If you have a bowed foundation wall you may need reinforcement beams.
What are beams used for?
Soldier Beams are used to stop bowing of foundation walls. This is due to the pressure of the soil against the home. The base of each beam is braced by the basement slab, while the top is braced by a firm attachment to the floor frame. You stabilize the basement wall by placing a beam vertically against the wall and spaced anywhere from 3 to 6 feet apart depending on wall length and beam size.
What Causes a bowed wall?
Drainage and runoff are factors as well, but reducing the pressure on the basement wall is most important. Atlanta homes can have hard dirt or clay which puts an enormous amount of pressure on the wall, also the mixture of the dirt and water doubles the weight on the homes foundation. Houses with leaning basement walls are often just in a bad spot, at the bottom of a hill or the end of a cul-de-sac, or their yard and driveway slope towards the house.
Even on a flat site, many of the problem homes have a negative grade funneling water toward the homes foundation, and a number of Atlanta homes do not have roof gutters. This causes dirt to create a positive grade and installing gutters with extended downspouts, will carry water between 7 and 10 feet away from your home. This alone will make a huge difference.
Another very common source is a heavy concrete stoop in the front of your house, that is settling down and pushing the soft clay backfill against your basement.
Once your wall has been stabilized you may begin the work of waterproofing your basement if it needs it. Many basements will need exterior waterproofing or an interior drain and sump pump system. As long as the water problems have been dealt with, the basement space can be finished anyway the homeowner wants to once the beams are set. There’s no need to leave access to the beams, they can be painted or boxed in or buried. Or with our flawless finish, if you would like to leave them exposed you may.
A bowed wall is very serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. What may only seem like a small crack in your Atlanta homes basement could result in a worse problem or even wall collapse and failure. If you see foundation cracks whether it be horizontal, vertical or stair stepping, give us a call. Don’t put it off any longer. Get your free in-home inspection today! 678-920-4675