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Wall Anchor Systems And Foundation Repair: How They Work?

A wall anchor system is a remarkable engineering solution designed to combat foundation problems that can plague homes and structures. As time passes, you might see various factors, such as soil erosion, water infiltration, and structural stress, which can cause walls to bow, crack, or lean, jeopardizing the foundation’s integrity. 

The wall anchor system offers an effective means to repair and stabilize compromised foundations. Let’s explore what a wall anchor system is and how it plays a crucial role in rectifying these common foundation issues, providing homeowners with the security and peace of mind they deserve.

What Are Wall Anchor Systems?

Wall anchor systems are structural supports designed to stabilize and reinforce the foundation walls of buildings. They are typically used to address issues like bowing or leaning basement walls. These systems consist of heavy-duty steel anchors that are installed in the soil adjacent to the affected wall and connected to the interior wall using steel rods. 

By applying continuous lateral pressure, wall anchor systems counteract the forces causing the wall to bow, ultimately preventing further structural damage and often leading to wall straightening over time.

The Reason Behind Foundation Walls Bow, Lean, Sheer, Or Crack?

Foundation walls can bow, lean, sheer, or crack due to several factors, with excess lateral pressure from the surrounding soil being a primary cause. This pressure can exceed the wall’s capacity to resist it. Bowing may manifest as cracks in the wall’s center in concrete block walls, while step cracks are commonly observed. 

Other common reasons include water infiltration, poor drainage, soil settlement, and structural stress, all of which can compromise the structural integrity of the foundation walls over time.

The following are common reasons for wall leaning, bowing and cracking:

Expansive soil

Expansive soil is rich in clay. So, after absorbing water, it starts growing and pushing your wall. This way, the foundation wall moves inward. After drying the soil, it starts contracting. As a result, the foundation wall comes to its original place. It is why cracks are formed depending on weather conditions. 

Hydrostatic pressure

One of the primary causes of foundation wall leaning is hydrostatic pressure caused by water accumulation in the soil surrounding the foundation. As the soil expands, it exerts pressure on the wall due to the water accumulation. This can cause the wall to crack if there is no adequate drainage system in place to prevent the soil from pushing the wall inward.

Frost-heaving

Freezing of the soil around the foundation can lead to a problematic situation with two main issues. Firstly, water, when frozen, expands and increases in volume by 9%. When the soil is already saturated with water and it freezes, the weight of the soil increases. 

This added weight puts pressure on the foundation walls, causing them to buckle and develop cracks. Secondly, freezing of the soil can cause the soil to lift up and when it thaws, the soil settles down. This constant movement of the soil, upward and downward, can cause the foundation walls to crack.

Heavy objects

Another main reason is the passing of heavy objects such as trucks and vehicles. These can cause wall bowing, leaning and cracking. It happens when these objects part alongside the foundation. 

Different Wall Anchor Systems

The following are some main wall anchoring systems:

Wall plate anchors

If you’re concerned about the pressure on your home’s walls and want to move it to your yard, there is a system available that you can install using portable equipment. However, please note that the installation process may cause some damage to your home.

To install the system, you should begin by digging around the foundation. This will cause the bowing wall to move outward without the need to deal with any dirt. Next, dig a drain at least 13 feet away from the wall where you’ll place the anchors. 

If your foundation wall is broken into pieces, it’s recommended to install carbon straps to move the entire wall during outward pulling. Drill holes in the cracked wall to access high-strength rods, which will help connect the anchors to the wall plates. Insert the rods into the wall all the way to the outer drain.

Finally, use hydraulic jacks to lift the home and relieve pressure from the wall so it can move easily. By following these steps, you can ensure that the system is installed correctly and that the pressure on your home’s walls is properly distributed into the yard.

C-channel anchors

The anchoring system described here is an innovative solution for countering shearing walls. Shearing refers to the movement of the top wall inward while the bottom wall remains stationary. 

To implement this system, you need to follow these steps: attach a steel beam to the bowed wall, placing one beam 4-5 feet away from the other. Dig a drain 13 feet away from the wall. This is where you should place the anchors. Drill holes in the wall and allow the high rods to go through the center. Connect the beam and anchor, and pull the wall outward. 

You can achieve a secure and stable structure that can withstand the effects of shearing walls by following these simple steps.

Fortress Invisibeam Carbon Fiber Straps

An alternative method for securing foundation walls involves using straps made of a fabric material called carbon fiber. These straps are incredibly durable and unbreakable due to their non-elastic nature. Here’s how this system works:

First, a galvanized bracket is attached to the top of the home, which serves as the anchor point for the straps. 

Second, the straps are then affixed to the cracked wall using epoxy and rivets, creating a strong bond between the straps and the wall. 

Third, the bottom of the straps is attached to the foundation footer, providing an additional anchor point for the straps. 

This is the most effective strapping system available in the industry. Unlike other types of straps which only move the wall inward up to two inches, these straps can move the walls inward up to three inches.

Helical Tieback Anchors

Helical anchors are also helpful for repairing the cracked wall. These are not like plate anchors. It means you don’t need to provide an outer anchor to the wall. Besides, you can drill the anchor from the foundation inside. This way, you can pull the wall outward. 

How does the wall anchor system work?

The Wall anchor system extends toward the tightly packed soil near your house. The system anchors there and stimulates the foundation wall. This way, you can prevent your foundation from moving inward. If you tightly pack these anchors after some time. Then, these can move your foundation wall to its original position. 

How do you anchor a wall to a foundation?

For this, you can use a power drill and wood boring to drill anchoring bolts through the sill plate. It is good to drill holes through the wall frame plate. Place the sill plate over the bolts. Then, place the frame over the plate. Install washers and nuts for the security of the wall frame to the foundation. 

Do foundation anchors work?

Yes, the foundation anchor works to stabilize and straighten the foundation wall. It is the best repair system for commercial and residential buildings. 

Conclusion

We have discussed many types of wall anchor systems and foundation repairs. Suppose you are searching for a wall anchor system. Then it is obvious that you have a foundation wall issue. A wall anchor system is the best way to repair, support, and prevent damage. However, each wall has a different type of repair system. So you can choose which system will work best for your wall.

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