Has your area experienced a recent down-pouring of rain? Did you have a snowy winter, and spring has come to melt away the ice? Has drainage around your house caused water to push up against your walls? If so, you may be dealing with bowed walls. This problem is caused by hydrostatic pressure around your home. This means that water is crowding the walls of your home, pushing soil and other debris up against it and forcing your walls to bow inward. It can be a very intimidating problem, but we’re here to help. It’s important to understand that a bowing wall will not fix itself – you have to take action as soon as possible. If left unchecked, more water and debris will push against your walls and eventually cause them to collapse. If you’re dealing with this issue, Ray Arnold Masonry has a playbook for how we can assist you. Keep reading to learn more about how we can help fix your bowed walls with expertise and efficiency.
Being able to read the signs of a bowed wall before it becomes too large of a problem is extremely important to preventing major damage to your home. If you’re concerned about having a bowed wall, you can call on us to identify what your problem is, or you can attempt to find out for yourself. The most common signs of a bowed wall are cracks or water leaks in the wall itself. If you’re noticing cracks that look like a staircase, a horizontal crack in the middle of the wall or diagonal cracks from the outside corners of the wall towards the center, you’re probably dealing with bowed walls. If you’re noticing these signals, get in touch with us immediately, so we can help solve the problem.
Carbon Fiber Straps
If you’ve caught the bowing in time, we may still be able to use the easiest method of repair for bowed walls: carbon fiber straps. This method can be utilized if the bowing has not exceeded two inches, and is the cheapest way to fix your walls. It is also the fastest method, which makes it desirable to use as we don’t want the problem to get any worse over time. No excavation needs to be performed when using the carbon fiber strap method, so labor remains minimal. Before the straps are put in place, your cracks will be filled with a polyurethane injection to fill up the spaces and keep your wall solid. At that point, the straps will be fitted from top to bottom, distributing the pressure of the bowed wall evenly. Staples may also be used in this method as an extra source of reinforcement for your walls.
If your walls have bowed more than two inches, carbon fiber straps are no longer an option. At that point, your next best option is to get wall anchors installed as soon as possible. Keep in mind that this method requires much more manual labor, as it takes more time to complete and work has to be done on the outside and inside of your home. Wall anchors are two steel plates that are connected from either side of the wall (outside and inside) by a shaft, and when tightened, release the bowing of your walls, pulling them taut. The plates are essentially flushed up against either side of the wall, compressing the wall in and making it flat again. When using this method, workers have to excavate around ten feet of room on the outside of your home, so remember that porches, decks, and other components of your house may be affected by this process.
If you do happen to have a porch or deck on the outside of your home that would get in the way of excavation, don’t panic. There’s still another way! While the name “helical tiebacks” may just sound like gibberish, it’s actually a fairly simple method that can be used in case of limited room for excavating. Similar to wall anchors, helical tiebacks use a steel shaft that is drilled through the wall into the ground at an angle. At this point, the shaft is attached to a vertical steel channel that runs up the length of your basement wall, which keeps the integrity of the wall intact with no excavation required. This method is the most expensive, so keep that in mind as you weigh your options for this process.
If you’re struggling with bowed walls or other home emergencies, get in touch with the experts right away. Here at Ray Arnold Masonry, our team is ready to take on your projects with urgency and precision. When you’re with us, you’re in good hands. Contact Ray Arnold Masonry today for all your masonry needs – let’s work together to make your home better!