How to start the process to reinforce basement walls?
When you have a basement space in the home, it will be constructed with a series of materials including concrete and rebar to ensure the walls are strong. However, over time, basement walls can begin to bow or be in need of reinforcement. This happens as a result of loads of soil pushing up against the wall of the basement. When you combine this with depth and a series of other factors, the lateral forces will surpass the original resistance of the foundation to the loads.
Lateral bending will cause the basement walls to become bowed. The condition can also create significant cracking. If you do not take care of the issue, you will see the walls worsen over time and the integrity of the home will be in jeopardy as well as the overall resale value of the home decrease.
Reinforcing the Basement Wall
A bowed basement wall can be repaired by using reinforcement techniques. The first step is to have your basement walls evaluated by a professional who specializes in concrete. Straightening of the wall can be done by having the foundation excavated and the weight of the structure moved off the wall. The wall can then be pushed back as straight as possible. However, the wall has now lost its structural integrity and reinforcement is needed for security.
A concrete wall can be reinforced without straightening the wall. You can do this by having an I-beam installed. This will correct a bowed wall by providing lateral concrete reinforcement. This is an effective method but also one that can be quite expensive. It is also something that must be completed by the experts.
After you have your basement evaluated, you will be able to see if this is a solution for your home. If so, the process will begin by determining where the I-beam or beams will need to go. A hole will need to be jackhammered in certain areas to place the footing where the I-beam will be placed. An I-beam will be set in each hole along the basement and fitted tight against the wall. The beam will need to be held plumb and braced in place with a block or angle iron. The beam is then bolted to the joists above for security.
This stabilization will allow for the walls to be reinforced and the bowing process to stop. Only those with experience in such installations need to work in your basement area. It can be difficult to determine where the beams will need to go as well as how to install them properly for a seamless fit as well as reinforcement of the basement walls.
Once completed, the process will ensure that your basement walls are secure and no longer threatened by bowing. The basement area will look great and there will be no need to worry about further damage to the walls of the basement or the entire home.
If you feel that your basement walls could use reinforcement, contact a professional who can assist with an evaluation and reinforcement of the area for security as well as peace of mind.