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Types of Basement Construction

clock February 11, 2015 10:52 by author

Types of Basement Construction

There are several types of basement construction. The basement foundation of a home provides the strength to keep the home and foundation standing in all types of weather and environmental changes. There are three types of basement construction that are the most common. These are:

  • Poured concrete
  • Block, masonry walls
  • Precast panels

Poured concrete basement are the most common and the choice that most people prefer. This type of basement construction starts by pouring footing for the basement foundation. After these are set, forms are used to hold the poured concrete wall in place as they dry. Poured concrete walls tend to be stronger than other types of basement walls.

A block or masonry wall is the least expensive for basement walls. This type of basement wall construction are made from cinder blocks. This method requires less time than other methods of basement construction. To increase the durability of this type of basement construction, steel rebar is sometimes used to reinforce the masonry wall. 

Precast panel basement wall construction is the method where the walls are molded at another location. Then the walls are transported to the building and place on footers. This type of basement construction is quite strong but is not as commonly done as poured or block basements. 

No matter what type of basement wall you may have, each type has its own sets of problems that can arise. A block concrete basement wall will bow easier than other types due to the pressure against the walls that weakens the mortar joints. 

High hydrostatic pressure outside a poured concrete basement can cause water to seep through due to the pressure creating floor and wall cracks. 

Precast panel basement construction can have moisture problems if the joists are not properly sealed causing moisture vapor to get trapped in the panels. These panels can also attract insects unless they have been treated with boric acid.

Concrete Foundation Repair Solutions

No matter what type of basement concrete construction problem you may be having, the contractors at My Foundation Repairs has the solutions. We use only the best products for block foundation repair and any other type of concrete foundation. These products are manufactured byWall repair using wall plate anchors Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leader in foundadtion repair products in the industry.

To repair bowing basement walls, the contractors at My Foundation Repairs uses helical tieback anchors to pull the wall back to its original level. The installation is done by drilling a very small hole in the interior wall then with minimal outside excavation, the wall is pulled back to its original level. These helical tieback anchors also strengthens the wall so that there won't be any future bowing or leaning. 

Wall plate anchors are used to provide supplemental lateral force to stabilize basement walls and retaining walls. These wall plate anchors have a simple effective design which allows the repair to be completed quickly. There is minimal disturbance to landscaping. 

For any of your concrete foundation repair needs, let the professionals at My Foundation Repairs offer you the best repair solution for your needs. With our experience and using the best products in the industry, you can be assured that the repair will last a lifetime. Contact My Foundation Repairs today.



Carbon Fiber and Basement Walls

clock June 16, 2011 13:41 by author blogadmin
Carbon fiber was used for race cars, now it is used in the foundation repair industry to fix cracking and bowing basement walls.

Using Carbon Fiber to Repair Basement Walls

 

What is basement wall grade carbon fiber? We have all heard of it being used for race cars, NASA and tennis rackets, but basement wall reinforcement? Why would it be used in foundation repair applications?

Carbon fiber is lightweight, noncorrosive and virtually impossible to stretch. With a tensile strength of more than 350,000 psi makes it up to 10 times stronger than steel. Accordingly, high quality carbon fiber provides an alternative to such intrusive methods as installing steel beams with heavy equipment to brace and shore up foundation walls: no digging, jack hammering, moving utilities and duct work are required.

A foundation's structural integrity becomes compromised when hydrostatic and lateral earth pressures exceed the strength of a concrete or masonry wall. As lateral pressures press upon the foundation, basement or crawlspace walls bow inward. It’s effectiveness in counteracting such tendencies is based on standard engineering principles following Hookes law and a linear stress/strain relationship. For every action there is a reaction, the action is the soil pressing on the basement wall and the reaction is the carbon fiber applying a resistant force, making the wall stronger to help eliminate shifting, cracking and bowing.

