Topic: foundation problem
It’s the time of year where in northern climates snow is melting and the ground is getting saturated with water. This causes the soil to swell and can make bowed basement walls get worse very quickly. I just visited a home in Stow Ohio today that this has happened to. The homeowner said they didn’t notice the horizontal crack in basement wall before a few days ago. And when we were looking at it he even mentioned it had moved further down the wall since the last time he looked at it.
These foundation problems can turn bad pretty quickly, it really all depends on the conditions outside. A wet season will add to the soil conditions and cause movement. Used to be that foundation repair was a matter of bolting a giant clamp (wall anchors) to the basement walls or installing big steel I beams against the walls to hold them in place. These older generation methods have been replaced with technology that will not only stop the problem but offer a lifetime guarantee.
Fortress Stabilization offers a unique foundation reinforcement product that incorporates carbon fiber and kevlar that is embedded into the foundation from top to bottom in 6 to 8 inch wide straps located every 4 feet. This foundation fix creates a web on the wall opposing the exterior load and dispersing it evenly eliminating the problem.
For more info on foundation repair / foundation reinforcement for bowed basement walls visit: foundation repair contractors
There are several options for foundation repair that may or may not solve your foundation problems so getting familiar with each method is critical to helping you make a wise decision.
Many foundation repair contractors offer just one foundation fix and regardless of your foundation problem they will tell you their solution is the one for you. Let’s review one foundation repair need and look at the best possible solution.
If you want to repair foundation crack you will need to know what type of crack it is and if it is a structural concern or not. A vertical foundation crack is likely to be a leaker but not a structural issue. These are typical settling cracks that occur soon after constriction due to the footer underneath settling and causing the weight of the structure above to not be evenly distributed, thus your crack. These may get slightly worse over a long period of time if there is a surface water source that can get into the crack. The best foundation repair for this foundation problem is to simply dig it out on the outside (remove all soil), clean the wall, remove loose debris from the wall, fill the crack, seal the crack and replace the soil, being sure to compact it tightly as you refill the soil.
For more info visit foundation repair
Last article we looked at a foundation repair solution for a vertical foundation crack. In this article we will review horizontal basement wall cracks / bowed basement walls and identify the best solution.
As stated in part 1, many foundation repair contractors offer just one foundation fix and regardless of your foundation problem they will tell you their solution is the one for you. This is very true for bowed basement walls and we will look at three possible solutions.
In part 1 we determined a vertical foundation crack is likely to be a leaker but not a structural issue, a horizontal basement wall crack is jut the opposite. These basement wall cracks are open inside and closed outside so they do not (or very rarely in severe cases) leak water. These horizontal basement wall cracks act like a hinge and will eventually lead to foundation failure.
If the bowed basement walls are bowing from the bottom row of blocks the best solution is foundation replacement. All of the foundation in this scenario except fro the very bottom is out of alignment causing a lot of pressure on the bottom and these are the types that will “pop” one day and leave you with a huge mess and no choice but foundation replacement.
If the bow is closer to mid wall and above and no more than 4″ bowed in you are a candidate for foundation reinforcement which is available in a couple foundation repair methods. The oldest and rarely used today is the “wall anchor” method which in effect is a clamp that bolts the foundation to the soil outside keeping it all together. These bolts need routine tightening since soil is expanding and contracting regularly and they are commonly leakers since you have a 1″ or larger bolt through the foundation that must move.
Steel beam foundation reinforcement is also an older method, yet more effective. The steel beam it cemented below the floor and bolted to the structure above. These rarely fail, however they do still allow for wall movement to a degree and offer little if no warranty.
The latest technology and most effective foundation reinforcement method of foundation repair is the carbon fiber mesh product. The mesh is embedded into the interior surface of the foundation in a layer of industrial strength epoxy. Once cured (an hour or so) there is zero deflection. These “straps” lock the wall in its existing state and offer a lifetime guarantee. They are also the most aesthetic since they blend into the foundation and are paintable.
For more info visit: foundation repair
For more info visit foundation repair
If you have bowing or bowed basement walls consider theses foundation repair options.
