Carbon fiber straps, also known as woven straps, are an exceptionally strong product utilized to reinforce and anchor a concrete foundation wall. The most typical carbon fiber straps have only been reinforced with polyethylene, which is a man-made form of woven fabric. Many carbon fiber straps made today are crafted with other materials, including Kevlar, and steel. However, this isn’t the most efficient way to utilize carbon fiber, since it won’t last nearly as long. Think of it as wishing to glue a piece of rubber to a wooden surface: ultimately, no matter how much time you let the adhesive dry, you’re still going to get rid of the tackiness.
When it comes to repairing cracks in walls, one of the most cost-efficient solutions is carbon fiber straps, since they can be simply placed around the damaged area, secured with stainless steel staples. Staple guns can be utilized to secure the straps around the damaged area, while special stapler heads can be used to staple the carbon fibers together. Since carbon fiber is highly resistant to ultraviolet light damage, this is a great alternative for people working on extremely dark and smudged surfaces. The stapling method will also make sure that all of the carbon fiber strands are securely locked in place. This is beneficial for cracks that reach down into the basement, attic, or any other interior or exterior structure.
If the problem is primarily with the area surrounding the wall, epoxy can be applied directly to the problem area. Epoxy is an incredibly tough and durable adhesive, which works exceptionally well when applied to concrete. Although there are several different grades of epoxy, some of the stronger grades contain additives which allow the wallboard to bond stronger with the epoxy, protecting it from further moisture damage.
In addition to protecting against moisture, repairing damaged concrete walls with carbon fiber straps can help prevent further damage to the surrounding areas. In cases where concrete has suffered exterior damage, such as cracking, crumbling, or bowing, this reinforcement serves as an additional safeguard against further damage. These straps will not only add additional strength to the wall, but will also act as a barrier against any external water sources, such as gutters, rain runoff, or even spills from cleaning equipment. An added bonus is the non-bowing property of the carbon fiber straps, meaning they will not bow or contract when placed on top of a wetwall. This is a major benefit if the damage is caused by water seeping into the basement or exterior walls.
Other times, the damage may just be inside the building and requires additional reinforcement beyond the carbon fiber straps. Many people opt for epoxy repair when faced with this kind of situation. There are several different kinds of epoxies available, so you’ll need to know what kind of repairs your home requires before shopping for the needed materials. If the cracks or other damage are small, you may just need carbon fiber straps to fill in the gaps. If the damage is large, you will likely need additional reinforcements, such as wooden dowels, stainless steel rods, or even cement boards. Consult professional installers to determine which kinds of products might best suit your needs.
Installing a new, reinforced wall may not require additional carbon fiber straps, as the material can be used for other purposes, too. For example, there are hollow carbon fiber tubes that can serve as strong counter-balances for uneven walls. A hollow carbon tube is simply a long, thin tube about four to six inches in diameter that can serve as a viable alternative to using solid carbon fiber straps for wall reinforcement. Even walls with no gaps need reinforcement because the lack of space can cause the structure to bow or shift. Again, these straps can be used as additional anchors or bracing for stability in this case, too.
If your house is already built, and you still have the need for wall reinforcement, carbon fiber straps can help with that, too. Homeowners can purchase these products and install them on their own, but if you’re not comfortable with this DIY idea, then steel bowing blocks can work just as well. They are available at most hardware stores and do-it-yourself centers. Steel blocks are strong enough to work as wall supports, even in extreme conditions, as they provide the same amount of support. Many homeowners find steel bowing blocks to be a cost-effective, quick fix option when a bit stronger materials are needed.
As you can see, using carbon fiber straps for foundation repair and other purposes doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend more money on this project. It’s important to consult professionals to determine whether or not carbon fiber straps would serve your needs best. Even if you choose to go with traditional carbon fiber straps, it’s not a bad idea to consult with a professional first. Remember, time is always a factor when it comes to foundations. Don’t rush into any foundation repair options before consulting an expert. When in doubt, contact professionals for further advice.