Basement and foundation walls are some of the most vulnerable walls in your home when it comes to leaning, bowing, buckling, and general damage. This is largely because of the hydrostatic pressure they are consistently exposed to and partly because of their close connection with your property’s foundation. Nonetheless, the walls in the higher levels of your home can also move, bow, and lean when they are subject to the right conditions.
Repairing these walls can be tougher than repairing basement walls. That’s because many of the solutions for this kind of damage require some access to outside space or are best deployed below ground level. The IntelliBrace wall repair system is one of the few repair solutions that can be deployed in almost any space. You should still contact a professional in Knoxville, Tennessee, to discuss your options.
Signs Your Home Needs the IntelliBrace System
Because your basement is directly connected to your property’s foundation in a way that upper floor rooms are not, it is very likely that the first signs of foundation will often present themselves here. While there are many different signs, one of the most serious is the presence of bowing or leaning walls that have started to buckle inward, deviating from their intended positioning.
This is not the only potential cause of bowing walls in a property. Excessive hydrostatic pressure from the soil around your home can also contribute to or cause bowing walls by applying excessive lateral pressure.
As well as visible leaning and unevenness, the main signs that your property’s walls may need the IntelliBrace system (or some form of wall repair) include, but are not limited to:
- Spreading cracks
- Spalling and flaking
- Floor and wall gaps
- Sunken concrete slabs
You should also be aware of more general warning signs like dampness, humidity, and mold formation. However, deviating walls are generally very easy to spot. When you see signs of this issue, you should call a professional immediately to ensure that you nip the issue in the bud. Acting early will save you money and a lot of stress.
What Sets the IntelliBrace Wall Repair System Apart?
While there are many wall repair and stabilization options on the market right now, and a number of excellent wall beam brands to choose from, we at AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists stand behind the IntelliBrace wall repair system. That’s because of the high quality it provides.
The Benefits of Wall Beams
Wall beams are one of the most versatile solutions for damaged, leaning, and bowing walls. As well as being incredibly easy to tailor to the needs of the room they must be installed in, wall beams require no outside space for installation.
This means that they can be installed in almost any building (and almost any room in a building). As well as being versatile, they are effective and can be used to straighten bowing walls, as well as to stabilize them. Better yet, this is a relatively cost-effective repair method thanks to the low level of excavation required.
The only real downside to beams is their bulky nature. Unlike some other repair products that can be easily disguised, these are large steel beams that take up a huge amount of space. So unless you are willing to hide them behind drywall, there is really nothing you can do to disguise wall beams once they have been installed into your home.
Why Choose the IntelliBrace System?
As we said, there are a number of wall beam systems on the market right now, many of which are of incredible quality. However, we at AFS stand behind the IntelliBrace system for a number of reasons including, but not limited to:
All components in the IntelliBrace system are made of galvanized steel that has been coated with a special zinc-based formula to ensure they are resistant to dampness, rust, and corrosion. This makes them less vulnerable to moisture and ensures that they provide a consistently high-quality result throughout their lifetime.
IntelliBrace steel wall beams have an incredible load-bearing capacity. They are more than capable of stabilizing and straightening even the largest and heaviest of walls.
Ease of Adjustment
IntelliBrace beams come with an ease-to-use adjustment mechanism that will let professionals tighten the beams and straighten your damaged walls with relative ease. You still need to wait an adequate amount of time between adjustments. Even these beams can’t straighten a wall immediately.
No Excavation Needed
The IntelliBrace wall repair system can be installed without the need for any excavation within your home. This is one of the defining factors for many people who choose this system over other forms of wall repair.
All IntelliBrace products come with a lifetime quality guarantee you can trust. If you care for your wall beams, they will last you a lifetime and restore the appearance and stability of your property.
As you can see, this is a reliable, high-quality, and effective wall beam system that offers durable results with a satisfaction guarantee. That doesn’t mean that wall beams will always be the right choice for your home. This is why we recommend that you talk to a professional in-depth before making a choice as to how you should proceed.
What are the Alternative Wall Repair Solutions?
There are two main alternatives to wall braces when it comes to repairing a damaged, leaning, or bowing wall in your home: carbon fiber repair or reinforcement and wall anchors. Each of these solutions has a range of benefits and drawbacks. This is something you should talk through with an expert before you make a decision on what’s best for your home.
