Foundation walls can bow for a variety of different reasons including:
It’s common to see bowed walls in older homes because they have endured years of freeze and thaw cycles and soil settlement. If a house was built inadequately, such as without a rebar, with an improper drainage system, with improper backfilling, and with negative fall on grading, the foundation could bow. Hydrostatic pressure (aka water pressure) building up in the soil outside of the house is the most common cause of a bowing foundation wall. As the ground freezes and thaws, it expands and contracts the water in the soil. This causes the soil to push against the foundation wall. This explains why most bowed walls occur just below the frost line.
Fortunately, there is a foundation wall bracing solution: Carbon Fiber wall supports. This patented system is the strongest on the market because it ties to the foundation base and the house framing. Reliable Basement Services fastens the carbon fiber to the sill plate with a galvanized bracket and secures it to the foundation floor with a carbon fiber pin. By securing the carbon fiber system to the foundation wall, we evenly distribute the outside pressure and prevent deterioration.
Carbon fiber can repair bowing walls and all types of foundation cracks in block and poured concrete foundations. Reliable Basement Services installs carbon fiber wall supports from the inside of the basements, so it is less intrusive and expensive compared to other repair options. We won’t have to dig up your yard. The installation process is fast and clean. And when the carbon fiber wall is installed, the finish is smooth and flat. After you add a coat of paint, it’s nearly invisible! This repair is maintenance-free and can be covered with you having to sacrifice square footage in your basement remodel. Carbon fiber systems are the perfect choice if you have a bowed wall in your crawl space. They are easy to install in tight spaces! Because the footer is exposed in a crawl space, the carbon fiber system will securely connect to the footer of your home.
If you have walls that are cracked but displaced less than one inch, we can brace these walls against further movement. One common foundation wall bracing technique we use is filling the cores with rebar and concrete. We can also fasten steel columns to the floor joists and the slab. Concrete block foundation walls usually not only have leakage problems but also display cracks, which are an early sign of failure. If your walls are fairly dry and have not been displaced more than one inch from plumb, we can install a basement wall bracing system without having to excavate the foundation.
We install two types of basement wall bracing systems. One includes steel beams being installed vertically from the floor joists to the concrete slab. Another uses carbon fiber straps. Both of these methods help prevent the wall from failing.
Carbon fiber itself is perfect for foundation applications because it is the strongest solution on the market. However, even the best tools can be ineffective if they aren’t used properly. Always make sure that you are using the best-engineered solutions when it comes to dealing with your home’s foundation. If you’re going to compare different carbon fiber systems, you must understand what is happening to your foundation when it cracks or bows.
Usually, hydrostatic pressure causes bowed walls. This happens when water pressure builds in the soil and pushes against the foundation wall, causing the block wall to move inward. Foundation wall supports are meant to stop the wall from moving. The carbon fiber wall support ties the house framing and the footer to completely secure the load.
Reliable Basement Services starts the foundation wall bracing process by shoring up the wall area that is being replaced. We set up heavy duty jacks and beams to support the weight of the structure as we work. We then excavate the outside soil all the way to the bottom of the foundation. After we’ve removed the soil, we take down the failing wall and haul it away. We replace the old wall with a new one. After this, we complete waterproofing the exterior of the wall and install a new footing drain. We backfill the area with washed stone and top it all off with soil.
Another way we can brace cracked walls is by installing steel beams inside the basement that span the wall vertically between the footings and floor joists. These steel columns are 3 inches wide, 3 inches deep, and 5/16 inch thick. In a standard 11-course basement, we install the beams 48 inches apart.