What’s the Difference Between Helical Tie-Backs and Carbon Fiber Reinforcements?

There are multiple repair methods a company can use to fix your damaged foundation.

But, it’s important that you hire a company that uses the best methods for your home rather than what is easiest or cheapest. It could be the difference between a permanent fix or having to deal with more damage down the road.

Read the rest of this blog to learn the difference between helical tie-backs and carbon fiber replacements. More importantly, learn which one is better for your repair.

Repairing Foundations with Helical Tie-Back Anchors

Clients with bowing or bulging walls — whether basement walls or large retaining walls — or walls showing signs of inward movement need helical tie-back anchors installed.

These anchors are a permanent repair for your damaged foundation or retaining walls. Each anchor is advanced into the soil like a giant screw. They go through the foundation wall and into the exterior ground soil until the proper depth and torque are reached.

Another benefit of using tie-backs is that they can be moved, pulled out, or changed as needed.

USS recommends using helical tie-back anchors over carbon fiber reinforcements for foundations. They should always be your first choice. Keep reading to find out why.

Use Carbon Fiber Reinforcements for These Types of Walls

While carbon fiber reinforcements are strong and durable, they should never be used on bowing concrete foundation walls.

These reinforcements are installed flush against the walls as straps measuring 6 inches wide and ⅛ inch thick. They are attached to the sill plate on the top of the foundation with anchor bolts. Foundation epoxy is used to adhere the rest of the strap to the wall.

The problem here is that the soil pressure will continue pushing against the foundation wall, which was the cause of the bowing in the first place. It will pull at the wall and wooden sill plate, resulting in additional damage to your home.

Contractors recommending this fix for your bowing or bulging wall are likely following the cheapest route, which isn’t always the best. USS prefers the stronger option to secure your foundation wall for the long term.

We only recommend carbon fiber reinforcements for cinder block or brick walls, and when the amount of deflection is small. They are used to slow down the damage.

What Causes Foundation Wall Damage?

Foundation damage is more common than you think. Many people don’t know what causes it, but it’s important to understand how it happens so you can prevent it.

Here are the common reasons for foundation wall damage:

  • Poor yard drainage
  • Your home being built on expansive clay soil
  • Hydrostatic pressure on your foundation walls
  • Inoperative drain tile systems
  • Plumbing leaks

Maintaining proper drainage is one of the easiest ways to prevent this damage.

Communicate with Your Contractor

Our team is upfront with our clients in letting them know about the advantages and disadvantages of helical tie-backs and carbon fiber reinforcements.

You should have a conversation with your contractor about the severity of the foundation damage, what options are available, and the total cost of repair.

Call us today at 847-382-2882 if you have any questions about foundation repair, or if you’d like to schedule a free consultation.