One of the other big benefits of carbon fiber is its ease of use and aesthetics. You will not have I-beams lined across the basement wall. The thin layer of carbon fiber material can be painted over without creating an eye sore. Duct work and plumbing penetrations can be left alone due to its flexible nature.

Bowing Wall Repair Using Carbon Fiber

In most residential situations where bowing basement walls occur there are several sets of forces which interact to cause the problem. The largest mobilizing force is the addition of lateral earth pressure (soil forces) in conjunction with hydrostatic pressure (water forces). These forces put a horizontal load on the wall which in turn creates a large amount of bending stresses on the masonry or concrete. The bending stress creates an unbalanced condition within the wall due to the very low tensile capacity of concrete and masonry, causing horizontal cracking in the structure. The weight of the structure above the wall helps generate a stabilizing compressive force on the wall until the lateral deflections become too large. As the wall deflects beyond the "center of mass" of the above structure a phenomenon known as the "beam-column effect" creates additional bending stresses on the damaged wall, speeding up deterioration. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP's) provide the required additional tensile force needed to fully develop the compressive strength and create a "balanced" situation within the wall to prevent further bowing and cracking. 

Wall Crack Repair Using Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber fabric is placed over basement wall cracks to provide strength to the cracked area. No drilling is necessary as with other crack repair systems. The advantages of using carbon fiber fabric to repair wall cracks are:

    •Lightweight

    •Flexible wrap conforms to any shape

    •Minimal change to structure's shape

    •Repair time is minimal - minimizing cost

    •Minimal disruption and noise

    •Heavy equipment is eliminated

ECP Carbon Fiber products provide our customers with a durable, high strength, and aesthetically appealing fix to the common problem of bowing basement walls. The repairs are waterproof and can enhance the flexural capacity of steel reinforced and un-reinforced masonry walls the original capacity. The high stiffness of these Carbon-based products can stop lateral wall movement virtually instantaneously without the problems associated with steel alternatives including corrosion, aesthetics, obstructions, and lower strength capacities. The epoxy polymers used to bond the Carbon fiber systems to your basement wall have been successfully tested over 20,000 hours of continual exposure to resist chemicals, temperatures, and moisture much more aggressive than typical basement environments assuring a long-term repair.



Foundation Cracks – Diagonal basement wall cracks

clock April 24, 2011 19:45 by author blogadmin
If you notice diagonal cracks on your basement walls, hire a foundation expert to repair your foundation before water leaks destroy your home's structure.

 

Tips to help determine the cause of diagonal foundation cracks in basements:

In building corners in cold climates - frost heave, shallow footings, water problem, or poor backfill. In a raised ranch with a garage located in part of the basement, often you will find step cracks in the front and rear foundation walls on the garage-end of the home. These cracks may correspond to some related observations:

(1) If a downspout or gutter spills rain water against the home, these forces will often combine to make more severe frost cracks appear on the garage side of the home.  

(2) There may be less backfill against the front and rear foundation walls at the front of the garage.

(3) The decrease in backfill combined with an un-heated garage may expose these building corners to more frost damage

In the foundation wall anywhere, wider at bottom than top – often due to foundation settlement.

From corner towards adjacent opening, wider at top than bottom - often due to foundation settlement, expansive clay soil, frost damage, or damage from a shrub/tree close to the foundation wall.

Under a ground floor window, from sill to ground, sill bowed up - often due to foundation heave, clay soil, frost, shallow or missing footings.

Over a window or door, straight or diagonal - may appear as horizontal along top or bottom of header, vertical at ends of header (possibly due to differences in thermal expansion of different materials of header vs. wall) or vertical/diagonal at center of header (loading failure) or at corners (possible point-load failure)

Cracks in a poured concrete basement walls which are diagonal or vertical and which are generally uniform in width, or which taper to an irregular hairline form, usually in fact a discontinuous crack in the hairline area, are usually shrinkage cracks and should not be ongoing nor of structural problem, though they may invite water entry through the wall.

 



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