Why do foundation wall repair products need yearly maintenance?

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 by Aaron Ruskamp

GeoLock wall anchors in poured concrete wall

Learn about the process and benefits of maintaining your foundation wall repair products and the value of regular inspections and documenting movement over time to confirm the foundation wall's condition.

Wall repair products consist of wall anchors, which is the most common solution that people have heard about before. Thrasher Foundation Repair uses other solutions depending on the type of foundation wall, and the condition or state of the failing wall are PowerBrace systems. We also have CarbonArmor systems. With our wall anchor and power braces systems, these are adjustable systems that, once installed, we can give walls that have bowed in and can get these walls to straighten some over time. The process of straightening them is tightening the bolt on the wall anchor system or the power brace system to continue to apply pressure on the wall to get it to move back into a level position over time. This is a process that homeowners can do themselves, but many of our customers don't want to deal with it or want to think about it, so what they do is ask us to come out once a year and tighten the system for them. That allows us to do a couple of things during that annual maintenance request. The first thing is that we can tighten the anchors or the power braces for them so they don't have to worry about how much the system should be tightened and tighten their system. The customer essentially lets us handle that process for them. The other thing is that it allows us to document the condition of the wall and compare it to the condition of the wall was last year, the year before, and back to the original installation date of the wall support system. We can communicate with the customer down to an eighth of an inch how much that wall moves back to a straight and level position. We can tell customers that their wall is improving, and it's moved this amount over the years, but it also allows us to confirm that everything is shifting the way we intended it to.

The other piece of having a professional service technician out to the home is not only will we document the walls' condition and tighten the systems during the annual maintenances, but we'll also do a free full inspection of your home while we are at the property. This includes checking the grading on the outside of your home, inspecting the home's gutter system, checking the conditions of other walls that may start showing signs of wall failure. We also look for efflorescence that may show signs of water seepage into your home and help you with ways we can protect your homes from water damage or other signs of water leaking into the basement. This is important because the sooner you catch a problem, the easier and less expensive it is to fix the problem.

We have learned in our 45-year history that wall failure concerns are a real issue that causes homeowners anxiety over the loss of property value for their home. Using Thrasher to address walls that are cracking or basement walls that have started to lean in can give customers real peace of mind that their foundation walls will not collapse under their most significant investment. And finally, having a wall support system installed and maintained annually will ultimately improve their quality of life to finish the basement space that they paid for and use that space to create more living areas in their homes. Some homeowners across the state of Iowa and especially Western Iowa in our Siouxland area are experiencing exactly how the lack of moisture or too much moisture can impact their basement walls.

In Sioux City and around our local surrounding areas like Sergeant Bluff and LeMars, the soil content is made up of a lot of clay soil. When clay soil dries up or gets saturated, it responds in ways that are not conducive to concrete walls and foundation footings. This is no different than if you took a bucket full of dirt and sat it outside for several days without watering it. You can see large cracks in the soil at the surface, and the earth is no longer hugging tight to the foundation wall causing void spaces. The same thing that is happening at the surface is happening underneath your foundation footings and basement walls, which support the home's weight. Once there is a gap under the footing due to the soil shrinkage, the footing settles into that gap causing damage to your home's walls. On the other hand, when clay soil is saturated, it swells and acts as an active wedge pressing up against your basement walls, forcing them inward, causing cracking and deflection of the walls.

One of our foundation repair experts, Aaron, explains the process and benefits of maintaining your foundation wall repair products. Aaron also discusses the value of regular inspections and documenting movement over time to confirm the condition of the foundation wall.