This is the inward movement of the foundation wall. Typically this occurs along the middle of the wall. A horizontal crack at the frost line (near the upper middle) in a cinder block or solid wall usually develops and weakens the wall. Continued expansion of the soil pushes the wall and can eventually lead to severe structural problems resulting in foundation replacement. We offer several solutions to combat bowed walls.
Galvanized Steel I-Beams
Installation of steel I-beams wil strengthen and reinforce the wall so no further inward movement is experienced. I-beams are attached against the wall to the footing usually. And above the wall at ceiling level. A large bolt is threaded in the top bracket. This allows the wall to be torqued periodically if you choose to. Usually in the late Summer months when the soil is drier and more compact. This will straighten the wall over time. We can install these no matter which way the joists run in the floor above. Each beam is installed/ modified specifically to your home. The basement walls can still be studded out and finished, but the studs would need to be set off of the foundation wall 4”.
We also offer a carbon fiber/ kevlar grid strap for structural reinforcement that will prevent further inward movement of the wall. These are great for the customer who doesn’t want to lose any space along the wall. Studies have shown carbon fiber has 10X the strength of steel! An independent engineering firm shows that foundation walls are more than 3X stronger than without them. The patented Fortress grid is the only pre-cured product that is fully encapsulated in epoxy. Others are simply glued onto the wall and can peel off. Every hole in the grid allows the outer epoxy to touch the inner epoxy forming an epoxy rivet. These rivets act as rip stops preventing the grid from peeling off. In addition, it allows for visual inspection for resin voids and air pockets. These grid straps are very thin, allowing them to form to a bowed wall. They can also be painted to further enhance aesthetics. The top of the strap is secured to a piece called a neck-tie which is bolted into the wood above the wall. Fortress calls it a neck-tie, since it looks like a clothing neck-tie. This product includes a lifetime warranty. Advantages include low-profile, does not affect ceiling height, and are able to be installed where ductwork and plumbing would traditionally need to be removed.
Plate Anchor Wall System
Additionally, we offer a third option to secure bowing /cracking basement walls: wall plate anchors. A plate is installed on the interior of the wall, and another installed outside in the ground far enough away to be secured in the more compacted, undisturbed soil from when the foundation was dug originally. The two plates are joined using a long threaded rod. Over time these can be tightened to bring the wall back straighter, similar to the I-beams we install. An advantage to this solution is that ceiling and floor obstructions do not matter as this product is installed in the middle of the wall – nothing has to be secured to the floor or ceiling!