When a basement is located inside the home, it is constructed with several materials, the main ones being concrete and rebar. These materials are used to ensure the walls stay strong and are able to handle the weight of the upper floors. However, no matter how well the basement walls are constructed, over time, the walls can bow or need reinforcing. This can happen for a number of reasons, including soil pushing against the basement walls. Learning more about reinforcement can ensure your basement walls remain supported.
Lateral bending is an issue that can cause the walls of a basement to bow. With lateral bending, you may also experience significant cracking. If the issue is not taken care of quickly, it can lead to wall damage over time and place the home at risk due to support integrity issues.
The Reinforcement Process
When a basement wall begins to bow, it can be repaired with techniques of reinforcement. The first step is to contact a concrete professional who can evaluate your walls. The professional will be able to look at your basement walls, the exterior, and interior of the home, to determine what process of reinforcement needs to be used.
Straightening a basement wall can be done by excavating the area around the foundation, removing weight from the structure walls’ exterior. Once the soil is removed, the wall can be pushed to a straighter position. When this is completed, the wall will have lost some of its structural integrity, so reinforcement is needed to ensure stability.
Concrete basement walls can be reinforced without straightening. An I-beam is a solid solution. An I-beam will correct a bowed wall and provide the lateral reinforcement needed to improve the basement wall. This method must be completed by an expert to ensure a proper installation.
When you have your basement evaluated by an expert in concrete, they will be able to determine if the I-beam is the right solution. To complete the installation process, a hole will be created in the basement floor to create a footing for the I-beam placement.
In each hold created, an I-beam will be placed and fitted against the wall. The beam must be placed in the hole straight and braced. The beam is bolted to joists to be able to provide maximum security. With the stabilization process, the walls will be reinforced, and any bowing will stop.
Working with a professional for this installation is key. It takes great skill and experience to be able to determine where the I-beams needed to be placed and how to install them correctly. Once the process is completed, the walls of the basement will be secure and there will be no damage to the walls in the future.
If you have noticed that your basement walls are starting to bow or appear different visually, contact a concrete professional. With the experts by your side, you will be able to have your concrete repaired and ensure no further damage to your home in the future.