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Do Carbon Fiber Straps Work For Foundation Repair?

carbon fiber strips
carbon fiber strips
ByMariel McClung
Table of Contents

Welcome to the world of foundation repair, where the strength of your home begins from the ground up. Among the myriad of solutions that exist to bolster the integrity of a weakened structure, one marvel of modern engineering stands out: carbon fiber straps. This breakthrough has ushered in a new era for securing foundations against the relentless forces of time and nature.

When hydrostatic pressure causes the foundation walls to crack, tough, carbon fiber straps can be used to strengthen and stabilize the wall.

In this blog post, we’ll unravel the mysteries of carbon fiber straps as a method for foundation repair. Light as a feather yet strong as steel, these straps offer a lasting solution that’s virtually invisible once the repair is complete.

What Causes Foundation Problems That Require Carbon Fiber Repair?

The two leading causes of foundation problems are hydrostatic pressure and differential settlement. Let’s take a look at each of these:

Hydrostatic Pressure

Excess groundwater around a house that can’t drain off can cause hydrostatic pressure to build up and press against foundation walls. If the pressure isn’t relieved, it could cause the foundation walls to bow inward. Cracks – which tend to be horizontal – may even form as the problem increases.

Hydrostatic pressure is a more potent force in causing basement wall leaks. This pressure results from water being trapped in the soil around the foundation.

Bowing foundation walls with long horizontal cracks caused by hydrostatic pressure are often repaired using carbon fiber straps.

Differential Settlement

It is common for homes to settle into the ground slightly after they are built, and it doesn’t typically lead to problems if the settlement is uniform. However, if there are parts of the foundation that settle into the ground faster than others, this is a problematic phenomenon known as differential settlement. Differential settlement can cause severe structural damage.
So, what causes differential settlement?

  • Expansive Soil: Soil with clay tends to swell when it gets wet and shrink when it dries out. This back-and-forth motion can eventually lead to differential settlement.
  • Erosion-prone Soil: If the soil under the foundation is prone to erosion, it can wash away and leave voids behind, and differential settlement can occur.
  • Soil Preparation: The soil under any structure must be tamped down before construction starts. If the soil is not prepared correctly, the structure may sink unevenly.
  • Natural Disasters: Any natural disaster, from earthquakes to floods, can result in differential settlement.

Causes of Differential Settlement

What Are The Benefits Of Using Carbon Fiber?

Carbon fiber is used to build commercial aircraft because it’s strong and won’t tear or break. Once carbon fiber straps are in place to stabilize a foundation wall, they are not going to give. Carbon fiber straps are also easy to install, and once they are in place, you can paint over them or hang drywall. You are the only one who will know that they’re there.

Common Signs Your Home Might Have a Foundation Problem

Signs your home might have a foundation problem include the following:

  • Cracks in Brickwork: If you see cracks in bricks, this is a common sign of foundation problems. These cracks may appear in a stair-step pattern. A single crack in one brick usually isn’t a sign of a foundation problem.
  • Cracks in Walls, Floors, and Ceilings: These cracks may be horizontal, diagonal, or vertical. Sometimes, cracks run across a ceiling and down a wall.
  • Leaning Chimney: If you see your chimney leaning or cracking, it is a possible sign of a foundation problem. Chimneys will often experience foundation-related issues before the rest of the home.
  • Foundation Seepage: If you notice water seeping through cracks in the foundation wall or coming through the cove joint (where the wall meets the floor), it should be addressed immediately.
  • Sticking Windows and Doors: Differential settlement will affect the entire home. The pressure on the home’s frame, including the door and window frames, is tremendous. As the frames get out of shape, it causes the windows and doors to stick.

Signs of Foundation Problems

There may be other signs associated with foundation problems as well. Seeing one of these issues does not automatically mean your foundation is in trouble. If the problems are progressive or you notice multiple issues, call AMC911 immediately and ask for a free foundation inspection.

Are Carbon Fiber Straps Right For Your Foundation Problem?

The only way to know if carbon fiber straps are the right solution for your foundation problem is to contact an experienced foundation repair professional and ask for a foundation inspection. This is the first part of the foundation repair process, as it allows the foundation repair contractor to identify why the problems are taking place and determine the correct solution.

What Other Foundation Repair Options Are Available?

Carbon fiber straps are just one type of foundation repair solution. Depending on the problem, other possible repair solutions include:

  • Underpinning using push or helical piers – If your foundation is experiencing differential settlement, underpinning can extend the foundation down to load-bearing soil or bedrock. This stabilizes the foundation and prevents further settlement.
  • Epoxy crack injection – Sometimes, cracks in a poured concrete foundation wall are caused by shrinkage during concrete curing. While these cracks don’t affect the home’s structural integrity, they can allow water to enter a basement or crawl space. Epoxy injections can seal these cracks permanently.

Push piers are hydraulic cylinders that are installed under the foundation of the building.

If you have problems with your foundation and feel that carbon fiber straps or another foundation repair option might help, contact AMC911 today. We would be happy to send out one of our foundation repair specialists to provide a free foundation inspection and repair estimate.

AMC911 is a trusted family-owned business based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia. We’ve been in business for over 30 years and operate as Class A contractors, backed by an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.


Mariel McClung

Mariel McClung is AMC911’s Vice President and full-time mother. Mariel studied Marketing at The College of William & Mary and is the operational brain behind AMC911.

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