Are your basement Walls BULGING, CRACKING, or BOWING?
Want to Weed Out The Gimmicks and Outdated Basement Repair Strategies offered Nationally?
Local Basement Expert and National Basement Author Reveals Insider Tips Secrets and Proprietary Repair Strategies, Custom Designed To Solve Your Basement Problems!!!
Hurry, Act Now!
A Structural Basement Problem Left UNTREATED Can Dramatically Skyrocket The PriceBad Framing.
You see with a concrete block or other stacked masonry unit wall, the wall derives its strength from the EVENLY DISTRIBUTED weight of the house applying pressure and pushing directly down on the top of the walls. This even distribution ensures that the heavier the house, the stronger the lateral load capacity of the wall.
When the house is applying direct pressure on top of the walls, the evenly distributed load makes the walls very strong. This is hugely important. The way that the load transfers onto the wall is via a board called a sill plate. The sill plate’s job is to transfer the load of the house directly onto the top of the wall.
When the sill plate is as wide as the top of the top block the distribution is even. When the sill plate is smaller or partial there is an un-even distribution of the load; resulting in a wall that is weakened and that will begin to bow bulge and crack. A partial sill plate only covers a portion of the top block and does not come to the inside edge of the wall!
A partial sill plate will put all of the pressure on the outside edge of the block wall. This creates a very unstable wall. When other forces and complicating additional factors or problems are added to the wall, it can create huge problems!
Other factors include things like: a nearby tree with branches over the roof line (means roots pushing on wall) or roof downspouts that discharge to the base of the folding wall or a little bit of slight negative grade towards the house, when coupled with a partial sill plate: the result is often in total wall failure. The simple action in a northern climate of the soil freezing and thawing against the wall often results in a long horizontal frost line crack developing. This is extremely aggravated when it is coupled with a partial sill plate issue.
The sad truth is that even though many contractors will claim to know how to do a wall-rebuild or an Underpinning job, almost none of them would ever even consider correcting the underlying issue, the partial sill plate. I have seen countless numbers of walls that homeowners just like you paid tens of thousands of dollars to rebuild just to watch their money go up like a puff of smoke because the contractor rebuilt the wall in the exact same fashion as the one that failed already and was being replaced. In fact they will lay brand new blocks right up to the partial sill plate which caused the problem in the first place! Can you imagine paying good money for the exact same thing that broke already?
There is good news…
The sill plate problem can be inexpensively remedied when the wall repair is being performed. This means you can eliminate the underlying cause rather than just putting a band aid on it like a beam or wall anchor system.
When a wall has become destabilized due to uneven load distribution (or other factors), there is only one way to truly rectify the problem, which is to remove the earth on the other side of it and straighten and repair or rebuild it.
The Truth About Wall Anchors and How To Use Existing Wall Anchors and Make Them Effective
There are some companies who install wall anchors in an effort to stabilize the wall. I have stacks of these wall anchor plates at my shop from walls I have rebuilt that failed after being anchored. The reason these walls fail every time is that the plate on the inside wall is only roughly 12″ by 12″.
Since the mortar joints are often broken on a bulging wall, the plate will only draw back the blocks it touches. The companies that install them give you a wrench and tell you to make a ¼ turn every 6 weeks. This draws back virtually nothing. It is just a scam based on human nature and knowing that the homeowners won’t give up on the wall ever straightening till long after the money is spent.
A way to utilize the wall anchor system is to remove the plate and jackhammer a pocket into the concrete floor slab. Then in place of the 12″ by 12″ plate you substitute a heavy duty 8″ c- channel beam and cement it in place beneath the slab and tie its uppermost portion into the framing creating three anchor points catching all the courses.
Of course the wall anchor system fails to address the underlying cause of the whole issue, as well as failing to do anything to address water or mold issues it is simply a band-aid for a much more serious problem.
Internal Piers or Pilasters and Why They Don’t Work
Some masons will tell you that they can straighten the wall and will use internal pilasters of re-bar and cement every so many feet down the wall. First of all, it is just about impossible to actually fish and thread a piece of re-bar all the way down to the first course of block. This is especially true if the blocks are three cores which are absolutely impossible to get more than two foot sections. The city of Medina, Ohio has a code in new construction that all masonry walls be double rodded with wire ties and grouted every 24″ on center. I have re-built many walls in the city that were both bowed and shifted off their foundation. In all cases, BAD FRAMING was to blame! If you hope to stabilize a straightened wall, you need to correct the framing and / or re-enforce with beams.
The rebar you see sticking out of the pier was put in at point of construction, yet this wall in medina still failed
Why Rebuilding A Bowed Wall The Mason’s Way Can make It Much Weaker than Before!
When an average, ordinary mason or contractor re-builds a wall they inevitably actually end up making a new but weaker wall. That is because when an ordinary wall re-build or under pinning is done, the new wall has a gap left at the top. That gap is typically shimmed and then tuck pointed. This changes the load on the wall from direct pressure to a point load system.
Since the wall derives its strength from even load distribution… it results in a much weaker wall! That means you’re just throwing away your money. It also leads to long term plaster cracking and wall failure. Some years ago we discovered mortar-less wall rebuilding which is uniquely suited to wall rebuilds. In fact, we can even remove our jacks as soon as the last block is set in place and you can too!
Did You Know That the Pyramids Were Actually Built Without ANY Mortar At ALL and have been speculated to be over 10,000 Years old!
Over 12 years ago I stumbled onto one of the greatest basement wall rebuilding secrets, literally by accident. I discovered how to “glue” concrete blocks together without using any mortar between the blocks. The technique was developed in ancient Roman architecture some of which stands to this day. In fact there are 2000 year old Roman roads being driven on in Europe even still today!
Owens Corning Fiberglass spent millions of dollars testing and proving this ancient Roman technique and getting it put into nearly every major building code authority in the late 1960’s. They did tests proving that a mortared block wall is up to five times weaker than a surface bonded wall. Or, to put it another way, our walls are five times stronger than ordinary mortared walls, which means you and your family can sleep safe through the night knowing that they’re as strong as a fortress!