The health of your home’s infrastructure rests on the health of your foundation. Though it is able to withstand a lot of wear and outside interference, your foundation is not completely invulnerable to damage.
Because your basement is the closest room to your foundation, you will very likely spot problems within this room first. Your basement walls might even start to lean or bow inward, which creates all sorts of issues no homeowner wants to deal with.
This is where the IntelliBrace™ wall repair system can help. It is a resilient I-beam system that will permanently stabilize as well as help straighten out your basement walls and prevent them from bowing under any pressure ever again. How do you know when you need the IntelliBrace™ wall repair system, and how exactly does it help your basement walls and foundation weather any kind of damage?
How Will I Know if My Foundation Needs the IntelliBrace™ System?
Most homeowners will not know something is wrong with their foundation until these issues get out of hand. What are some common problem signs of foundation damage you can watch out for?
Your foundation is built to block moisture out of your basement. If you notice water pooling or even flooding your basement floor, then this is a surefire sign that something is wrong with your foundation.
Cracks are perhaps more damaging to your home’s infrastructure than anything else. These are signs of severe foundational damage, and should not be overlooked, no matter how tiny the fracture is.
- Uneven Floors
If your foundation has shifted or cracked, your floor is likely to sag or dip in places as a result. This creates a dangerous tripping hazard that will only become worse if you leave it be.
- Tilting or Bowing Walls
The foundation is specifically constructed to keep your home elevated from the soil and standing tall no matter what weather you face. If you notice your walls starting to lean or tilt, however, it is clear that something is very wrong.
You need a solution that will not just set your walls back to normal but will ensure that nothing can negatively affect your infrastructure ever again. Installing a wall repair system like the IntelliBrace™ system will help.
What Causes the Foundation to Become Uneven?
Most foundations today are made of concrete, which many homeowners mistake for an indestructible material. However, even concrete may wear or become damaged over time.
Problem signs often crop up after the damage is already done. So, while it is useful to know what to look for, knowing what causes this damage in the first place is crucial to preventing these issues from occurring. What are the most common causes of foundation damage?
- Hydrostatic Pressure
This is perhaps the most common cause of foundation issues. Hydrostatic pressure occurs when the soil surrounding your foundation soaks in far more moisture than it can actually hold at once. This results in the soil growing heavier and heavier until it causes your foundation to shift out of alignment or crack altogether.
This immense outside pressure may also cause your basement walls to lean in and give the impression that it is about to burst at any moment. You may also notice cracks splintering all throughout your basement floor and walls as well.
Your foundation’s pores may also trap tiny bits of moisture within. This can prove dangerous in the winter when that water freezes and expands into ice, which can crack your foundation from within.
- Settling and the Clay Bowl Effect
Most foundations made today are all constructed in the same fashion. Contractors will first dig a giant hole where they plan to put the house. They then fill it with your foundation and basement floor and walls. The extra space around the walls is backfilled with some of the previously dug-up soil, creating a “clay bowl” of sorts.
This soil will never compact together in the same way and will remain loose the entire time it supports your home. Even a single storm might be enough to wash that soil away and leave voids for your foundation to fall into and crack.
IntelliBrace™: The Foundation Wall Repair Solution
Tough problems call for tough solutions. The IntelliBrace™ wall repair system is just that solution. It is mainly comprised of corrosion-resistant I-beams that brace your basement walls and can straighten them over time. What benefits does this system provide your basement?
- Tailor-Made for Your Home
The first step to installing this system is to measure your basement walls so that our experts can determine how tall the IntelliBrace™ supports need to be. One of the benefits of our IntelliBrace™ system is its easy customization so you are getting support tailor-made for your home.
Our experts will adjust the IntelliBrace™ system around your basement wall’s unique bowing issues so it will slowly straighten out your bowed wall back to level over time no matter how far bowed in it is. This requires precise tuning that our experts will do for you. Even if you find any defects with this system, you can rest easy knowing that the IntelliBrace™ system is backed by an installation warranty and a 25-year defect warranty.
- Sturdy Braces
Our experts will then attach each brace to a floor joist at the top of your wall and to your concrete floor with specialized brackets. The first is attached to the floor joist near the sill plate. A crucial bolt is installed within this top bracket, allowing you to adjust and tighten this brace against your wall slowly over time. This bracket will not damage your floor framing nor will it interfere with the overall performance of your flooring in the future.
