Residential Case Study: Wall Anchors

There were several challenges evident in this home, not the least of which was the fact that the home had already undergone a structural repair that clearly didn’t fix the problem. Along with structural repair gone wrong, there were other general structural concerns and poor soil support for the home.

Wall anchors can be an incredibly useful method of stabilizing walls that could otherwise fall due to structural issues. You can see that incredibly well in this residential home, which belongs to Mike and Lisa Trujillo. With the help of JES, here’s how some wall anchors were able to change a home from basically falling down to a home that the Trujillo family can now feel safe living inside.

The Challenge

There were several challenges evident in this home, not the least of which was the fact that the home had already undergone a structural repair that clearly didn’t fix the problem. Along with structural repair gone wrong, there were other general structural concerns and poor soil support for the home.

When the Trujillo family purchased their home in 2007, they knew the home had undergone structural repairs, but the company had put a guarantee on the work and they went through a home inspection, so they didn’t feel as though there was any cause for alarm. However, a problem arose when they began to see cracks in the basement walls again. Worried, they tried to call the company who had “guaranteed” the previous work. The problem is, the company had gone out of business, which means the work was no longer guaranteed.

In the absence of that guarantee, the structural concerns continued to mount. The Trujillo family started to discover stair-step cracks around the basement blocks, bowing of the basement walls, and other signs of a general structural issue.

The Trujillo family didn’t know where they could turn. That’s why they called JES. Because of JES’ knowledge of the situation and their ability to understand the structural concerns, JES was well-equipped to handle the structural problems. Once JES arrived and had a chance to survey the situation, the structural repair inspectors and professional engineers noticed something about the home.

The foundation rested on poorly compacted, heavy clay soil that both pushed against the foundation and pulled away from it, depending on the amount of water. This was causing the foundation to constantly undergo different types of stress. That constant stress was creating a situation wherein the home’s foundation was never truly supported. Instead, the home was settling, causing all these basement issues, including bowing walls. That’s why JES needed to offer its own solutions to the problem.

The Solution

There were two distinct solutions that JES pursued when it helped the Trujillo family; avoiding foundation replacement and installing several wall anchors to fix the walls.

The first solution was really more of a non-solution. Specifically, JES chose to avoid foundation replacement. Although foundation replacement can be a useful tool in cases where the foundation is irreversibly harmed and needs strength to sustain the home, it’s also very expensive and very messy.

Instead, JES foundation repair experts believed that foundation replacement wasn’t the answer. The answer was in addressing the root cause: the settlement, which was due to a serious problem regarding the soil around the home.

The true solution to the problem was wall anchors. Wall anchors hold tight to the outside of the walls. Then, the installation crew buries the anchors far outside the wall, far enough that they’ll hold tight even as the soil continues to sink and move around. When the soil shrinks, it’s possible to tighten the anchors even further.

In this case, JES installed 11 anchors five feet apart; the experts extended these anchor rods 10 feet out to maintain stability and ensured they all stayed 36 inches underneath the exterior surface. These anchors were able to straighten the basement walls and stabilize the location.

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The Result

At the end of it all, the Trujillo family had a basement that was not only stabilized but remained that way for good. Not only are wall anchors a useful tool for many homes, but in this case, they were able to help stabilize the basement and avoid future foundation degrading without a foundation replacement.

This case shows how JES can help you fix seemingly impossible to fix problems, often without going to extremes. Instead of choosing the most extreme but most obvious choice, JES can often come up with a solution that’s better for you as the homeowner.

The Team

JES Project Engineer: Scott Davis, PE
Certified JES Inspector: Barry Kennedy
Installing Contractor: JES, Chester, VA

JES Service Area Map

Service Areas

HAMPTON ROADS & NE NC

1741 Corporate Landing Pkwy
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

NORTHERN VA & DC

8122 Bethlehem Rd
Manassas, VA 20109

MARYLAND

1250 Reames Rd
Middle River, MD 21220

CENTRAL VIRGINIA

2410 Southland Dr
Chester, VA 23831

WESTERN VIRGINIA

456 Old Courthouse Rd
Appomattox, VA 24522

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA

1401 Southside Dr
Salem, VA 24153

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