that come with foundation repair.
Contact us today for a free estimate or give us a call at 704-741-9737. An expert member of our team will thoroughly inspect your basement and develop a plan to tackle your issues.