Common consensus is saying that EVERYONE who talks to you about your basement repairs will be the ONLY ONE who can do the job right and has the best product to repair your wall. This I’m certain can be very confusing and frustrating. My suggestion to you the consumer would be to do some research and learn about your problem before talking to anyone. This way you’ll have a better feel and understanding of what they are telling you, and you’ll have a much better chance of being taken advantage of. Many companies send out salesmen to push their product. Hours of sales training and great reasons to BUY NOW will be what you get to hear, and of course…theirs is the best. If the representative is asking for your autograph and deposit TODAY…this is a red flag. You may not be getting all you were hoping for and most likely will end up paying a lot more than you needed to. Take your time…most basement wall problems aren’t immediate emergencies. Educate yourself. Google search terms that apply to your problem, like: “Cracked block wall repair”, ” Stabilize bowing block wall”, “methods used to make a wall stable”…anything along those lines will give you info to absorb. Once you’ve learned about some of the repair methods and products…THEN you should get vendors from Angies list or the BBB or referrals. One last word of advice…most companies have SALES QUOTAS and their people are on commission. This I’ve found is often not in your best interest…do your homework! After you’ve talked to all the basement guys, you should have a good idea who is going to be fair with you and do the right repair. Jim
- 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.