- Strong if sized right
- Low tech and relatively easy to install
- No maintenance once installed except painting.
- Must be connected to the floor joists for stability on top
- Must be set in concrete or bolted to the floor
- Installation may interfere with in-floor drainage pipes
- 4” steel channels can bend with extreme hydrostatic pressure
- Generally utilized for commercial applications
- Steel beams take several inches of interior clearance
- Potential home buyers may not like the appearance
- Rust and corrosion.
- Unsightly at best
- Installation is often quite messy
- Usually $400-$700 per location
Fortress carbon fiber is now a proven popular alternative to steel beams for reinforcing structural substrates in residential and commercial applications. It is superior to steel being stronger, stiffer, more compact and non corrosive with its patented blend of carbon fiber and Kevlar. It easily conforms to bowed walls and its carbon grid is fully encapsulated in epoxy for the best possible wall adhesion.
Fortress CFRP advantages:
- Installs quickly. Most installations are completed in one or two days
- No excavation in most cases
- No wall drilling or holes to break open
- No service required after installation
- Thin as a dime and hardly noticable after wall is painted
- Ten times stronger than steel beams in tension. See the Structural Integrity video on the home page
- Your wall can be painted after 24 hours
- Competitive pricing / certified installer
- Double Lifetime transferable guarantee
- Best repair for aesthetics and home resale
- No noxious fumes during installation
- Expect to pay $295-$425 per location
Fortress CFRP disadvantages:
- First day of wall preparation is somewhat noisy when grinding or coring walls
- Sometimes a small amount of dust is generated when wall scarification is required, although EBR now utilizes Bosch HEPA vacuums for the scarification process
- Wall mounted horizontal obstacles must be moved off the wall
- CFRP is not designed to address foundation settlement and settlement cracks
- Wall must be somewhat dry for installation
What to expect when installing Fortress carbon fiber:
- You will need to clear a 5′-6′ space from the wall and remove any cabinets or shelving.
- EBR will move and reinstall your washer and dryer if required
- EBR will not move any fixed showers or wall coverings such as drywall unless contracted
- EBR will require power, heat and lighting in the repair area
- EBR will put down a drop cloth from the main door into the basement if req’d
- Normal starting time is between 8-9 am and finish by 3:30-4:00 pm
- Normal installation will require one or two days back to back
- Smaller jobs ( less than 10 locations ) often will be completed before 2 pm
- There will be no toxic or unpleasant fumes generated during installation
- All cracks on the stabilized walls will be cleaned out and tuck pointed
- EBR will broom clean the repair area when done
- The wall can be primed and painted the very next day
- You will receive a transferable lifetime warranty from EBR and a Fortress lifetime warranty
EBR utilizes several wall stabilization products and repair methods. The methods and products used for repair will vary according to the type of material used in the wall construction and the severity of the wall damage. After being damaged by hydrostatic pressure, most cement and cinder block walls can be repaired, stabilized and guaranteed for less cost than a full replacement. The damage and movement inward must be within certain parameters. Each wall repair is evaluated on a case by case basis. We can often save a wall that others can’t…with a full warranty. 20 years repair experience makes all the difference.
Wall Stabilization and Repair Products
Fortress Carbon Fiber or carbon fiber reinforced polymere (CFRP).
The latest innovation adapted from industry to be utilized for residential applications. Fortress carbon fiber panels are a blend of carbon fiber and Kevlar material which when utilized in a tension application can be 10 times stronger than steel. Only 4” wide and thin as a dime, CFRP is bonded to the interior wall from floor to ceiling usually every 4′ on center. See homepage for more information.
Helical Wall Anchors
Considered the standard in the industry for years, these helical screws consist of a high strength galvanized steel shaft with a single helices welded to it. The anchor is screwed into the ground through the basement wall. The end of the shaft in the basement is fitted with a threaded rod. A heavy steel plate is placed over the threaded shaft and the nut is then torqued to 100# with a torque wrench provided with the job. The pier shafts can either be square shaft or pipe construction depending on application. $500-$800 avg.
Normally utilized in industrial applications steel “I” beams and steel “C” channels are sometimes specified by some cities to stabilize bowing and cracked walls. Proper sizing is needed to prevent the beams from bending. $ 600-$800 avg.
Rod and Grout.
Installed during new or rebuild block foundation construction, 1/2” grade 60 rebar is inserted in the hollow cement blocks normally 32”-36” on center, from ceiling to floor and then encapsulated in an engineered grout. This repair is often used for moderately fractured hollow core cement blocks or shearing of the second course of block at the floor level. $ 400-$600 avg.
EBR always uses highly experienced masons in all foundation rebuilding projects. Most of our people have more than 20 years experience.
When a foundation wall is too badly damaged to be repaired properly or repair and stabilization is no longer an option, EBR can rebuild your failed wall and tie it into the existing walls. Rebuildable walls include walls constructed of cinder block, cement block, clay tile and stone.
To begin the repair process EBR will survey the damage and suggest a repair plan. The repair plan will often include correcting the problem that has caused the failure. Once everyone is in agreement, the proper permits are obtained (when required) the Work is scheduled. Work begins and the basement structure is temporarily stabilized along the failed wall with adjustable jackposts. The wall is removed down to the footing. The outside area is then excavated and all dirt and block rubble is loaded and hauled away. A new cement block wall of the proper dimension is installed as per city code and tied into the existing wall. EBR always adds 1/2” grade 60 rebar in the open cells and grouts them solidly in place for additional strength. The spacing of the rebar will vary according to the dimensions of the new block, wall height, and height of the backfill. When the rebuild is completed, the outside wall receives a cement parge coating and then a thick tar sealer. Schedule #35 drain tile is then installed with cleanouts and tied into the existing system. The entire outside trench is backfilled with schedule #57 limestone and then capped with 18” of dirt. The remaining dirt is hauled away and the site is cleaned up.the adjustable jacks are carefully removed and the rebuild is complete. Expect to pay $250-$325 per foot.
