Bowed Wall Repair
So you have a crack on your basement wall, but it isn't big enough to concern yourself, right? Not necessarily. If you live in Northeastern Wisconsin in clay or benonite soil, these soils swell and push against foundation wall surfaces. Groundwater also puts stress on your basement. When the soil around it is soaked with water, it exerts hydrostatic pressure that could push moisture through pores inside your walls and even cause them to crack and bow.
With all of this pressure being applied against your foundation, a small crevice can become something more serious that may wind up costing you thousands of dollars to fix. It's a far better idea to address your tiny problem before it becomes a big one. Our services are available in these areas.
ABT Foundation Solutions, Inc. makes repairs in accordance with the WAFRP standards. If your basement wall is pushing in, bowing, and/or cracking, it’s time to have the foundation experts at ABT inspect it. We will give you an honest opinion on the condition of your basement wall based on years of experience and knowledge. If basement repairs are needed, we will provide you with a free, written estimate. If repairs are not needed, we'll let you know that too!
Basement Wall Repair
To repair a basement wall that is cracked, bowing, and/or pushing in, you need the correct method for northeastern Wisconsin’s soil type. The soil type we have in this region causes many problems for our foundation walls. Add to that our Wisconsin weather with rain and snow and cycles of freezing and melting, and you’ve got a recipe for basement wall problems.
Wall anchors are the most common--and cost effective--solution for bowed, damaged or buckled foundation wall repair. At ABT, our technicians use the RightWall™ Anchor system and RightWall™ Supports. A wall anchor system consists of three pieces--the plate that is held against the inside of the foundation wall, a wall anchor which is located in the soil outside the foundation wall, and a steel rod that attaches the plate to the anchor outside. This works to right a bowed, buckled or damaged foundation wall. Another type of anchor is known as a helical tieback anchor which works to support and strengthen bowing walls.
With ABT, you get the correct method the first time to fix your wall. We are members of the WAFRP, a professional association that works with independent engineers to study soil conditions here in Wisconsin and prescribe the best methods available for repairing homes in this area.
If you have a bowing and/or cracked wall, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The repair should take into consideration the type of wall, the type of soil and future use of the property.
Tear Out and Replacement
Very expensive process which doesn't address the real problem (the soil). It's a long and disruptive process.
Can't improve or straighten. It can only support it at its worst point. Relies on wood floor joists for support.
Carbon Fiber Reinforcement
Can't improve or straighten. It doesn't protect against tipping in at the top, and also doesn't protect against the sliding in at the bottom.
Fixing Your Basement Wall Permanently
Let’s look at some of the considerations when fixing your basement wall:
1. Know your soil condition. As you probably are aware, soil conditions vary greatly throughout the country. Soil content can consist of sand, rock, clay, peat, etc. depending on your location. Homes in Northeastern Wisconsin are typically surrounded by clay, and sometimes sand. Soil conditions must be known in order to provide the correct solution for basement repair.
2. Your basement wall is unique. Each is different and the problems they may have are varied. Each must be diagnosed separately. A correct solution should be based on the conditions, not a one-size-fits-all approach. At ABT, we have extensive knowledge and experience in basement repair and we have the ability, the equipment and the products & methods to solve your unique situation.
3. Remove the problem. To repair a basement wall with more than one inch of inward deflection, you must remove the problem. This is why excavation is necessary per WAFRP standards to remove the clay soil which causes a huge amount of pressure. There are other methods that do not require excavation and that can sound appealing since it is less disruptive to your yard. However, per WAFRP standards, this would require a site-specifiic engineering study to be completed for your specific issue.
If your wall has less than one inch of inward deflection, you have three options (per WAFRP standards):
- Do nothing to repair at this time. Monitor for future movement and maintain proper landscaping.
- Install approved engineered steel supports with proper spacing to support walls. (See WAFRP standards)
- Excavate exterior soil, straighten as best as possible, support walls with engineered steel supports with proper spacing, install new drain tile and backfill with ¾" clear stone. (see WAFRP standards)
4. Make sure your contractor adheres to WAFRP standards. Standards for foundation repair were prepared by a licensed State of Wisconsin registered structural engineer, specifically for the WAFRP to address various conditions and foundation repair standards. Be sure that the contractor you choose adheres to these tested standards for your basement repair (http://www.wafrp.com/).
5. Make sure your contractor is a member of the WAFRP. Check with your contractor or on http://www.wafrp.com/ to verify that they are members the WAFRP. WAFRP holds contractors accountable for standards of ethics, methods and technical expertise to assure that you are getting the correct repair for a permanent solution.
Please contact ABT for a bowed wall repair estimate!