January 26, 2011
If you are one on the unlucky ones out there that need their basement wall repair with bowed or cracked walls in your basement here are your options of what you can do. There are two things that can be done before your loose your walls and that is too reinforce what you already have if it isnt too late of do a complete wall replacement which can be a bit pricey.
Lets talk about reinforcing your basement walls first. There are numerous way this can be accomplished and there are many products on the web claiming to be the best. The cheapest way to reinforce walls is to get 4″ square steel tubing with at least 3/8″ wall thickness or 4″ I beams with 1/2 wall thickness from your local steel supply house. First you have to measure the height of your wall from the floor to the floor joist above your head. Then and about 2 inches at the bottom and about 6 at the top. Your want to place a beam about every 4 to 6 ft or so to ensure proper reinforcement, so make sure you pick up enough steel for the job.
The first thing your gonna have to do is cut a hole in your concrete floor with a jackhammer and saw. Cut a small square as best as you can about 12 inches square or so. Use your jack hammer to remove the freshly cut piece, your in for a workout so be prepared. After you remove your piece of concrete set your beam in the hole tight up against the wall as you can. Fasten the top of the beam by drilling holes or using a bracket to attach them to the joist. At the bottom push the beam over as far as possible and fill with concrete, smooth it off and let it set. Repeat this process until you have all of your beams in place and this should do a sufficient job of reinforcing your walls if they aren’t bowed too badly.
Option two is a basement wall replacement, so get your checkbook ready for this one. Typical wall replacements can run anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on location and siol type and how bad the damage is. These jobs should only be done by a experienced contractor, but if you are fgeeling up to the challenge then this is what you need to do.
The first thing you must do is put some more temporary floor jacks in your basement spaced about every 8 ft to ensure a good safe working area. Then after you have all your supports in place its time to break out the excavator. You can rent a small backhoe for about $250.00 a day at your local tool rental spot. When you begin to dig it may also be wise to have a dump track as well, it will make the job go so much smoother and less messy.
After you have your jacks secure and in place you have to dig out the wall from the outside with your tractor putting as much soil as you can but all of because you want to save a little for your topsoil. After all the soil is removed down to the footer then proceed to remove the wall with a small jackhammer, sledge hammers and chisels, This process generally pretty fast after the top course is removed.
Now that the wall is removed lay up new block in its place, preferably 12 inch block if you can fit them, if not use standard 8 inch block. Be sure to drop a steel rod every four foot and fill them with concrete to reinforce the wall from the inside of the block. When the wall is up strike the joints on the inside of the basement and then smear mortar on the outside of the wall as smooth as possible. Then after it has dried paint a generous coat of tar.
Now back-fill the hole with #57 stone up to 16″ below ground level and then fill the rest of the way with top soil. And Thats pretty much it, plant your grass or replace your landscaping and you are done.