Structural cracks are defined as any crack that has jeopardized the structural integrity of a foundation. Generally, there is a buckling, bowing or bulge within the foundation wall or a shifting of a certain section of the wall. In many cases, it is difficult to see a bow in a foundation wall viewing it face to face but if you stand at one end of the wall with your head close to the foundation, you will be able to see if the wall is bowing when looking down the full length of the wall. Most structural cracking situations occur on block, brick or stone foundations but can also take place on a solid cement wall. Bowed Basement or Foundation Walls can occur as a result of soil loads pushing against the wall and by ground expansion from winter freeze/frost. Compounded with depth and other factors and the lateral forces surpass the foundation’s original resistance to these loads. Over time, these factors can produce lateral bending and the foundation wall becomes bowed. This condition also produces significant cracking. If left unattended this condition will worsen with time jeopardizing both the structural integrity and resale value of the property. In most cases excavating the entire exterior of this wall will allow the wall to flex back into its original position.
1. Carbon fiber
Bowed basement walls can be resolved using the latest carbon-fiber technology. Basement waterproofing Solution prefer to use carbon fiber developed by Fortress Stabilization Systems. Using carbon-fiber sheet straps in combination with specifically designed epoxies, foundations can now be repaired and arrested with little to no obtrusiveness. The repaired bowed basement wall can then be painted thereby creating an almost invisible repair. If an 8 FT foundation wall is 1 inch out of plumb on an 8 ft high foundation wall, it is considered beyond the tolerance for a carbon fiber repair.
2. Steel “I” beam supports
For over 30 years we have been installing steel reinforcement beams up against bowing foundation walls to prevent additional damage. We strictly follow an engineer’s plan that was designed for our specific needs back in the 80s.Since then, we have adapted to industry changes and now offer the latest Carbon fiber technology for structural foundation crack repairs. We will design a custom plan utilizing steel beam construction or carbon fiber to suit the exact needs of your foundations structural situation.
3. Masonry support buttress
A buttress is a structure built against or projecting from a wall which serves to support or reinforce the wall. Buttresses are fairly common on more older buildings, as a means of providing support to act against the lateral (sideways) forces.
Very rarely do we install support buttresses. Only in very unique situations will we install support buttresses today. This was a more common type repair years ago.
4. Complete or partial wall replacement
Signs your foundation wall needs to be replaced:
- When several blocks have become loose, displaced, or completely pushed in.
- One or Multiple large cracks.
- A bowing wall of 3 inches or more.