Carbon Fiber Repair: Pros and Cons
Carbon fiber wall reinforcement or repair is the least expensive and disruptive of all bowing wall repair methods on the market right now. By using lightweight, slim, and durable carbon fiber straps and epoxy resin, carbon fiber reinforcement prevents a damaged wall from deviating further from its intended positioning. As well as being easy to disguise, quick to install, and cost-effective, carbon fiber straps can be installed in almost any space thanks to their flexible and easy-to-tailor nature.
The drawbacks and limitations of this repair method are few, but they are important to consider. First, carbon fiber straps only prevent further deviation and cannot be used to straighten a damaged wall. Likewise, carbon fiber straps are only effective when they are used on walls that have deviated by two inches or less from their original positioning. This severely limits the applications of carbon fiber straps.
Wall Anchors: Pros and Cons
Wall anchors are somewhat of a middle ground between the robustness of wall beams, and the easy to disguise and versatile nature of carbon fiber straps. Wall anchors use an earth anchor, grounded outside your home to apply equal but opposite pressure to a bowing wall. Unlike carbon fiber straps, wall anchors can be used to straighten bowing walls as well as stabilize them, but they are far easier to disguise than wall beams thanks to the wall plates or narrow steel channels that are used to apply pressure.
The main drawback to wall anchors is the need for excavation and drilling in your foundation. This makes them more discreet, but can also allow water to seep into your home if the drill sites are not properly sealed after installation.
How Is the IntelliBrace System Installed?
Installing the IntelliBrace wall repair system is fairly straightforward, though it does take time. However, there will be no disruption to the soil around your home. The precise nature of the process may differ from home to home as a result of the complex nature of structural problems, but there will always be five steps to the actual wall beam installation.
Cutting the Beams
In order to ensure the perfect fit, the galvanized steel beams used in the IntelliBrace system will be measured and cut to fit your walls. During the initial inspection, our team will figure out how many beams will be needed and map their placement points, so the contractors can start work right away when they arrive.
Securing the Floor Joists and Brackets
In order to do their job well, wall beams must be attached to your property’s flooring and ceiling. It is by using these structures that the IntelliBrace system can exert enough pressure to stabilize and straighten a damaged wall. The joists and brackets that are installed also prevent the beams from damaging your flooring and ceiling.
The IntelliBrace wall repair system works best when the beams are perfectly vertical or plumb. As such, your professionals may need to make some fine-tuning adjustments to the placement of each beam before they connect and set the system.
Connecting the Beams and Floor Joists
Once all of the beams are properly positioned and lined up with their respective brackets, they will be connected and set in place. Because these wall beams connect to the bottom and top of the walls, they can be used to straighten walls that bow in the middle or lean from the top or bottom. Once they are locked in place, they can be adjusted with relative ease.
Once the IntelliBrace wall repair system has been fully installed, it will take some time to set properly. After a period of time, you can start straightening your walls. This may take some time, however, as the speed at which a wall can be straightened depends on a number of factors, including the soil conditions around your home.
So if you have bowing walls and you want to know what the IntelliBrace wall repair system can do for you, it is time to find a professional to assess your home.
IntelliBrace Wall Repair System
Have you noticed unevenness and damage to your property’s walls? If so, there could be a number of underlying issues at work. The most common causes of this kind of damage, however, are hydrostatic pressure and foundation movement.
Hydrostatic pressure is simply a measurement of the weight of water in the soil around a property. As such, it is an entirely natural phenomenon that all properties have to deal with. However, every home has a limit to what it can withstand, and when that limit is surpassed, issues like bowing or cracking walls are the most common results. This happens because of the lateral pressure that hydrostatic pressure exerts. Concrete has a very low tensile strength in comparison to its compressive strength.
Hydrostatic pressure can be increased greatly by a number of issues. In fact, anything that increases soil saturation and moisture levels, or raises the water table, can cause a spike in hydrostatic pressure. Things like heavy rainfall, flooding, and even a burst pipe can cause hydrostatic pressure to increase enough to damage a property’s basement walls, leading them to bow inward.
