Failing Carbon Fiber Strips: Pittsford, NY
Grip-Tite Wall Anchors are meant to hold back a bowing foundation wall. They are the only foundation repair solution recommended by the Army Corps of Engineers and HUD (Housing for Urban Development). Although sometimes customers choose steel I-beams or carbon fiber strips, they are not an engineered system and can be installed by any contractor, home improvement guy, or homeowner. They are readily and cheaply, available to absolutely everyone. So was the case of Mr. Bradley in Pittsford, NY. He had a construction company install carbon fiber strips on a bowing wall in 2006. He had a structural engineer compile a report and the engineer recommended carbon fiber strips and received a warranty from the company that installed them. In March 2008, Mr. Bradley thought the crack was getting bigger. Upon measuring the crack and reviewing pictures the year of carbon fiber installation, Mr. Bradley found that was the case. The company who installed them was out of business, the carbon fiber company said that because the installation company was out of business, they had no way of knowing "how" the carbon fiber strips were installed. There is no training or installation support, just a sheet of printed directions that comes with every purchase. Additionally, they directed him to his warranty that stated we "guarantee the carbon fibers will not fail" and not that the "wall" will not fail. Despite the documentation, pictures, and contract, the representative said that "technically, the carbon fiber is still stuck to the wall and that is how your warranty reads." Mr. Bradley contacted his engineer. The engineer explained that although he recommended them, no engineer warranties any recommendation OR diagnosis.
At a loss, Mr. Bradley contacted Basement Technologies of Western NY because of our years in business and reviews. He worked with us, a geotechnical engineer, the Town of Pittsford, and Grip-Tite Wall Anchors, and an engineered system was installed in May 2009. The day of installation, when we tightened the Wall Anchors, the cracks started to close and bowing reduced by 1 ½". To help Mr. Bradley save money, we showed him how to tighten the Wall Anchors every 6 months. Mr. Bradley did this 6 times and his wall is nearly straight. He installed a new kitchen in 2013 and that is why he stopped tightening them. Such a simple thought, like "pulling back a wall" instead of pushing or holding it, can make all the difference.