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Signs of Structural Damage to Your Foundation Wall & the Stabilizing Solution

The worst kind of issue you can face as a homeowner is structural issues. These issues come in many forms and can seem to sneak up on you when you least expect it. An issue you might face as a homeowner could be a bowing or cracked foundation wall. Foundation walls are the most important component of a structure and are there for one purpose, to provide stability from the ground up and give support to the structure of your home. When foundation walls are compromised it can spell trouble for you and your family’s safety.

Hydrostatic Pressure

Hydrostatic pressure is oftentimes the main culprit as to why your basement or retaining walls have been structurally compromised. Hydrostatic pressure is the outward and downward pressure caused by standing water pushing against any object or surface that blocks it, such as your basement walls. Gravity forces the water to push hard against objects or surfaces that restricts its flow. Evidence of hydrostatic pressure includes:

  • Bowing Walls– When the soil surrounding your house takes in water it expands and puts hydrostatic pressure on the walls of the home’s foundation. When this happens, the wall will bow out and seem curved in the middle.
  • Horizontal cracks– A horizontal crack in your foundation wall is a key sign that pressure is being exerted in a particular spot and as a result cracks form-meaning that if it is not bowing now, soon it will be if left untreated.
  • Presence of expansive soil– When soil expands and puts pressure on your walls, it may work its way through the wall if there are any cracks or holes present. When this happens, you will see soil gathering on the wall and at the base inside your home.

After experiencing these symptoms, you may believe a stop at your nearest home repair store for steel bracket supports is your solution. Steel brackets seem like a good idea at first, but when you factor in the headache of installation, strength of support and aesthetics, you will soon come to regret your decision. Another option is to replace the wall completely. This is not a DIY endeavor; it requires the expertise of a professional and is expensive.

When you become aware of these key symptoms of structural damage and you want it fixed right the first time, choose Carolina Foundation Solutions for your foundation repair needs. We have an industry specific carbon fiber reinforcement solution that will stabilize your bowing wall and prevent any further movement. Carbon fiber reinforcement straps are an option that will remove the safety risk that comes with a DIY temporary fix and more importantly provide you with a permanent solution with the strongest support that is ICC-ES building code approved and backed by a life of structure warranty. Financially, there is no annual upkeep, once installed these straps require no maintenance or monitoring of any kind.

Carbon Fiber Reinforcement Process

Carbon fiber reinforcement straps are lightyears ahead of any material that be found at a home repair store that you might use during a DIY project. The materials from a home repair store are cheaply made, mass produced and provide minimal support for your foundation or retaining wall. Ultimately, a DIY home repair sacrifices the longevity of your home and guarantees that you will have to revisit the issue. Carbon fiber reinforcement straps are manufactured by Fortress Stabilization Systems and with over 20 years of engineering and testing, is the strongest reinforcement system top to bottom.

The carbon fiber reinforcement system, Invisibeam, consists of 3 parts: a top anchor, carbon fiber strap, and bottom anchor. The top anchor is post tensioned after installation, bolted to the rim joist instead of the typical sill plate and covers from the floor connection at the bottom of the wall to the top. Second, the carbon fiber reinforcement strap is different from the typical one you might find at a home repair store. The Fortress carbon fiber straps fibers are not woven together like the typical design, they are flat and run in one direction, eliminating the loss of force that occurs when a woven strap straightens out when force is applied. Exclusive to the Invisibeam system, is that the straps use an open grid technology (OGT) combined with epoxy rivet technology (ERT), which connects to the carbon grid to form a mechanical bond to the wall. There are over 8,000 epoxy rivets securing a single strap to your wall.

Lastly, the bottom wall anchor completes the system to prevent sheering. Sheering occurs when there is such immense pressure being put on the bottom of your foundation wall and the wall cannot withstand it, so it starts to slide out. Preventing a wall from sheering requires a lot of strength and this anchor has more than enough. The bottom wall anchor is five times thicker and 125 times stiffer than any alternative and uses a dual leg solution with specific contact lengths engineered to achieve a 200% safety factor. Together, the three components create the strongest anchoring system from top to bottom with a minimum tensile strength of 234,700 psi. When you choose Carolina Foundation Solutions for your repair needs, we will bring the right solution that best fits you and your home both structurally and financially.

Let us take that weight off your shoulders and off of your bowing basement or retaining wall with carbon fiber reinforcement. Call us at (877) 770-7050 or click here to schedule a FREE inspection with us today!



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