Heartland Basement Authorities Heartland Basement Authorities

Foundation Repair Services

Foundation Repair: Crack Injection

Under the right circumstances, crack repair can be accomplished with high-pressure injection.  Injecting a crack with epoxy is a method capable of restoring the wall to original strength.  This may be the right solution when the water pressure (called hydrostatic pressure) on the wall is removed and when soils are not prone to expansion and contraction like clay.  The other injection material is urethane, an expanding material, that flexes and can provide a good barrier while still allowing the wall to move with soil expansion and contraction.  This is often the product of choice in areas with expansive soils like in the Kansas City area.

 
 

Foundation Settling: Piering

Piers are steel pipes with immense strength.  Our Magnum Piers can each support up to 50,000 lbs. (25 tons).  Piers are installed using a hydraulic pump that drives the 3 ft. sections of interlocking steel pipe vertically into the ground until they will not go any further.  The industry standard depth in our area where the pressures are sufficient to hold a house is 15 ft. down. This is called refusal.  Each pipe is attached to a bracket that is bolted with 18 steel anchors to the footing at the base of the foundation wall.  When refusal is achieved the pipe is bolted into the bracket and locked off.  Depending on the circumstances, walls that have settled can be lifted, but most often, walls are supported so they will not shift any further.  Lifting should be done cautiously as it can inadvertently create new problems.

 

Foundation Repair Walls Broken and Tipping In: Steel Supports

Hydrostatic pressure can be immense, resulting in foundation walls tipping inward.  This is usually accompanied by relatively symmetrical cracking.  For instance, a crack occurs in a basement window and also in a second window on the same wall.  You can feel displacement from one side of the crack to the other.  The side with the greatest displacement is the one tipping in more.  A very effective way to address this issue is to install a vertical I-beam that is imbedded in the concrete at the floor and supported at the top with heavy steel L brackets bolted into the floor joists that are perpendicular to the wall or 2×6 braces bolted into at least 3-floor joists running parallel to the wall.  This will stabilize the wall.  Additional crack injection often accompanies this process.

 
 
 

Foundation Repair Walls: Broken and Bowing or Tipping

Another effective foundation repair is the Hold Right Wall System.  This system can be used to repair any wall and bring it back to vertical.  It requires excavation on the outside and the installation of large concrete or steel anchors in the yard.  High tensile strength steel threaded rods are fastened to the anchors and holes are bored through the concrete wall as well as through large steel plates or beams on the inside of the wall.  Large threaded nuts are placed on the rods on the inside and the wall can be restored to plumb by tightening the nuts on the threaded rods.  Everything is buried in the yard and the original landscaping is restored.

 

Foundation Repair: Waterproofing

Waterproofing is commonly thought of as blocking water’s entrance into the living space, but blocking water is very difficult to do.  After all, it has been carving the earth for eons. Waterproofing a basement requires a system to direct water in such a way so that it does not enter and disrupt the occupied space.  When a house is built, this is done by placing an exterior pipe at the base of the wall next to the footing. In modern homes, this pipe penetrates the footing at a particular location and the water drains into a sump pump and is pumped out. In older homes, the drains may be tied to the sewer system or in appropriate terrains run to daylight. Over time, these pipes fill with mud and no longer work as intended. Usually, after 25 to 30 years, the drain pipes have lost a lot of effectiveness. However, the water is still percolating through the soil and wall.  As pressure grows, it will find cracks and seams to penetrate. In time, it will eventually break the wall and come in through the new cracks.  Sometimes, a crack can be injected and that will stop the problem for a while, but the pressure is still there and will continue to stress the wall.  A very effective and warrantied approach is to move the drain pipe 16 inches to the inside of the wall and place a drainage system at the footing under the floor of the basement, tying this new drain to a sump pump.  We install a membrane on the wall to further waterproof.

 
 
 

Egress Windows

When a basement is remodeled and a bedroom is anticipated in the space, an egress window is required according to code.  An egress window must have 5.7 SQ. ft. of clear space to exit the bedroom.  The bottom of the clear space must be no more than 42 inches above the floor.  The clear space width must be no less than 22 inches.  Usually, a permit is required for this.  Window wells come in multiple options from simple metal wells to very elegant simulated stone wells.  The process requires excavation of a hole about 65 inches wide by about 42 inches out from the house to approximately 60 inches deep.  This will fill a large dump truck approximately 1.5 times.  Further excavation is done to locate a foundation drain and construct a drain box system.  Gravel is then placed on the floor.  Large concrete saws cut the concrete wall opening, which is then pushed into the hole and jackhammered into removable sizes.  The window is framed and installed, the well is placed, and then it is bolted to the wall. More gravel is installed on the floor as well as around the base of the well. Lastly, the area around the well is filled back in with dirt.

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