The I-beam is also secured by another bracket attached to the concrete floor. This means that the I-beams will span the entire length of your wall. These floor brackets prevent the walls from bowing any further no matter what angle the wall is bowed at. It does not matter if your wall is tilting in from the bottom, top, or the middle of the wall. The I-beams will level the wall back to its original position and brace it against any other shifting soil or damage threatening to make it bow again.
- Ideal for Homes with No Exterior Wall Repair Sites
The IntelliBrace™ wall repair system is best for homes that have little to no access outside their home for any exterior wall repairs. This could be due to property line issues or you may simply not have the space for it in your yard. You can also choose this option if you do not want any stabilization systems interfering with your lawn or intricate landscaping.
The IntelliBrace™ wall repair system is instead installed within your basement on the walls themselves. Experts will first cut these I-beams to the right size for your basement, then attach each brace to your floor joists and the basement floor itself using powerful brackets. They can perfectly line up these beams to any problem areas along your wall.
The system is designed to slowly realign your wall back to its original level over time. There is a long bolt attached to each beam that is tightened bit by bit to force the wall to shift back. It will then permanently stabilize your bowed or leaning walls for many, many years into the future. You will not have to worry about any new repairs after this installation.
Most I-beams are made from unprotected steel. This will become an unsightly, rusty mess that will deteriorate over time. The IntelliBrace™ I-beams, on the other hand, are zinc-plated and are guaranteed never to rust.
- Lightweight but Powerful
The I-beams we use are far lighter than heavy steel I-beams, making installation a breeze. Do not be fooled by their light weight, however. These beams can brace your basement against the harshest storms without fail.
A bowed-in basement wall is definitely a huge problem in itself, but it can also be a sign of much more damage to come. What other kinds of damage can you expect to find if your basement walls begin to cave in?
- Water Damage
Bowed-in walls tend to create cracks. Cracks tend to allow water to more easily leak into your basement. Smaller cracks or leaks might not seem like that big a deal at the time, but they have the potential to grow larger over time. This will only lead to more frequent floods within your basement.
Not only can this cause water damage to your basement itself, but this excess moisture will also invite mold and mildew growth as well as pests to invade your home. No homeowner wants to have to deal with any of that, so it’s best to fix any foundational issues you come across as soon as you can.
- Structural Damage
A bowed-in basement wall is oftentimes indicative of bigger issues right below your feet. The foundation is a crucial component to maintaining the structural integrity of your home. Without a stable foundation, the rest of your home is sure to face plenty of other problems.
Uneven floors, sticking windows and doors, and tilting walls are just some of the issues you might notice cropping up around your home. Important structures like your plumbing may also be affected by an uneven foundation.
The IntelliBrace™ system is usually implemented when your basement walls are bowed more than two inches inward. You will typically notice your walls leaning in at less than two inches of give, so there is no need to neglect your walls if you spot a problem. If you do not like the sleek look of the IntelliBrace™ system on your basement walls, there are other stabilizing options you can try as well.
- Wall Anchors
Wall anchors can also straighten out any leaning or bowing walls as well as our IntelliBrace™ system. They can close up any cracks that pop up on your wall as well. Experts will install this system into the more stable soil around your foundation, which will both straighten out your walls and brace them against anything that might negatively affect your home. These anchors extend away from your home to prevent any movement coming toward it.
This system is typically installed in homes that have ample yard space to do so. Unfortunately, not all homes will have this luxury. This is why we offer the IntelliBrace™ wall repair system as another alternative to this system.
- Carbon Fiber Wall Repair Straps
Others may like the look of our wall repair straps instead of the zinc-plated I-beams. These straps may seem flimsy to the uninitiated. Keep in mind that they are made of carbon fiber, a material 10 times stronger than steel and twice as stiff. When they are applied with our powerful chemical epoxy, that tensile strength doubles.
These straps are more than capable of withstanding any outside wear or pressure your basement walls face. Unfortunately, these tough straps are typically used when your walls are just beginning to bow. If they start to bow more than two inches inward, you will need to rely on the IntelliBrace™ system to straighten out your walls again. Implementing these straps at this stage will, at best, hold back your walls from bowing in any more than they already have.
Call JES Foundation Repair for Free Foundation Inspections in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland
Leaning or bowing walls are definitely worrying issues that should be addressed immediately. The foundation experts at JES Foundation Repair can ease those worries by installing our trusty IntelliBrace™ wall repair system. This system can brace your home against practically anything. Your basement walls and foundation will keep standing tall and proud for many, many more years to come.
Contact us today to schedule a free foundation inspection and a quote for our fantastic IntelliBrace™ system.