EBR can provide a thorough site, basement, and foundation inspection to help identify and explain problems with your basement or foundation. After our inspection we will answer your questions and suggest a plan of repair. On ocassion additional expert advice is required. We at EBR will recommend only those professionals with whom we have experience and who will in turn provide the best possible evaluation and advice.
A complete repair proposal containing the recommended repair methods, products, and related drawings can be written and sent to the owner. You can expect our repair estimate to be completed and in your hand within 1-2 days in most cases. In the event that additional experts are needed for a design, testing or inspection, EBR will recommend engineers and other experts who have experience in the particular field required and coordinate everyone involved. Should you choose to proceed with your project, EBR will remain involved and available to answer any of your questions or concerns.
EBR services the greater Cleveland, Ohio area within 2 hours travel time and will travel further depending on our availability. Have EBR inspect the foundation of the home or building you are considering before you buy. EBR will be able to evaluate and identify any existing or potential foundation or water issues that may not be obvious. Previous repairs which can sometimes escape detection and are not disclosed in entirety are usually uncovered by EBR inspectors during our inspection. Our rates are competitve. Our inspections are thorough. We feel it’s always better to know what you are getting into up front, and we think you will too.
Concrete underpinning is a method of using concrete to support a foundation. This method is used sparingly and in special applications where deeper soil strength parameters are not a concern. A section of the foundation is undermined and concrete is poured in place.
- Generally less expensive than steel piering
- Relatively easy to install.
- Sometimes will cause structure to settle again because of the extra weight added to the footing ( if not out of the active soil zone). This concrete then has to be removed before piers can be installed
- Without proper soil testing lifetime stability of the structure is questionable.
When you’ve noticed cracking in your exterior walls, doors and windows begin to stick or will not close properly you are experiencing foundation settlement. This problem frequently occurs in areas that are composed of highly expansive clay soils or contain deep veins of soil high in organics such as peat moss. As the soils dry out they shrink. When the soils become saturated with water they swell and heave. Any structure resting on this base will almost always remain unstable. Water tables also may rise or fall with the weather or an increase in new building construction in the area, thus creating a change in the soil moisture content.
Once a structure has begun to settle usually the foundation footing has fractured. When this happens the foundation will continue to move and rotate throughout the seasons according to fluctuating ground moisture levels. The structure must be stabilized or it will most likely continue to move causing additional damage to the home and the foundation….
EBR uses Maclean-Dixie (see images below) helical piers to stabilize your foundation. First an inspection takes place and a repair plan is designed. Once everyone involved is in agreement permits are applied for and secured (if required) some cities require a structural engineer to review and approve the repair plan. EBR will recommend an engineer in your area familiar with our piers and your soil conditions.
Most piers are installed along the outside perimeter of the home. The excavation width along the repair area is normally 3′ wide. This means that concrete floors, patios, decks, flower beds, trees or any other obstruction must be removed first. The excavated dirt is removed and piled next to the trench and this usually requires an additional 6′ of clearance beyond the trench. This dirt is later hauled away.
The position of each pier is marked and then the footing at each location is prepared for the pier support bracket to be installed. Once the brackets are in place the piers are installed. The helical piers are hydraulically twisted into the ground and travel through the unstable ground.
Extensions are added as required to add length. Once the pier has reached a stable strata or the maximum torque has been achieved installation is terminated, the pier is then connected to the support bracket. Once all the piers are in place the foundation can then be lifted (if required) back to the original elevation. A laser level is utilized to monitor lifting movement and assures that all locations are once again level. Once all the adjustments have been made the piers are locked into final position. Cracks are tuck pointed. The walls are then waterproofed. New drain tile is installed and the trench is properly backfilled.
Download entire Residential Foundation Anchors brochure (click here 1.75 MB PDF).
Download entire Resistance Pilers brochure (click here 1.63 MB PDF).
Respective sample pages below (material used with permission).
MacLean-Dixie helical piers are generally used for lifting or stabilizing a foundation settlement problem. Helical piers are also utilized for new construction applications where soil conditions are understood to be poor as a preventative method of avoiding foundation settlement.
- MacLean-Dixie helical piers can be installed in confined areas
- There are no soil spoils when installed
- Helical piers reflect the soil strength parameters as they are installed
- MacLean-Dixie helical piers don’t require the weight of a structure to be installed
- The piers are galvanized high strength steel and combine the advantages of a pipe push pier and a helical pier
- Bolted extensions are added for additional depth if needed
- Installs quickly and virtually vibration free.
- Installers must be trained and experienced.
Helical pier ready for installation. Bracket is in place at the bottom ( silver color ). A manual winch is needed here to provide enough down force for the helix to take hold and pull the pier downward.
An 8000 psi hydraulic drive head twists the pier into the ground through the poor soil layers until stable strata is reached.
Three piers have been torqued into the ground until refusal ( the torque head can twist no more and had obtained the maximum installation pressure ) These piers will now be cut to the proper height, connected to the brackets, and adjusted to stabilize this area of the foundation.
Helical wall anchor advantages:
- Best for holding back solid concrete walls
- Also used for:
- stabilizing masonry concrete walls
- stabilizing concrete retaining walls
- Most jobs are completed in one or two days.
Wall anchor disadvantages:
- Each anchor plate nut must be tightened monthly
- Some excavation may be needed to install
- The wall must be either drilled or a partial block section removed at each anchor location for installation
- Future excavation if required for outside waterproofing must be done by hand appearance.
- Most wall anchor locations will tend to create pressure points which can point load the wall and create punching shear around the anchor plates