If you have noticed spreading cracks, pooling water, and a decided lean to the walls in your basement, it could be time to consider a wall reinforcement treatment to prevent further destabilization in your home. You see, if a wall has started to lean or bulge it can mean only one thing—your basement is under too much pressure and the wall is in danger of collapsing.
If your wall slowly pushes outward as it reaches the ceiling, this is a sign it has become detached from the ceiling, while a wall that protrudes at the floor could be disconnecting from the foundation. Finally, if the wall bulges in the middle, you can be sure it is struggling to cope with lateral pressure from the soil around your home. These can be caused by excess hydrostatic pressure or even foundation damage, and they must be addressed quickly.
Our Wall Reinforcement Systems
Whatever the cause of your leaning or bowing walls, we at Foundation Recovery Systems have a range of wall reinforcement and repair systems that can mitigate the structural instability and even straighten the damaged walls over time. We offer many different solutions, but for walls that have been displaced by two inches or less, we recommend the carbon fiber wall reinforcement system.
This system involves using straps of a high-quality, durable, and flexible carbon fiber and epoxy resin. By applying the straps to strategic positions on your damaged walls, we can mold them to fit your exact needs.
Once we know where reinforcement is most needed, our team members will apply the straps and reinforce them with epoxy. This epoxy will not only ensure they adhere to the wall but once it sets, it will prevent the flexible straps and the wall from shifting any further.
This process takes a total of 72 hours, but the installation itself will take one day or less—the rest of the time is the setting of the epoxy resin. Once your walls have been successfully reinforced, you can paint over the carbon fiber straps to disguise them; this system will never need to be adjusted or reapplied.
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The Benefits of Carbon Fiber Wall Reinforcement
While there are other wall stabilization options, such as wall anchors and I-beams, the carbon fiber reinforcement system is often preferable to many people. The benefits are huge, after all, and include:
- One-time application
- Easy disguise
- Easy installation
- Quick and simple
There is very little mess or noise at all when installing this system, which makes it incredibly attractive to many people. The only real downside is that this carbon fiber wall reinforcement is not suitable for walls that have shifted more than two inches.
Wall Reinforcing Systems
If the walls in your basement are cracking, leaning, or bowing, you could have serious problems ahead. These kinds of issues are usually caused by instability or pressure. The most common causes are:
- Foundation Damage
Foundation sinking, settlement, and heaving are serious issues all on their own, but they can also cause other problems because of their destabilizing effect on the overall structure of a property. This can lead to excessive pressure being placed on certain walls, causing them to lean or bow, but it can also impact floors, ceilings, and even your roof.
Broadly speaking, the different kinds of foundation damage are more likely to cause bowing walls than others. Subsidence, for example, is more likely to cause bowing walls than settlement because of how uneven sinking can put excessive pressure on certain walls. Settlement, by contrast, is more likely to lead to sunken sections of flooring.
- Excess Hydrostatic Pressure
Hydrostatic pressure is the biggest cause of bowing walls. All properties face some level of hydrostatic pressure; in fact, they are designed to withstand it. However, if the levels of hydrostatic pressure in the soil around your home suddenly increase or regularly exceed its capacity to cope, your basement walls can begin to buckle and bow as a result of the lateral pressure.
Excessive hydrostatic pressure is often caused by poor drainage capabilities in the soil around your home. You can mitigate this level of soil saturation by improving your property’s drainage solutions, but this will not rectify the bowing of the wall. For that, you will need specialist solutions and professional intervention.
If you don’t have any skills or specialized tools, it can be hard to undertake structural repairs yourself. It is best to simply let a professional deal with it because the results can be dire if you botch repairs.
- Call in a Professional
When you have bowing or leaning walls on your property, you must contact local foundation repair experts to schedule an assessment. This assessment will allow for the identification of all underlying causes and factors at work, but also allow them to stabilize the wall if it is in imminent danger of collapse.
An inspection will give you an idea of how much work must be done, the costs that are likely to be associated with repairs, and the precise work that is needed. Having a professional deal with this issue is far more effective and far safer for both you and your home. As such, we urge you to resist the temptation to tackle a bowing wall alone.
- Leave the Wall Alone
There is nothing that you can do while you wait for a professional to attend your home and deal with your bowing walls. The best course of action is leaving the wall alone and making sure that your family stays well away from it. This will ensure that if the wall does collapse, no-one is badly injured by falling debris.
