Saturday, July 14th, 2018 by Thrasher
Wall cracks and bowing are concerning and stressful. They take away from a home's value, from your quality of life, as well as peace of mind. Selecting a company to repair them can be a hassle. To understand how to repair the walls, you first need to know what is causing them to fail in the first place.
There are very thick, dense and expansive clay soils in Midwest states like Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Combine that with the way that homes are built by digging a pit larger than the house itself. You have a situation that, unfortunately, is quite damaging to the structural integrity of your home. The soil that is backfilled against the new home is less dense and allows water to fill that area around the house easier. When that area fills with water, it applies thousands of pounds of pressure against the wall. Our clay soil is very expansive. Once it absorbs, it swells up a applies pressure against the wall. Even after the rain and water go away, the clay soil has expanded and provided sustained pressure until the clay soil relaxes again. These are the things that will eventually push in, cause cracks, bowing and eventually total wall failure. In situations where there are above-ground obstacles like patios, walkways, driveways, pools, etc., a helical tieback system is an ideal solution to repair your cracked, damaged and failing walls.
When you installed that beautiful patio or the above-ground swimming pool for the kids, you didn't think about what would happen if you ever have to repair a failing wall. Why would you? Helical tiebacks are the solution to bypass having to tear up your beautiful new patio or taking down and, worse, reassemble that above-ground pool. Helical tiebacks are used to straighten and strengthen existing walls that are bowing or failing in situations where there are above ground obstacles that cannot be worked around. They can also be used for new construction projects to prevent a wall repaired in the future. With no grouting required, this solution is both minimally invasive to your home and economical. These projects will take days to repair instead of weeks or months that other repair methods would take to be completed.
First, problem soil is removed from the project area. Then we use a specially designed helical anchor drilled deep into the ground, bypassing unstable soil backfill soil and getting to the stable virgin soil that the home was initially built into. The engineering of the helical anchor is vital to provide a proven permanent solution. The way the helical blades are designed allows the blade to cut through the damaging clay soil, causing the issue. These helicals will not churn up the ground in the way that an auger (or other companies) does. If the wrong type of helical is used, it will churn up and loosen the soil expected to hold back already failing walls meaning that the solution will do little to nothing to fix the cracked and bowing walls. After the helical is installed to competent virgin soil, the anchor's other end is attached to an anchor bolt and steel plate. These steel plates hold the anchors in place, thus supporting and repairing the damaged wall. Once the entire span of the wall has been supported, we will start the process of attempting to pull the wall back to the original position the wall was in before it had begun to fail. The process begins by slowly applying a small amount of torque on the heavy-duty bolt that connects the helical tieback and the steel plate inside the home. We need to apply small amounts of torque not to move the wall too quickly; otherwise, more cracks will develop on the wall.
The process of permanently repairing your failing walls cannot be left to chance. Selecting an engineered solution that was designed specifically for repairing your walls is extremely important. This, along with the company's expertise that is installing them, is crucial in providing homeowners a solution that will stand the test of time. Thrasher's engineering and forty-five years of experience repairing customer's homes check both of those boxes. Think of the peace of mind, quality of life and property value you will have once this potential disaster is avoided.
Click here to learn more about Thrasher Foundation Repair's approach to wall repairs.