COMMON SIGNS OF PROBLEMS WITH YOUR BASEMENT WALLS
If you see cracks within your basement walls or if your basement walls are bowing or leaning, please feel free to contact us for a free evaluation. These issues are often indicators of structural issues and require the services of a professional.
Basement walls are generally constructed using three different types of materials. Historically, the most common type of materials used for constructing basement walls in the Carolinas are concrete masonry units (often referred as CMU or concrete block). But other materials or means of constructing basement walls can include the use of brick materials, poured-in-place concrete, or precast concrete wall panels.
Due to the fact that basement walls generally serve as both the foundation walls and retaining walls, each basement wall SHOULD be built to in a manner that provides adequate support for the components of the structure which exist above, as well as withstand the forces of the backfilled soils outside. However, changes within the conditions of the backfilled soils can often create problems for basement walls.
The changes within the backfilled soils are commonly a result of poor drainage conditions along the areas surrounding a house. As moisture and water content builds up in the backfilled soils, they become heavier and therefore exert excessive pressure on to the walls (which is often referred as hydrostatic pressure). Over time, this pressure of lateral force pushed on to the basement walls, will cause them to change shape, which usually causes the walls to bow inward. Common signs and results of the walls bowing inward are the formation of cracks within the wall materials. The cracks can be found present along various areas of a wall and can span in different directions, however a crack or cracks which run horizontally through the center of the walls is most frequently found present when walls are experiencing lateral movement.
The repairs for these issues can vary depending upon various factors, such as the type of materials used to construct the walls, the height of the walls, the height of the backfilled soils, and the extent of the movement or damages. The most common and most effective methods of repairing bowing basement walls are installing carbon fiber reinforcement straps (CFR), installing stabilizer systems, and/or installing helical tieback anchors (wall anchors).
BASEMENT WALL REPAIRS
Carbon Fiber Reinforcement
The installation of carbon fiber reinforcement straps is a very common and effective method of providing repairs for basement walls which are bowing inward due to lateral forces. The carbon fiber reinforcement straps are applied directly to the face of the wall and provide reinforcement and stabilization. The benefits of installing carbon fiber reinforcement as compared to other option methods and products are that it is quick, cost effective, and provides immediate results. Unlike other products that protrude out from the face of the wall, the carbon fiber reinforcement material lays flat against the surface of the wall and can be painted. It will not interfere with future installation of wood framed walls, wall paneling, waterproofing systems, etc.
Carolina Basement Solutions specializes in the installation of Fortress Stabilization Systems carbon fiber reinforcement material. The Fortress Stabilization Systems product used consists of a woven grid of carbon fiber and Kevlar, that is corrosion proof and is more rigid than steel. Not only will CBS provide a “Lifetime Warranty” for the repairs consisting of the carbon fiber reinforcement systems, but an additional warranty is offered by the manufacturer, Fortress Stabilization Systems.
For more information about Fortress Stabilization Systems visit: www.fortressstabilization.com
For examples of recent repairs performed by CBS visit our Facebook page.