Your basement’s walls should be able to withstand whatever harsh weather hits it. Over time, you might find these walls starting to bow or lean. It is possible that this damage has spread up from your cracked foundation as well. In either case, you need a solution that will reinforce your basement walls and foundation against anything that aims to wear it down.
Carbon fiber basement wall repair can help reinforce your basement walls against further damage. How can a carbon fiber solution reinforce and restore your basement walls? Let’s take a look at the causes behind basement wall deterioration and why this system is your basement’s best defense.
When Do I Know My Basement Walls Need to Be Repaired?
Even if your basement walls are made of concrete or similar tough material, several factors can cause them to weaken and bow over time. Being able to detect small problem signs before they get out of hand is crucial to timely repairs. What are some common problem signs you can watch out for?
Your basement walls should be able to block out any outside moisture. However, if you notice pools of water gathering in your basement, it is clear that something is wrong. Leaks of any kind should not be waved away or ignored. They can cause significant water damage within your basement and even lead to potential flooding.
Cracks are more obvious signs of structural damage that may also heavily contribute to basement flooding. If your basement walls continue to bow under the pressure of outside elements, it is only a matter of time before new cracks appear or old ones resurface.
- Leaning and Bowing Walls
Your basement’s walls should never lean or sway, not even under an immense amount of pressure. This is usually caused by a shifting or cracked foundation that rests just underneath your basement floor. Should this crucial component become damaged in any way, so too will the infrastructure above it.
What Causes A Foundation to Break?
Constant push from the elements, construction defects, and plenty of other issues can all cause your foundation to weaken, shift or eventually crack. How exactly can these aspects work to destroy your foundation?
- Hydrostatic Pressure
The soil supporting your foundation is much looser than the soil directly underneath your foundation, allowing for more air and water pockets to sift into it over time. This soil then tends to absorb much more moisture than it is able to hold.
The sudden absorption of all that weight will put immense pressure on your foundation. This pressure, known as hydrostatic pressure, can even be enough to fracture your foundation completely.
Another form of this pressure might present itself during the winter. Moisture might become trapped within your concrete foundation’s pores. They may even seep into the pores of your basement walls or floor. In the winter, that trapped moisture will freeze and crack your foundation, walls, or floor from within.
- Clay Bowl Effect and Settling
The method that contractors use to construct foundations plays a large part in its eventual deterioration as well. Contractors typically excavate a large hole where they then lay the foundation and your basement’s floor and walls. Any remaining space around the structure is then backfilled with some of the soil, which creates a loose “clay bowl” of sorts around your foundation.
This soil will never compact together in the same way again. Severe weather could then wash out this loose soil, which can compromise your foundation’s support. After the water itself washes away or evaporates, your foundation will settle, collapse, and crack.
The Solution: Carbon Fiber Basement Wall Repair
Bowing basement walls can easily be reinforced with JES Foundation Repair’s reliable carbon fiber wall reinforcement system. This system offers a permanent stabilizing solution against water damage and will not disrupt any other system in your home.
Let’s take a closer look at how this system works, the benefits a carbon fiber system brings, and its quick installation process below.
- How It Works
In the past, professionals would install steel I-beams vertically against the inside of your basement walls, anchoring them in place to prevent any movement. While this method may still be used by some professionals today, many have found it far less effective compared to carbon fiber repairs.
At first glance, the carbon fiber installments may just look like ordinary straps laid flat against your basement wall. Though this is exactly what this system entails, the process is much more complex than it sounds.
These straps will act as the perfect brace against any building pressure or foundation deterioration that is bound to occur over the years. Once the system is in place, you can expect permanent protection that can endure just about anything.
This is because carbon fiber itself is virtually indestructible. It is made of about 90 percent polyacrylonitrile and 10 percent rayon or petroleum pitch. These materials are considered organic polymers. The exact amount of carbon within these fibers will vary from company to company. Just know that they are simple to install and will not pose any chemical harm to you.
The Benefits of a Carbon Fiber Repair
Though carbon fiber might sound flimsy, it is extremely tough. The tensile strength of this one material alone is used in the construction of automobiles and even in rockets! You can rest assured that our carbon fiber wall repair straps can brace your basement walls and foundation against any outside wear that comes its way!
It will not crumple, stretch, or fray under any pressure or duress, especially when an epoxy resin is applied to it. Experts will also add a steel bracket to the top of the wall near the floor joist, which adds extra stability and support.