If the situation is very dire, you may be able to bolster the wall, but we recommend that you do not attempt this unless you have a great deal of experience and are confident you can do it safely. We would recommend that you only attempt this if there are no risks of injury to your person as a result of the wall’s deterioration.
Carbon fiber wall reinforcement straps are effective in repairing and bolstering damaged, bowing, or leaning walls. However, they are not the only options available and they are not always suitable.
- Cost and Durability
Carbon fiber reinforcement straps are, for many people, the ideal solution to leaning or bowing walls because they balance cost with durability perfectly. As a low-cost, tough product, carbon fiber straps can stabilize damaged walls quickly and effectively with very little disruption to your home. Better still, once they are installed, these straps offer a permanent solution.
However, there are a few drawbacks to consider. First and foremost, this is a solution that can only be applied to walls with limited damage. If the wall in question has deviated by more than two inches, carbon fiber reinforcements will not be suitable for stabilizing the wall. In these cases, a more powerful solution will be needed.
- Effectiveness and Ease of Installation
Assuming carbon fiber reinforcement is a suitable solution for your bowing walls, there are many huge benefits to letting a professional install it. First and foremost, this is a small but mighty solution that will halt the deviation and bowing of a wall completely. Secondly, the installation process is quick and easy. Generally speaking, it will be over within a day.
This solution is also incredibly easy to disguise once it has set in place. Because carbon fiber straps are incredibly light, thin, and strong, they can be covered with drywall or even paint if you don’t mind seeing a faint outline. In short, carbon fiber reinforcement gives the support of a wall brace while being virtually invisible.
Installing Our Carbon Fiber Wall Reinforcement System
Installing carbon fiber straps in your basement is a surprisingly quick and easy job. The most difficult part is calculating how many straps are needed and where they should be placed. This is more complex because it depends on the current state of your walls, the size of your home, and how many walls are affected. Once you know this, however, professional installation takes less than a day and has four main steps:
Your walls must be clean and dry before application. We also grind or roughen the walls in question to help the epoxy get a firm, permanent grip on your walls. Once the surface has been prepared, installation is easy.
A small amount of resin will be applied to the walls to help the strap stick as it is put into place. Our team will take great care to fit the strap to your wall perfectly, as this will ensure that no further movement can take place.
Anchoring the Straps
Small steel brackets are attached to the sill plate on the top of the wall to anchor each carbon fiber strap supports once each piece has been pulled through the bracket system.
Once the straps are firmly in place, they will be covered with resin to ensure that they cannot peel away from the wall over time. We take great care to maintain the smooth finish our clients desire and will ensure the straps blend with the rest of your basement wall.
Once the straps are in place and the resin has been applied, you should allow 72 hours before you touch them. Epoxy resin takes a fair amount of time to set properly, but once it does, it is hard and durable enough to withstand almost anything. In short, once this system is in, you won’t need to think about your walls again unless there are substantial changes or damages in your home as a whole (for example, if extreme flooding or an earthquake weakens the other walls).
Why Choose Our Wall Reinforcement System?
We understand that you have many choices when it comes to foundation repair and wall reinforcement, and so we do our best to ensure that we offer our customers what they need. Carbon fiber wall reinforcements are fairly easy to install and so those who have the skills and tools can do so themselves.
We feel that you will want to let us deal with this, however. Why?
For starters, we use a specialized carbon fiber system that has just the right balance between flexibility and durability. When installed properly by someone who has experience, our system is a permanent solution to buckling or damaged walls in your basement. Furthermore, while we install this solution, we will be on the lookout for co-occurring issues like dampness and mold. If we see any warning signs, we will let you know. Even if you don’t want to address the issues we spot right away, forewarned is forearmed.
In short, when you choose our carbon fiber wall reinforcement systems, you are not just getting the product—you’re getting the benefit of our skills and experience, and that can make all the difference. So, remember, we are here to help you and keep you safe; the stability of your home is our main priority. If you suspect you have a structurally unsound wall in your basement, contact us immediately for a free inspection and repair quote. We will attend quickly, inspect your whole basement thoroughly, and give you an accurate idea of the problem, the severity of the issue, the best solution, and the cost of the repairs. Our experts provide services throughout Kansas City, St. Louis, Des Moines, Springfield and Moberly.