|Q. Can the StrongHold Bowing Wall Repairs be used to fix settlement or sagging walls?
A. No matter what anyone tells you the answer, at this time, is NO! If any contractor tells you that the carbon fiber can resist settlement make sure to contact StrongHold and discuss solutions with one of our on-staff structural engineers. Settlement in a home is a serious structural issue that must be evaluated by a structural engineer (PE/SE) licensed in your state. While there has been research completed on the use of carbon fiber for resisting settlement forces, it is still in research and development and is not an accepted repair procedure. As StrongHold completes testing and research on these issues we will publish the results here on our website.
Q. Is there anything I can do to prevent further water damage or water build up on my basement walls?
A. The main culprit in 90% of foundation and basement problems is water. It saturates the soil against your wall adding pressure and decreasing the soil's ability to hold itself up (generating lateral force against the wall). The best advice we can give is to limit your home's exposure to water, by: (1) installing gutters to allow the drainage system to guide runoff away from home; (2) cleaning gutters every fall to assure gutters can drain the water away from the home; (3) bring in extra fill material to create a "positive grade" away from your home (often times dirt slopes toward wall, causing water to pool up and soak in); (4) avoid having plants or trees near the wall, water from irrigation systems routinely cause problems especially if there are unknown leaks in plumbing. Roots also can press against the wall or grow into tiny surface cracks, making them expand; (5) while not water related, homeowners should limit surface loads (installing a new driveway, building, patio, or other structures) next to the wall to avoid extra lateral pressures.
Q. Why should I pay the expense of adding the StrongHold crack repair system to the cost of crack injection or patching cracks in my basement wall?
A. The International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) states that 50% of all traditional concrete repairs - including grouts and crack injection products such as epoxy and urethane – will fail in 3 years. The reason for these failures is that concrete and masonry have extremely low tensile strength, usually less than 10% of their respective compressive strength. Even after your existing cracks are patched or injected, the concrete and masonry walls will continue to expand and contract under changes in temperature and expansion of soils. While grouts and crack injection materials do seal the existing cracks in your concrete or masonry walls these systems do not increase the internal tensile strength to resist the continued movement. Thus, you will experience continued cracking. The only way to truly assure a long-term repair of existing cracks in your basement wall is to add additional tensile strength to the surface of the concrete or masonry wall to bridge the forces that initially caused your wall to crack. Please note that you MUST develop the carbon fiber at least 6-inches on both sides of the crack to distribute these tensile forces into the block's face.
Q. Why is the StrongHold crack repair system comprised of a multi-axial fabric for crack repair?
A. Crack patterns on your wall may not be exactly horizontal or vertical. Often times the crack patterns are all of the above - horizontal, vertical, and diagonal. For simplicity it is therefore beneficial to orientate fibers in a multi-axial formation in order to provide multi-directional strengthening along the surface of the cracked wall. Testing performed by HJ3 Composite Technologies LLC, StrongHold's parent company, demonstrates the benefit of multi-axial fabrics to create shear confinement and strengthening along the surface of masonry structures to resist in-plane shear loads.
Q. Why is the StrongHold crack repair system superior to alternatives offered by competitors?
A. The StrongHold crack repair system confines every inch of your crack with carbon fiber and extends 6-inches on both sides of the crack to resist crack propagation. Competitors products are "stapled" every foot or so along the length of the crack. These "staples" offer less than 2,000 pounds per strap and are spaced 12-inch along the length of the crack. Thus, per foot of crack you receive 2,000 pounds of tensile strength. Meanwhile, the StrongHold crack repair system offers over 10x that strength over that same foot of crack, or about 25,000 pounds per foot reinforcement. Competition's system also must be inserted into your wall, while the StrongHold system can be surface bonded. The StrongHold crack repair system is also not sold at a premium even though you receive considerably greater benefit.
Q. Can I use the StrongHold crack repair system for corner repairs and other applications?
A. The StrongHold multi-axis fabric system included in the crack repair kits can be used to strengthen external corners in your foundation walls. The carbon fiber will serve two purposes: (1) confine the corner to resist displacement; (2) seal the corner from allowing water to penetrate through cracks that have formed in those corner areas.
Q. Can I use the StrongHold Crack Repair System in place of crack injection repairs?
A. Many times the StrongHold Crack Repair System is used in conjunction with crack injection systems to extend the life of the injection repair. However, if the cracks are primarily surface cracks and do not extend through the wall, the StrongHold Crack Repair System can be used in place of the crack injection repair. StrongHold offers a thickened epoxy paste that can be used to fill cracks in the substrate prior to installation of the StrongHold Crack Repair System.