Are your walls cracked and bowing? If the answer is yes, you need to take action immediately to protect your investment from future expensive repair. In most cases if you identify and repair issues with your foundation walls early in its movement, you can save thousands in the future. Early detection and prevention will save you money and protect your investment for years to come.
Bowed foundation walls occur as a result of hydrostatic pressure pushing against the wall. Compounded with depth and other factors as well as the lateral forces surpass the Foundation’s original resistance to these loads. Overtime these factors can produce lateral loads and the foundation wall becomes bowed. This condition also produces significant cracking of the mortar joints and block face. If left unattended this condition will worsen with time jeopardizing both the structural integrity and resale value of the property. A common repair for bowed walls is installing steel I-beams or carbon fiber straps. Click here to learn more about Carbon Fiber Repair.
Settlement in Foundation Footers
There are many reasons why foundation footers can settle. Evidence that your footers have settled will generally be shown by a stair stepping crack in your foundation wall that has separated. This can be repaired using many different methods. Once Chad has inspected your property, he will discuss the best cost effective method to resolve this issue. In most cases, the footer needs to be stabilized using Helical Piers. Click here to learn more about Helical Piers.
Structural Cracks in Poured Walls
There are few things in life that can be certain, but one of them is that concrete will get hard and concrete will crack! Generally in horizontal concrete like your basement floor or concrete driveway, the installers will put saw cuts or tooling marks to help control where and how the concrete will crack. This is simply not possible in vertical concrete like your foundation walls. Although horizontal cracks are rare in foundation walls, you will have vertical cracks.Vertical cracks will generally occur in areas such as beam pockets, midpoint of long walls (20 feet or more) and windows. The general property of concrete is when it cures, it shrinks thus causing cracks. Most general shrinkage cracks are OK as long as they are not leaking water or show displacement. Displacement is when the lateral forces on the wall has pushed the wall inward. The best way to tell the difference between a shrinkage crack and displacement is to run your finger across the crack. If your finger catches on the crack, there is displacement and it needs to be repaired immediately.
The most effective way to repair a structural crack in a poured wall is through a process called Epoxy injection. This is a simple and non-intrusive process that will take between 90-120 minutes. We will place injection ports along the crack from bottom to top. Then we will place a surface paste over of the crack to hold in the material during the injection process. Once the paste has hardened, we start at the bottom port and push a two-part epoxy material into the crack until it comes out of the port above it. We cap off the bottom port to hold the material in and continue the process on the remaining ports above until the crack is filled.
Once the crack is filled, the epoxy bonds to the concrete and hardens. The Epoxy will harden approximately 3-4 times the strength of the original concrete around it. This will keep the crack from moving any further, thus stabilizing the wall.