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Old 10-11-2009, 05:25 AM   #1
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question on carbon fiber/epoxy bsmt cmu wall reinforcement


recently had an inquiry/consultation in which bowed cmu bsmt walls were the topic,,, client needs this done as rqd repair to allow refinancing,,, they retain'd 2 pe's - 1 opined, in writing, 14 carbon fiber straps OR steel beams while 2nd verbalized 18 for the same wall,,, both cash'd client's cks but no further response as of yet - 1 wk

my recommendation's placing 3 vert #4 bars then grouting the vertical cells to form an invisible repair when finish'd,,, our method's less expensive than either at current mkt prices,,, curious as to the forum's opinion.

tnx in adv to dick, tscar, dan, 'mite, aggie, & jo
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Last edited by itsreallyconc; 10-11-2009 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:54 AM   #2
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question on carbon fiber/epoxy bsmt cmu wall reinforcement


stepcracking's the issue delaying refinancing approval,,, here's a shot for those who don't know its definition,,, interestingly enough, pe #1 made no contractor recommendation while pe #2 would ONLY ' bless ' repairs from 3 whom he named,,, #1 charg'd $375; #2, $250,,, just thought it noteworthy,,, clients suspect he's getting more on the backend if you know what i'm saying

note homeowner's poor attempt to repair


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Old 10-11-2009, 09:07 AM   #3
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question on carbon fiber/epoxy bsmt cmu wall reinforcement


IRC, this isn't an easy one for me. I would have reservations about re-inforcing a bowed wall without actually returning it to where it belonged. I've honestly never grouted cores on a wall that wasn't plumb, only installed steel restraints in those applications. I would be concerned that the wall WILL need to be excavated & repaired in a more complete way in the future, & the grouted cores (or the carbon fiber) would restrict that from happening.

I'll admit to have no experience with the carbon fiber, I've only heard of one contractor in my area doing it. I would assume that on paper, they're a stronger repair than grouted cores, but I cant say for sure.

I think Aggie may be the one to give good advice on this one. As I recall, he had some images on a thread in here of his company retro-grouting pilasters. I'm sure he was the one that engineered that as well.

The only thing i will add from experience is, if you end up grouting the cores, make sure to get a 1/2 shovel of stone at the bottom of each core so you don't dam up the water on the footing. Don't ask how I know this!

Good Luck.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:40 AM   #4
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question on carbon fiber/epoxy bsmt cmu wall reinforcement


I wouldn't penetrate the wall to install rebar and grout on a wall that's already bowed. I'm risk-averse, and that's a little too risky for me.

If I can't take the wall out and replace it, I support it with steel. We don't have the training or equipment for the carbon fiber/epoxy or tie-back method, so we don't do it. But you can stabilize some pretty significant structural flaws with those two methods. As long as it's done correctly.

What should happen in this situation is the PE should design the fix and give it to the homeowner. Then the homeowner finds a contractor, contractor does the work, and the PE comes out to inspect to make sure the repair was done per his design. That process gets wrapped up at the end of the job with an inspection and a letter from the PE saying the repair was performed per drawings and specifications.

If the PE knows a couple guys that he trusts, then that's acceptable to make a recommendation. But to say the PE would only bless one of his 3 guys, that's a little strange. But that could be something as simple as a bad experience - maybe he got burned once for vouching for someone's work that didn't stand up, and now he sticks with the contractors he knows can do it properly.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:54 AM   #5
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question on carbon fiber/epoxy bsmt cmu wall reinforcement


BTW IRC, is this the same basement that you posted pics of a few weeks ago?

This one appears to be layed on 1/4 bond also.
Gotta love when they lay a "keystone" or 1/2 block in the middle of the wall! I'm not saying that has anything to do with this failure, but it's just bad practice, & says a little bit of the knowledge & quality (or lack of) of the original mason.

PS, I think the steel restraints by the HO may be a little too light duty!
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:31 AM   #6
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Guy was probably trying to squeeze every last block out of the cubes he ordered. Makes you wonder what other shortcuts were taken.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:27 PM   #7
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question on carbon fiber/epoxy bsmt cmu wall reinforcement


jo, no - this is a different home,,, we do have 3 full wall replacement jobs open now,,, per ag's comment, we do replace blocks, WATERPROOF & PROTECT the outside work, install proper toe drain, etc or we don't take the job.

' penetrating ' the blocks ' we define as breaking open 3 cells - 1 @ the btm so we can drill into the fnd/footer; 1 1/2way up the wall to insert the #4 bar into both top & btm halves [ tied per spec ], & 1 @ in the top course for visual inspection of grout level,,, then a hand-power'd grout pump in the btm cell,,, when grout reach's the middle cell, move the hose up & continue til we reach the top cell,,, finish off the patches w/hydraulic, wet sponge, & paint wall when dry,,, VOILA ! ! !

i don't believe we're ' penetrating ' the wall in the sense ag implies or defines nor would we,,, budget is 1 reason for not bringing up tiebacks but we do have that equip - hydraulic drill motors, etc,,, we agree that neither will ' pull ' a wall back into vertical alignment however our only purpose is stabilization.

if its a PE/contractor firm, i'd have no problem,,, nor will i mind if the engineer's inspector sits there for 2 days while we do the work - the 1st job's always done w/more inspector vigilance til someone reach's their comfort level but no sweat to me,,, just stay out of our way & let us work

too many guys down here, ag, that're capable & have great reputations to protect,,, that's why i found that attitude interesting, too,,, used to work w/a PE in bergen cty who was both pe & contractor,,, we had a great relationship & of mutual HELP to each other,,, come to think of it, don't think i ever had any dwgs/methods rejected,,, did have a couple improved, tho

the client's pe - suspect he may be getting pd on the backside - unethical im-n-s-h-fo

appreciate your comments.

Last edited by itsreallyconc; 10-11-2009 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:13 PM   #8
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question on carbon fiber/epoxy bsmt cmu wall reinforcement


to the whole thread,,, w/4' level, no substantial bowing detectable or measureable other'n normal misalign'd blocks,,, had there been significant bowing ( 1/2 to 3/4" ), we'd have recommended exterior excavation & remedial work outside,,, horizontal crk in mortar jnt's what caught the appraiser's eye - approx 1/32nd down to 1/64th ".

beginning to post like a newbie homeowner apologies for the brain fartz


Last edited by itsreallyconc; 10-11-2009 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:53 AM   #9
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question on carbon fiber/epoxy bsmt cmu wall reinforcement


the rain continues ALL week down here,,, anticipate calls will skyrocket especially those folks who have our quotes from the past month.

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Old 10-13-2009, 02:57 AM   #10
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question on carbon fiber/epoxy bsmt cmu wall reinforcement


interesting link - http://www.bobvila.com/wwwboard/messages/325866.html


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