This is because carbon fiber is both stronger and stiffer than steel. In fact, these installments are 10 times stronger than steel! When applied to an epoxy resin, this strength doubles. This is because the carbon fiber blend is made up of a powerful chemical epoxy that creates an unbreakable bond between these high-density strands and the work surface it upholds.
Its lightweight design also makes it much easier for professionals to quickly install with minimal risk of injury or mistakes. Many experts recommend using carbon fiber straps nowadays as opposed to straight steel beams because of this.
This installation also allows for a smooth finish that you can easily paint over or cover up. These fiber straps are less than a fraction of an inch wide, so you do not have to worry about any significant obstructions inside your basement.
With JES Foundation Repair’s 25-year warranty attached, your house is guaranteed protection for a good while. Installation is also very simple and quick. Experts at JES Foundation Repair will only take one to two days at the most to add this system into your basement and repair anything else along the way.
This system’s installation consists of four key steps.
Your walls need to be clean and dry before application. We will grind or roughen the walls in question to help the epoxy get a firm, permanent grip on your walls.
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 carefully 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 strap 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 are careful to maintain the smooth finish homeowners desire and will ensure the straps blend with the rest of your basement wall.
Though this installation process sounds simple enough, homeowners should not perform it themselves. Foundation experts can identify which areas on your wall to target and brace with ease. They will also know if any other repairs need to be done before installing this system.
Carbon Fiber Basement Wall Repair
Most homeowners might wonder how damage to their foundation could possibly affect their basement walls when they seem to be two different structures. Here is how a shifting or cracked foundation can adversely affect the other aspects of your home.
- Spreading Damage
Your foundation supports the entirety of your house’s infrastructure. If this becomes damaged, then that damage is sure to affect the rest of your home as well. Because your basement is the closest room to the foundation, you might start to notice issues arise here before all other rooms in your home. Making note of any damage within your basement is a crucial step to preventing that damage from spreading even further up your home.
Another sign that your foundation is not up to par is when you notice your walls starting to tilt. This, in turn, will cause your windowsills and doorways to tilt as well. You might find yourself having a harder time opening or closing windows and doors as a result.
- Other Systems Affected
Your home’s infrastructure will not be the only thing damaged by a cracked or shifted foundation. Other systems installed into your home, such as your electrical wiring or plumbing, can be affected, too. It is possible that a shifted foundation might dislodge some important pipes, resulting in more frequent flooding or other types of water damage within your basement.
All this will only add to the outside pressures working against your basement walls. Many homeowners cannot prevent damage that has already been done. However, that does not mean you cannot repair and reset that damage either. Hiring foundation experts to reinforce and restore your bowing basement walls with carbon fiber repairs will improve your home’s overall health.
Though carbon fiber wall straps are a sleek and efficient wall repair solution, they are certainly not the only repair option out there. Other wall repair methods that JES Foundation Repair can install include wall anchors and our sturdy IntelliBrace™ system.
- Wall Anchors
Wall anchors are another form of basement wall support that JES Foundation Repair offers. Typically, carbon fiber straps are used to reinforce bowed basement walls. These are applied directly to your basement wall.
Wall anchors, on the other hand, help straighten out your walls again. These anchors are buried within your yard, right into the stable, hard-packed soil near your foundation. These anchors will not interfere with your landscaping in any way. However, an expert may choose to use these wall straps over wall anchors if you do not have sufficient yard space available for wall anchor installation.
- IntelliBrace™ System
Our carbon fiber wall straps are typically installed if your basement wall has bowed inward less than two inches. You will be able to spot this give pretty fast, so this should not be a problem. However, if you do neglect to repair your wall in time, then our carbon fiber wall repair straps may not be enough to save your walls from collapsing.
Instead, our experts may have to install our IntelliBrace™ I-beam system. These I-beams differ from regular steel beams in that they are lightweight and zinc-plated. They are easy for us to install and will never rust. Installation of this system is only reserved for homes that have basement walls that bow in more than two inches and do not have sufficient yard space available for wall anchors.
Call JES Foundation Repair for Free Foundation Inspections in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.
Bowing or leaning basement walls are troubling signs of foundational disarray. Fortunately, installing a carbon fiber system in your basement will easily restore and reinforce your walls against any future damage.
Contact us today to schedule a free foundation inspection and repair quote. Ask about our sturdy carbon fiber installation process so your home will be able to withstand severe weather for years to come.