Here at Thrasher, we offer a few different solutions for stabilizing a compromised foundation wall.
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We call these wall support products.
We utilize the three options: the Foundation Supportworks PowerBrace System, GeoLock Wall Anchor System and CarbonArmor. I want to discuss in more detail, specifically the CarbonArmor System. The CarbonArmor system is a high-strength, carbon fiber-reinforced polymer system designed to stabilize concrete block foundation walls. It combines the strongest epoxies with the most durable carbon fiber available. This system is engineered specifically for our industry and is a proven method to support bowing foundation walls laterally. When professionals appropriately install the CarbonArmor system as we have here at Thrasher, it can be as much as ten times stronger than steel. That's a lot of strength to support your foundation wall!!
A few different things cause foundation wall failure. One is hydrostatic pressure that has built up in the soil around your foundation. When the soil around your foundation fills up with water, it not only expands but also puts weight and pressure on your foundation walls. The other thing that can cause foundation wall failure is something called street creep.
Street creep when the forces from expanding concrete in the street and your driveway apply pressure to your foundation wall, ultimately compromising the wall's structural integrity.
There are four stages of wall failure in concrete block wall foundations. The first stage is a horizontal crack that forms along the frost line. This crack occurs because when water freezes during the winter, it expands and creates a crack in your block wall's motor joints along the frost line. The second stage is stair-stepped cracks that come off of the frost line and form along the mortar joints, typically in the corners. The cracks form towards the corners is b/c the corners are the most substantial part of your foundation wall. Those corner blocks are interlocked with each other, ultimately giving them more structural integrity. As you move closer to the middle of the wall, that strength gets weaker. The next stage is called sheering and occurs when the whole wall starts to slide off the bottom block. This happens because the bottom block is held in place by the concrete slab floor of your foundation. Since the basement concrete floor is holding the bottom block in place, it can't move, so the shearing appears at the mortar joint just between the 1st and 2nd-course blocks on the bottom of the wall. The final stage is total wall failure. Carbon armor can address the first two stages of wall failure as long as the deflection to the foundation wall is no more than 2 inches and cracks are not too wide.
Once your foundation wall starts to shear at the bottom, CarbonArmor is no longer a feasible option to protect your wall. We will then have to move to the Foundation Supportworks Powerbrace or Geolock Anchor system. Carbon fiber is a lightweight, fabric-like material that is stronger than steel when applied correctly. It is used to keep airplanes together and reinforce bomb shelters. The straps can support the foundation wall and prevent any further bowing, permanently reinforcing against outside pressures.
Another excellent quality of the CarbonArmor System is that it adheres directly to your foundation wall. Since it's adhered directly to the wall, it takes up very little square footage in your basement. It can also be painted over once completely dry, making it very easy to hide. You can even finish right over it with a framed wall and drywall, making it disappear entirely. Depending on your wall's status and how much inward movement is there, your System Design Specialist or Service Technician will recommend if this is the right solution for your home.
When it comes to CarborAmor, the prep work and installation are critical components to its success. Our expertly trained production crews spend a great deal of time clean the wall, scarifying the wall, then filling all mortar joints to make sure that they are a clean, smooth service to accept the first application of the epoxy resin. Once that step is completed, we will thoroughly coat the carbon fiber strip to ensure it is ready to be adhered to the wall properly. Once the CarbonAmor strap is placed on the wall, we will take a few final passes over the strap with epoxy resin to make sure that it's smooth, fully adhered to the wall and set up exactly as we want it. Once those steps are completed, we wait for it to dry then you have a permanently stabilized foundation wall. We are so confident in this application and product that we place a 25 year fully transferrable warranty on that.
All of this will give you peace of mind, improve your quality of life and protect your most significant investment!
CarbonArmor & ArmorLock act as foundation stabilization systems that support your foundation walls to ensure you are protected against forces of nature.
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