The presence of bowing, leaning, or buckling walls in a property is a serious issue that needs to be addressed right away. If there are leaning, bowing, or otherwise damaged walls in your Charlotte, NC, home, then it is important that you consult a professional as quickly as possible as allowing this issue to go unchecked could result in the collapse of impacted walls very quickly. Depending on the nature of the damage in your home and the type of space you have, many professionals will suggest the installation of wall anchors.
Wall anchors are one of the most effective and versatile solutions for bowing walls, and they have many benefits to consider when compared to other wall repair solutions. This is why so many professionals recommend wall anchors as a response to moderate to severely buckling and bowing in a property’s foundation walls or basement walls.
What Are Wall Anchors?
Wall anchors are repair and stabilization tools that use the strength and weight of the hard-packed earth around a property to apply appropriate pressure to damaged and bowing walls. They are made up of three main parts: the wall plate, the earth anchor, and the steel rod that connects the two. When these three components work in tandem, they can prevent a wall from further bowing and even straighten them over time.
Wall anchors have been used to successfully repair damaged foundation walls since the late 1970s and have been used in private residential and commercial premises. The high rate of success that this method of repair offers is one of the main reasons that wall anchors are recommended by home inspectors, the FHA, HUD, and engineers.
Wall anchor systems are deployed when a property’s foundation walls or basement walls have started to lean, buckle, or bow inwards due to excessively strong lateral pressure.
Bowing walls are a sign of serious structural instability and damage in a home. You will recognize this kind of damage by a number of problem signs that include:
- Spreading cracks
- Cosmetic damage
- Floor and wall gaps
- Visible unevenness
There are a number of other issues that can co-occur with, or be caused by, this kind of damage in a home. That is why it is important to act quickly and seek the right repair options to prevent secondary and tertiary issues from forming. This is where professionally installed wall anchors can come in handy.
The Benefits of Dry Pro Wall Anchors
After having your bowing walls inspected, an expert from Dry Pro Foundation & Crawlspace Specialists might recommend wall anchors above other wall repair and straightening systems in Charlotte, NC, for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the benefits and things these professionals consider:
Wall anchors can be installed into almost any space, provided there is ample outdoor space to set the earth anchor. This means that wall anchors can be used in even the most cramped of locations. They can be used to stabilize and straighten walls that have sustained mild to severe levels of damage–as long as the wall is not too badly fragmented.
Wall anchors are very tough, strong pieces of equipment in general, but here at Dry Pro, we provide anchors of the highest quality. Treated to resist moisture and corrosion and made from strong steel, every part of our wall anchor system is robust and capable of withstanding huge pressure.
Ability to Straighten Walls
One of the main benefits of wall anchors is the fact that these systems can be used to actually straighten and rectify deviation in the walls that they are installed in. They do this by applying opposing pressure to the walls on a gradually increasing scale in order to push the wall back into its intended place.
While older wall anchors could be very bulky and disruptive to a home both in their design and the installation process, modern wall anchors are minimally disruptive. The installation process requires a small amount of excavation, and once they are installed the anchors are easy enough to disguise.
Restored Property Value
This is a very general benefit of any repair method, of course, but it still bears consideration. Any kind of damage in a home can impact its value, but structural damage will have a very severe impact on the value of a home. Installing wall anchors to deal with structural damage can cause a big increase or restoration in your property value. This is partly due to the stabilization in your property’s structure but also because of the permanent nature of the solution.
The team here at Dry Pro is available to install wall anchors all year round. We are expert at working in various weather conditions and will be able to make the process quick and painless.
We offer a longtime warranty for our wall anchor systems, meaning that if you run into any problems with them our team will be on hand to help. This additional benefit offers a peace of mind that is hard to beat.
Installing Wall Anchors
Wall anchors are rather unique repair solutions because they exist partially inside and partially outside of the damaged property. This offers many benefits, most notably the incredible strength and pressure that they can apply with the support of the earth outside of the property in question. This is also a limitation because wall anchors cannot be installed above ground level or in homes that lack outside space.
In those homes that are suitable for wall anchor installation, however, the process of installation is fairly straightforward and should also take less than a day in most cases. There might be slight variations in the process, depending on the state of your home and the underlying and co-occurring issues, but there are four basic steps in every installation that will remain the same.
Because wall anchor systems require that the anchor component be set in the earth outside the property, the first step of installation is planning placement and excavating the anchor installation sites. This is achieved by cutting away sections of lawn where needed and removing soil so that the earth anchors can be set into place and connected to the wall plates during the process of installation.
Once the exterior earth anchor placement points have been dug, the interior wall plate sites should be prepared. This means drilling holes into the wall so that steel rods can be run through the earth to the anchor points once the interior wall places have been attached to the damaged basement walls. These installation ports will be drilled in locations that correspond to the earth anchors and will be obscured once installation is completed.
The actual installation of wall anchors is a fairly quick process that has three main parts. First, the placement and setting of the earth anchors, secondly, the attachment of the wall plates to damaged walls, and finally the installation of steel rods. The steel rods are driven through holes in the damaged walls, through the earth beyond the walls, and into the earth anchor placement.
Once they are in place, the rods will be attached to both the earth anchors and the wall plates and tightened until they are taut and exert enough pressure to prevent further deviation. This must be carefully calculated and undertaken to ensure that the wall anchors do not cause more damage to already compromised walls by exerting too much pressure too quickly.
