A foundation’s primary purpose, whether it is concrete block, poured, or stone is to support the compressive load of the building. However, these building components are generally weak in tensile strength and lateral forces. Thus, concrete and other building materials incorporate reinforcing materials, such as rebar, to increase the lateral load capacity of the foundation wall. Sometimes, these reinforcing methods are not enough and lateral forces can overcome the strength of the wall. The result is either cracked and/or bowed walls which can compromise the integrity of your foundation and home.
Foundation cracks and bowing of walls are common basement problems that can be resolved to maintain structural integrity
Foundations and other cement structures will often crack as a result of settling, soil pressure, water damage, drying shrinkage, thermal movement, or other causes. As most homeowners know, basement wall fractures are common and a fact of life. Most fractures are minor and cause few problems. However, other fractures can grow over time and cause structural integrity or, more commonly, water leakage. If the fracture is large or growing over time, simple injection techniques are not an appropriate or lasting fix. Under these circumstances, the foundation repair must stabilize the fracture, i.e., prevent it from expanding and getting larger. To accomplish this, reinforcement and stabilization are required.
Bowed basement or foundation walls can occur as a result of soil loads pushing against the wall. Compounded with depth and other factors, the lateral forces surpass the foundation’s original resistance to these loads. Over time, these factors can produce lateral bending and the foundation or basement 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.
There are six ways in which a cement fracture in a below-grade poured wall generally moves:
Concrete crack repair employing the Fortress Stabilization Systems Carbon Fiber Countersunk Staples is designed to transfer load away from the fracture, thus addressing the six points defined above and creating a long-lasting fix. Concrete crack repair and the stopping of shifting walls with carbon fiber is a proven application and technology that works as well in your home as in commercial buildings, bridges, mines, road surfaces, and in any other applications where reinforcement and reparation are needed.
Bowed basement or foundation walls occur as a result of soil loads pushing against the wall. Compounded with depth and other factors, the lateral forces surpass the foundation’s original resistance to these loads. Over time, these factors can produce lateral bending and the foundation or basement 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.
Bowed basement or foundation walls can be straightened but require excavation of the foundation, lifting the weight of the structure off of the wall, and pushing the wall back to as close to plumb as possible. Even after this is accomplished, the wall itself has lost its structural integrity and requires reinforcement. You can also reinforce a bowed concrete foundation or basement wall that is still within tolerance at its current condition without straightening. Historically, I-beams were used to correct a bowed basement or foundation wall by erecting the beams in a fashion that provides lateral concrete reinforcement. While remaining an effective method, installation can be expensive and the end result is obtrusive beams sticking out from the wall. In addition, the cracks which have undoubtedly occurred as a result of the bowed basement or foundation wall are not addressed.
Bowed basement walls can be resolved using the latest carbon-fiber technology developed by Fortress Stabilization Systems. Using carbon fiber kevlar sheet straps in combination with specifically designed epoxies, bowed basement walls 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, thereby increasing the resale value of your home.
Give us a call or contact us to learn more about all that American Masters Companies can do to repair the bowed basement or foundation walls in Northern Virginia and the Hampton Roads area. We look forward to making your building strong, safe, and stable.