Looking at buying a house that has recently installed around the
entire basement the Reinforcer carbon fibre/Kevlar strips. The front
basement wall is bowed. The original homeowner says the bowing
occurred soon after building 18 years ago. It is only the front
(long) wall of the basement. All work was done by an authorized and
reputable company. The entire basement was also re-pointed.
The basement floor (slab separate from the cinder block wall) has
cracked as well. The cracks appear to be very old and there is no
I've checked every window and door for being square and not binding.
Even the basement window is perfect. The lolly columns appear to be
in original position holding up 4 2x12 beams tied together. There is
no cracking at the base of the lolly columns nor any appearance of
movement where they meat the joist.
I've got a home inspector coming in next week. If he hints at any
movement of the structure I'll bring in a structural engineer. I can
still walk from the house if there are major problems.
Looking for comments on the Reinforcer system as well as any other
points you can suggest.
On Oct 24, 8:58 pm, email@example.com wrote:
I cant offer much on that system but in the USA right now it's a
buyers market, dont be hesitant to move on or get that house at a very
low price (if you really want it). There is a glut of unsold homes
with no issues at low prices. A block wall basement will never be as
good as a poured foundation.
Lemme guess- bowing is right under the front porch that runs under
living room window? And I thought those surface-applied systems were for
earthquake country, not for simple hydrostatic pressure.
Bowed wall indicates wall was improperly engineered and/or perimeter
drains are missing, failed, or improperly engineered and/or backfill was
done improperly (like before the house was built on top of it.) There is
a reason they would put 'kicker' props from the lally column footers
over to vertical boards on the wall until the roof was dried in and
backfill was in place. (I remember working in a basement on a house
under construction once, when wall started moving. Amazing how quick you
can climb up a ladder when you are motivated, screaming at the backhoe
operator all the way to Shut It The Hell Down NOW!)
Personally, I'd have to see a discount on the price big enough for the
likely eventual PROPER repair (Involving jacks and backhoes and masonry
contractors), to not walk. (When I was house shopping, I <did> walk on
an otherwise interesting house, due to a bowed basement under a
frost-heaved porch slab that drained down outside of basement wall.)
But if there are no better local options, I would at a minimum get an
engineering company in there for an estimate on remediation. Note that
it will require a civil engineer that knows dirt and water, to look at
the soil and drainage, not just a guy that knows how to repair the building.
With a red flag on the foundation like that I would walk away. I wouldn't
care how good the repair patch was. You also need to think in terms of your
resale value and the perception this fix would have on future buyers. Tens
years from now it may turn out that this Kevlar system was not such a great
I don't think you should necessarily walk away from it. But you need
to be sure of two things: first, that the movement occured years ago
(like after backfill) and you aren't going to be hit with a 50000 bill
to fix it sometime down the road and second, that future buyers will
be looking for a price discount. Also, forget about adding a second
story sometime down the road. I myself bought a house with a cracked
foundation. But it was in the right location, my wife loved it, and
the price was right.
Don't know anything about the reinforcer system.
Curious because I did some of the early Kevlar R&D work although I'm a
chemist, not an engineer:
This may hold but I would be concerned that original source of pressure
on wall was not removed.
Rule of thumb for me would be to find cost of doing the job right,
double it, and ask to have deducted from sales price.
As others point out, it is a strong buyers market.
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