Your property’s basement walls are intimately connected with your property’s foundation. As such, they are often the first to show signs of damage and deterioration when your foundation moves or becomes damaged. Moisture and soil saturation are also intimately connected to foundation damage and movement. This is because of how water affects the soil under and around your home.
Soil that is very saturated can easily become weak and marshy or simply wash away. When this happens, there is a very high chance that your foundation will sink or move laterally. At this point, it can fragment and break apart. If this occurs, a bowing or leaning wall is a very common co-occurring issue. That’s because of the uneven distribution of weight and support that this kind of movement can cause.
There are many people who would rather wait until an issue has become impossible to ignore before they act. We urge you not to do this. Structural issues are the easiest and cheapest to deal with when they first start to form. Acting quickly could save you a lot of time and stress.
The Dangers of Waiting
If you wait too long to deal with any kind of structural damage, you run the very real risk of allowing it to snowball and get out of control. Unlike some other issues, structural problems do not stabilize themselves over time. Instead, they grow in unexpected ways, and can lead to secondary and even tertiary problems growing and taking root.
There is also the likelihood of collapse if you allow a bowing wall to deteriorate without any intervention whatsoever. If this wall does in fact collapse, it is almost certain to take down a part of the ceiling above it as it falls. This is not just dangerous for your home, but dangerous for you and anyone else in your home. If you are close to the wall when it goes, you could be badly hurt.
The Benefits of Acting Quickly
As well as being far safer, having a bowing wall addressed quickly is more cost-effective. Structural problems tend to be cumulative in nature, meaning they tend to be smaller and less complex when they first begin to show themselves. If you nip them in the bud, you will prevent a lot of avoidable damage from forming in the first place.
For example, a bowing wall will often begin to crack. Once these cracks form and spread, they will allow water to seep through into your home. Once water starts to get into your home, it will cause the level of relative humidity to rise. Over time, this will allow mold and mildew to form, bad smells to take root, and even cause wood to start rotting. These issues will cause damage to your health and your home. So it’s best to act quickly.
No, you should not attempt to deal with bowing or damaged walls alone. There are simply too many things that could go wrong when it comes to structural repairs. It is far better to leave it to the professionals. After all, they have the experience to bring to bear alongside their training and specialist tools, and this is something that money cannot buy.
DIY Disasters Are Common
One of the biggest issues with DIY repairs is the many ways they can go wrong. The IntelliBrace wall repair system may have a relatively straightforward installation process, but that does not mean it is easy to install. It is still a specialist product that requires the right training, skills, and tools to get the right results. If you try to tackle it without the right tools or you simply wing it, the results could well be disappointing.
If you try to deal with your property’s bowing walls alone by installing the IntelliBrace system, you could also make serious mistakes. The best outcome of this is that the beams are ineffective. If you are unlucky, or you make a very severe mistake, you could actually end up causing more damage to your home than was originally present. This will cost you more money in the long run, but could also end in injury if you are unlucky enough to cause parts of the wall in question to collapse. As you can see, it’s better to allow professionals to step in when there are structural issues to deal with.
Professionals Get the Job Done
One of the biggest benefits of hiring a professional to install your IntelliBrace wall repair system is the efficiency and effectiveness with which they will undertake the process. A certified foundation and structural repair specialist has the training, skills, tools, and experience to make light work of even the most seriously damaged wall. Better yet, they can guarantee your safety and avoid further damage to your home during installation.
Furthermore, because professionals already have all of the tools and products that they need to hand, they will be able to provide you with a high quality result at a comparable cost to DIY. In fact, if you count the longevity of professional solutions, you might even find that professional services are less expensive in the long run. Why don’t you let an AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists team member take care of your bowing walls? You will surely find that the results (and the process) are far better.
Call AFS for Expert Wall Repair in Tennessee and Alabama
If you have noticed changes to your property’s walls and you have concerns, your first action should be to call the team here at AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists. We have been helping homeowners restore their properties to full stability since 2000. Our team knows what it takes to deal with structural damage quickly and effectively.
Whatever the damage in your home looks like and however obvious the cause may seem, our repair process always starts with a free inspection appointment. This appointment comes without an obligation to book repairs through us, but it does include a written cost for our suggested repairs. This should help you to make an informed choice about how to best proceed. If you have any questions, you can always call our team directly. We’re happy to serve Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile, Alabama, and Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville, Tennessee.