Once the anchors have been installed into the earth, the plates have been mounted on the damaged walls, and the two have been connected your bowing and damaged walls will be stabilized and present no further risk of deviation. Over time, the steel rods connecting the two can be tightened to gradually straighten the wall.
If you have noticed bowing walls in your home, then there are various issues that could be at work. However, bowing walls are caused either by the presence of intense lateral pressure or a lack of necessary support in key areas of the structure. This either means an excess of hydrostatic pressure or the presence of foundation damage of some kind.
One of the most likely sources of extreme lateral pressure around a property is the presence of excessively high hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is a perfectly normal force. All properties deal with it to some degree, and homes are designed to withstand certain levels of hydrostatic pressure. The point at which issues arise is the moment that the level of hydrostatic pressure exceeds the ability of a property to withstand it. This is most likely to happen when a property has poor drainage capabilities or the weather is extremely wet.
In the humid and often changeable climate of North Carolina where heavy, clay-based soils are common, hydrostatic pressure can reach immense levels. What’s worse is that the lateral pressure created by soil saturation, in these cases, is exacerbated by the way that expansive soils increase in volume when they are saturated. This laterally applied pressure can cause bowing walls because of its proportionally low tensile strength.
As well as excessive lateral pressure, a lack of support can lead to bowing walls in a home. Your property’s foundation walls are load-bearing walls and must carry a huge amount of weight. While concrete has a huge compressive strength, it can be compromised if the weight on it is applied unevenly. This means that foundation problems like settlement and subsidence can wreak havoc on your property’s foundation walls and lead to them bowing.
Foundation problems also start in the soil and are heavily impacted by the presence or absence of moisture. As such, it is very common for bowing walls to be caused by a combination of foundation damage and high hydrostatic pressure around a property. This makes the process of diagnosing and repairing issues like this complex, but there are plenty of repair options.
Wall anchors are some of the most common and effective repair methods used for bowing walls in homes across the country, but they are not the only solutions available. The main alternatives are carbon fiber reinforcement and wall beam installation.
Carbon Fiber Reinforcement
Carbon fiber reinforcement is a fairly simple, non-invasive solution that is both cost-effective and efficient in preventing the continued deviation and bowing of damaged walls. The main downsides to this form of repair, however, are that carbon fiber reinforcement is not a process that can straighten damaged or bowing walls. It can only reinforce it to prevent further buckling and deviation. This repair method can only be used on walls that have deviated by two inches or less.
For those walls that are suitable for carbon fiber reinforcement, however, this is a quick and extremely cost-effective process that requires no excavation. In order to apply the carbon fiber straps, professionals will need to roughen the damaged walls and use epoxy resin to set them in place. This is very easy to disguise and can be entirely completed in a few hours or less, including the time that it takes to allow the resin to cure.
Wall beams are similar to wall anchors, but they are far more widely suitable than wall anchor systems. Unlike wall anchors, wall beams do not need any exterior space for installation. This means that they can be installed in basements of any size, and they can be installed in homes that have no yard space. Like wall anchors, however, they can be used to actively rectify deviation in walls. This is something that carbon fiber reinforcement cannot do.
Wall beam systems involve the use of steel beams that are affixed to the floors and ceilings attached to a bowing wall. By attaching to these uncompromised surfaces, wall beams essentially brace themselves using the weight of the property and use this stability to apply pressure to a bowing wall and prevent further deviation. By increasing the tension over time, professionals can also use wall beams to rectify leaning or bowing walls. Like wall anchors, wall beams can be used to straighten damaged walls, but they are much harder to disguise.
The installation of wall anchors in a home is fairly straightforward, but we do not recommend that you try to install them alone. While the process is straightforward, it is not easy, and there are a lot of things that need to be considered and accounted for in order to get the best results. This is a matter of experience more than anything else; that is why it is better to let professionals step in and help you.
Diagnosis and Planning
One of the most important things when it comes to repairing bowing walls is making sure that a definite and complete diagnosis is made regarding the underlying causes of bowing walls as well as all of the co-occurring issues. This is something that professionals excel at, not just because they have the training to assess this kind of damage but also because they have the experience, the tools, and the security of colleagues who are also trained and experienced if they have any uncertainties. Getting the right diagnoses is absolutely crucial to being able to plan an effective repair solution.
Installing wall anchors properly requires the ability to properly plan where the best place to put each anchor and wall plate is. This is fairly complex and hinges on the ability to assess where the damage is worst and where the wall is in the right condition to bear the pressure that a wall anchor will exert.
Procurement and Installation
A big obstacle that anyone trying to undertake a DIY wall anchor installation will run into is the matter of being able to find the tools, equipment, and, of course, the wall anchors themselves. Professionals have the tools and equipment needed to excavate wall anchor placement points, drill holes for the insertion of steel rods, and tighten these rods once they have been attached. They also are able to get the wall anchor systems themselves much more easily, even directly from the manufacturer.
As such, there are a number of benefits to choosing professional services, partly because of the complexity of these repairs and the high likelihood of connected issues – experience is often crucial in ensuring high quality results in cases like these. All in all, professional installation could be quicker and more efficient – it also provides a strong level of support in case anything should go wrong.
Choose Dry Pro for Expert Wall Repair
If you have noticed signs of bowing and buckling in your basement or foundation walls, then it is imperative that you act quickly and seek professional help and guidance. The team here at Dry Pro is always on hand to help homeowners in and around Charlotte, NC. Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule your free inspection and repair estimate.