If the basement walls are bowed more than 4″ most foundation repair contractors will tell you it is time for foundation replacement even if only one wall. Foundation replacement will involve excavating the exterior to the bottom of the footer outside the home. Then your foundation repair contractors will support the home inside with beams and posts to hold the home in place in order to get ready to remove the bowing or bowed basement walls (they will not “jack up the house” as many assume).
New footers may be required, then the new basement walls are constructed right up to the wood structure. Be sure if you go this route your quote will include exterior basement waterproofing so you are not surprised by the bill for it at the end.
If you do not require foundation replacement then stabilization will solve your foundation problem at a much lower cost. New carbon fiber / kevlar mesh straps by Fortress Stabilization can be embedded into the surface of the basement walls inside holding it in place and offer a lifetime guarantee.
Your bowed basement walls may be candidates for straightening if they are not very far out. Simply excavating the exterior taking the soil away from the wall may allow the wall to relax back into position. In this case you will add the cost of the excavation & waterproofing (since it is exposed) to the cost of stabilization. This (combining the carbon fiber mesh stabilization straps with the excavation) is over all less expensive than foundation replacement but not a whole lot less.
For more info visit: foundation repair for bowed basement walls
If you have bowed basement walls / foundation problems you should know a few things before interviewing foundation repair contractors in order to help guide your decision making on your best solution.
Most foundation repair contractors offer one solution. And of course, the problem you have just happens to be the foundation problem that their one foundation fix will solve. Be sure to look for a contractor that has experience in and offers all foundation solutions.
If you are looking to repair foundation crack you need to first determine what your foundation is made of/ built with. Is it a stone foundation or a brick foundation or maybe a clay tile foundation? And then there is cement block and poured concrete. Each type of foundation material offers different foundation problems and requires different foundation repair techniques.
Take for example poured concrete. Many homes with this type of foundation will have vertical foundation cracks that leak. To repair foundation crack in poured concrete you will have the option to inject an epoxy from the inside to fill the crack, you could dig / excavate the exterior to seal the crack from the outside or you can use a variety of basement systems to direct the water to an interior basement waterproofing system. The bottom line is this type of crack is non structural and your options are many to solving the problem.
A horizontal crack with bowed basement walls is an entirely different problem. You will either want foundation reinforcement to stop the movement permanently, or if the walls are too far you will need to replace the foundation in that area. You need a contractor who can offer all types of solutions and review your options – pros / cons of each. Many companies such as stabl wall only offers one technique and although they will have a convincing argument why you need their product, other methods may be more effective and better protect your investment.
For more info visit: foundation repair contractors
Different foundation problems will lend themselves to different foundation repair solutions with pros and cons to consider.
A typical foundation problem is bowed basement walls and this issue is definitely not a one solution fits all problem. Let’s look at the old school solutions first which are wall anchors and steel beam reinforcement.
The wall anchor consists of a metal plate inside with a large diameter bolt running horizontally out into the soil outside attached to another vertically placed component. This creates a clamp. This clamp method uses the soil out side to hold the wall in place. Downsides are that soil expands and contracts to you must tighten the bolt occasionally. And since you have a bolt running through your foundation they are prone to leaks. Also, the wall is held in place at the point of the plate, this can create a wavy effect where the wall is pulled out at the plates and bellied in in between. This technique is pretty much no longer used, which leads to the “pro”, this is a lower cost solution.
Next older foundation repair technique is the steel beam. The steel beam is bolted to the structure above and cemented below into the floor. The steel beam is slightly pliable allowing for some give and take, but very little. Down side is that the beam is straight and the bowed basement walls are not, so the surface area being reinforced is small as in the wall anchor method. Steel beams are also very sightly and can deter potential buyers when the home is for sale. “Pro” on this foundation fix is they are zero maintenance and very rarely fail.
The latest technology is carbon fiber reinforcement. This foundation fix involves embedding carbon fiber & composite materials into the foundation with an industrial strength epoxy. Once applied the “straps” go from floor to top of wall and have 100% contact. This method of repair is commonly used by road crews to reinforce old bridges and it is the strongest most effective method available. They blend into the basement walls, are pain-table and offer a lifetime guarantee.
For more info visit: foundation repair