Structure basement wall bowling issue

13 Replies

Got in the house today and the biggest problem is a basement wall crack which looks like a serious problem.

Have not done a house with this type of problems so not sure how much $$$ we are taking about.

My plan is to use carbon fiber cloths with epoxy.

Option 2 is to use anchors

This retaining basement wall is about 480 sq ft (60ft long by 8ft tall). This house is in East Cobb Marietta Georgia

Basement video 

Pictures 

If you have experience doing this please let me know your opinion 

Luis

Hey Luis,

We did several projects in your area with structural issues.  Same problem you're experiencing -- horizontal crack in a foundation wall.  Most likely due to static pressure from water build-up against the exterior of the wall.

Sounds like you're considering Kevlar strips to fix the problem.  In my experience, that's one of three common ways to solve the problem -- there other two being steel plates or steel beams.  We didn't do a lot of structural work in Atlanta, but when we did, we generally went with the steel plates.   In Milwaukee, we typically went with the steel beams (most common up there).

Here is an example of using steel plates for the fix:

http://www.123flip.com/house-4-rehab-offer/

It requires some excavation on the exterior as well as the interior, but isn't too expensive.  A few years ago, I think we were at about $400-500/plate, with plates about six feet apart.  

Let me know if you want a recommendation for the company we used...

Luis:

Last year, I went to a 3 hour real estate continuing education class run by Aquaguard (I have a real estate license). They specialize in this type of problem. In fact- they provided us with a book they print that explains all the ways to secure a wall that is caving in - and the methods to repair. This problem is one of those things that look much worse than the cost to fix it. They ran the class to explain to agents that this problem is not a deal killer. I was speaking to them after the class about investment possibilities with this type of problem-they completely agree. Most people run from this problem. They said smart investors run toward this problem! The only downside - it must be disclosed to the next buyer what was done - and the warranty is transferable to them. I'm not sure if companies such as Ramjack does this as well- but it's worth a call to contact them both for quotes. Please let us know what you found out, costs, etc. I'm sure it can help all of us out in the future.

Originally posted by @Richard Balsam :

Luis:

Last year, I went to a 3 hour real estate continuing education class run by Aquaguard (I have a real estate license). They specialize in this type of problem. In fact- they provided us with a book they print that explains all the ways to secure a wall that is caving in - and the methods to repair. This problem is one of those things that look much worse than the cost to fix it. They ran the class to explain to agents that this problem is not a deal killer. I was speaking to them after the class about investment possibilities with this type of problem-they completely agree. Most people run from this problem. They said smart investors run toward this problem! The only downside - it must be disclosed to the next buyer what was done - and the warranty is transferable to them. I'm not sure if companies such as Ramjack does this as well- but it's worth a call to contact them both for quotes. Please let us know what you found out, costs, etc. I'm sure it can help all of us out in the future.

I'm not sure if they still do transfer warranties, but Ramjack used to. My buddy purchased a house back in '06-07 that had a foundation repair done by Ramjack and he got the warranty extended to him. I remember going over to the house for the first time and seeing the giant steel plates on the wall in the basement. Ramjack even had their name and number advertised on one of the plates.

The owner of Aqua Guard has been conducting continuing ed for the real estate community for many years and the one comment he made has stuck with me, "there has never been a foundation I can't fix."  @Richard Balsam is spot on.  This could be a great opportunity. 

I have done two projects with similar bowing.  

In both scenarios we had a structural engineer come out to the property and provide a structural evaluation and recommendation for repairs.

The engineer's first recommendation will always be to fix the issue that is causing the bowing, which as J suggested is likely water pressure.

Evaluate the properties drainage and gutters and ensure the water is sloping away from the property.  I'm not sure about the soil conditions in your area, but the soil type could also be an issue.

For the structural repair itself, the engineer recommended a few different options: 

  1. 1. Vertical steel I-beams tied into the floor joists every 6 ft
  2. 2. Tie-Backs - Steel plates/anchors with tiebacks to a concrete footing or 'dead man' (similar to your option 2).

We ended up installing the vertical steel I-beams 6ft oc, which are about $700 to $1000 each.

Originally posted by @Phil Earley :

The owner of Aqua Guard has been conducting continuing ed for the real estate community for many years and the one comment he made has stuck with me, "there has never been a foundation I can't fix."  @Richard Balsam is spot on.  This could be a great opportunity. 

AquaGuard is who I've used for all my Atlanta structural needs...

To your point about never having a foundation issue they couldn't repair, there was one in Atlanta where they could have fixed the problem, but it would have cost more than the purchase price of the house (somewhere around $40K if I recall)...  :-)

if the bowing is due to hydrostatic pressure, a French drain should be installed at the footing on the outside and the wall should be repointed. I usually dig them out before pushing on a wall from the inside.

Originally posted by @Nathan Schoenborn :

@J Scott who did you use for the steel beams in Milwaukee?  I have a property that could use some help....

 Just PM'ed you the info...

Originally posted by @J Scott :
Originally posted by @Phil Earley:

The owner of Aqua Guard has been conducting continuing ed for the real estate community for many years and the one comment he made has stuck with me, "there has never been a foundation I can't fix."  @Richard Balsam is spot on.  This could be a great opportunity. 

AquaGuard is who I've used for all my Atlanta structural needs...

To your point about never having a foundation issue they couldn't repair, there was one in Atlanta where they could have fixed the problem, but it would have cost more than the purchase price of the house (somewhere around $40K if I recall)...  :-)

 Haha, I was reading through the post, I was thinking of the same thing to post, everything is fixable, but at what price is the question. Perfect scenario. I have been invited to a caissons job, 500k for caisson and grade beams, 600k duplex on a hilltop. Sold 2M something.

I like the story of running towards any problematic properties, it simply gives you more price twisting room.

After fix

To solve the issue, I ended up doing a french drain at the footing and waterproofed with special paint and plastic on the outside of the home. I also did some land grading to make the water move away from the home.

Inside the basement we filled in the cracks with a concrete epoxy and painted the wall. 

The total repair came out to $6k but this work general cost $12k. 

The good part about the option I went with is that, we completely solved the waterproof issue including a 1year warranty that translates to the new owner.  The down side is that you can still see some of the bowing from the inside and may scare buyers. I have taught about covering the wall with drywall or textured concrete but I honestly dont think it is worth the money or effort for the bottom line. I could get something certified by structure engineer but for the same cost I could probably cover the wall with dry wall and cover the issue. Not sure what to do at this point. Looking for educated opinions from flippers that have delt with this issue.

What is the outcome of this? Do you recommend to go for similar deals in future? I am getting a similar property for BRRRR. Setting 35k-40k aside for basement wall fix. Its a 20 ft concrete wall with 5-6 inch bowing with couple of big cracks in both corners. No water issues and basement is dry.