Foundation walls can bow for a variety different reasons. It can occur due to the age of the structure, poor construction, or hydrostatic pressure. Bowed walls are commonly seen in older homes due to years of repetitive freeze and thaw cycles and soil settlement. Sometimes, large roots and trees put added pressure on the foundation walls. Sometimes a bowed wall is caused by poor construction. When a house is built in inadequate conditions, such as lack of rebar, improper drainage system, improper backfilling and negative fall on grading, etc., it will cause the foundation to bow. Hydrostatic (water) pressure building up in the soil outside of the house is the most common cause of a bowing foundation wall. When the ground freezes and then thaws, it expands and contracts the water in the soil. This results in the soil pushing against the foundation wall. This is why the most common form of a bowed wall is just below the frost line. THE SOLUTION: Carbon Fiber wall supports are a great solution for bowing walls. The patented system is the strongest system on the market because it ties to the foundation base and the house framing. The carbon fiber is fastened to the sill plate with a galvanized bracket and secured to the foundation floor with a carbon fiber pin. Deterioration does not occur because the carbon fiber system is secured to the foundation wall allowing for an even distribution of outside pressure. Carbon fiber works on both block and poured concrete foundation walls to repair not only bowing walls but also all types of foundation cracks. Carbon fiber wall supports are installed from the inside of the basement so it is less intrusive and less expensive than other repair options. There is no digging into the yard and carbon fiber is a clean and fast installation. The final finish is smooth, flat, and nearly invisible when painted. The repair is maintenance-free and can be covered without taking square footage from a basement remodel. Carbon Fiber systems are also perfect to install on a bowing wall in your crawlspace. It's easy to install in tight locations and the footer is already exposed in a crawlspace which will ensure exact connecting to the footer of your home.
Walls that are cracked but are displaced less than 1 inch can be braced against further movement. Two common bracing techniques are filling the cores with rebar and concrete, and fastening steel columns to the floor joists and the slab. In addition to leakage problems, concrete block foundation walls often display cracks, the early signs of failure. If the walls are fairly dry and if they have not been displaced more than 1 inch from plumb, it is possible to brace the walls without having to excavate the foundation.
There are two common basement wall bracing systems: installing steel beams vertically from the floor joists to the concrete slab, and carbon fiber straps Both methods help the wall to resist failure.
This is done by first shoring up the wall area being replaced. Heavy duty jacks and beams are set up to hold the weight of the structure while work is being performed. The outside soil is then excavated down to the bottom of the foundation. Once the soil is removed the falling wall is taken down and hauled away. A new wall is then installed in its place. When this is completed the exterior of the wall is waterproofed and a new footing drain is installed. The area will then be backfilled with washed stone and topped off with soil.
Another way to brace cracked walls is to install steel beams inside the basement that span the wall vertically between the footings and floor joists. The steel columns are 3 inches wide, 3 inches deep, with a 5/16 inch wall thickness and are installed 48 inches apart for a standard 11-course basement.