Contractors used to use steel L-beams to repair damaged foundation walls. With technological advances, carbon fiber straps can fix bowing basement walls. These straps stabilize the foundation and are embedded into the foundation wall. These straps are smooth with the wall so are paintable and make your foundation three times stronger than it was.
Bowing Basement Walls
So how does a basement wall start to bow? What causes it? Bowing basement walls happen as a result of a weakened foundation that becomes vulnerable to soil pressure. When water gets into the foundation it will cause the mortar joints to disintegrate over time. This affected foundation wall will crack when soils expand and is diverted inward. Block walls that were not reinforced during construction are not strong enough to resist soil pressure.
Here are a few reasons why your basement walls might be bowing:
- Pressure on the outside of the foundation walls from the soil can be the main cause
- Having large trees near your foundation walls can cause bowing walls due to the roots pushing up against the foundation
- Settling patios, stoops, or concrete steps can also lead to bowing walls due to the pressure they can exert on the foundation walls
- Improperly compacted fill soil or insufficient maintenance on your foundation can lead to issues with your foundation walls
- Water that settles next to your foundation can also cause bowing foundation walls
Carbon Fiber Reinforcement
A basement wall that is bowing can be repaired using carbon fiber straps. The straps, when added, keep the wall from further bowing. They are affordable and are usually less than half the price as it would be to get steel beams installed.
Carbon fiber straps are easily installed by professional contractors, usually in one day. Professional contractors just place the carbon fiber fabric over cracks in your bowing basement wall, add epoxy adhesive, and wait for it to dry. A bonus of having these straps installed is it isn’t intrusive. Professionals don’t need to dig, drill, access ductwork, or plumbing. Another bonus is there is no maintenance with the carbon fiber straps. Once they are installed there is never anything that needs to be done to keep them intact or working.
Carbon fiber straps are composed of thousands of strong strands. They are lightweight and tough; they don’t bend, break, or stretch. Plus they won’t deteriorate in high temperatures. The carbon fiber straps are meant to be up to 10 times stronger than steel. Carbon fiber has also been used for bulletproof vests, commercial aircrafts, race cars, etc.
Here at Schmitt Waterproofing, we will gladly come out for a free estimate to determine if you need carbon fiber reinforcement for your bowing foundation walls. Schmitt Waterproofing serves the Buford, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Flowery Branch, Cumming, Gainesville, Alpharetta, Milton, Johns Creek, Duluth, Dawsonville, Canton, and Ball Ground areas in Georgia. We have years of experience and are waterproofing experts. Please contact us online or by phone by calling 404-268-1040. To see more information about us follow us on Facebook.