Innovative product development undertaken by aerospace engineers and the U.S. Dept. of Defense is now being applied to the age-old problem of cracked and bowing foundation walls. The Carbon Fiber® Wall Reinforcing System utilizes the same technology used to support bridges, skyscrapers and bomb shelters to stabilize building foundations that have sustained damage such as cracks and bowing.
The signs of foundation damage are usually easy to spot. Foundation walls built from concrete block typically crack along joint lines between blocks, forming a horizontal crack near the midpoint of the wall and “stair step” cracking at the corners. Cracks in poured concrete walls often display diagonal cracking extending from the bottom corners of the wall towards the top center. With either type of foundation, cracks can be accompanied by sections of wall that bow or tip inward.
Most homeowners understand that foundation cracks and bowing are serious problems that will worsen over time if not corrected. An experienced foundation repair contractor will be able to determine what conditions are causing this foundation damage. By accurately diagnosing the cause of the foundation problem, the contractor can determine what repair strategy will permanently solve the problem.
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The Carbon Fiber Wall Reinforcing System gives foundation repair specialists another valuable tool in their arsenal of repair techniques —one that offers some notable advantages. But before delving into these positive attributes, let’s get an idea of what the repair technique involves.
The first step in the repair is to prepare the wall where each carbon fiber strap will be installed. For the repair to work well on concrete or concrete block walls, the wall should be clean. Based on the condition of the wall and the pressure that’s being exerted on the wall, the contractor will determine how many wall straps are required.
After preparing the interior of the foundation wall where the straps will be installed, the contractor will cut the straps to a length that matches the full height of the wall and saturates both the strap and the repair area with high-strength epoxy resin. After adhering the wetted strap into place on the wall, the contractor applies a final topcoat of epoxy resin to the strap. The resulting repair contours tightly to the wall, making it very unobtrusive compared to other repair techniques such as installing steel I-beams. Once the repair is complete, it can be concealed by paint or drywall.
As with any repair method, your professional foundation contractor will be able to analyze your unique situation and recommend a solution that will bring you peace of mind for years to come.
The combination of high-strength epoxy resin and carbon fiber strap material is —pound for pound—stronger than steel. The aerospace industry has come to rely on the light but strong characteristics of carbon fiber technology, and the U.S. Dept. of Defense uses the same strapping technique to reinforce bomb shelters. With this kind of a pedigree, the Carbon Fiber System allows homeowners to stabilize bowing foundations quickly and affordably.
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