If you’re researching wall anchor systems it’s probably because you have a problem with a basement foundation wall, seawall, or retaining wall. A wall anchor system can help repair, support, and prevent further damage to the structure. There are different systems for each wall type, so we’ve broken up this article into three sections.
Fun fact: In 1992, wall anchor systems were identified by a Chief Appraiser for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as the most effective means of stabilizing bowing foundation walls.
What are wall anchors?
Wall anchors are specialized support systems designed to stabilize cracked or bowed walls. Professionals can use these systems on damaged basement walls, seawalls, and retaining walls. One of the largest culprits of damage comes from excessive outside soil pressure caused by water buildup in the ground surrounding your home. For more information, check out this article on 11 signs of foundation failure.
Wall anchor systems for basements
Basements have a wide variety of foundation wall problems ranging from expansive soil and drainage problems to sinkholes and floods. Well, with every issue comes a solution, and most of these are permanent.
Wall Plate Anchors – Wall plate anchors are designed to stop the inward movement from a bowing wall. Because the plate is placed outside in the soil, no additional stress is added to the home. But for the anchor to be installed, contractors need a minimum of 10 feet of yard to install it. They are one of the most economical methods of support. The anchors can be installed with portable equipment and cause very little disturbance to your landscape.
C-Channel Anchors – C-channel anchors are used for “sheering,” an inward deflection at the bottom of the wall or near the floor. This is when the top part of your basement wall breaks free from the bottom footer and moves inward. The anchor can be torqued to straighten or stabilize the wall over time.
Helical Tieback Anchors – These anchors look like corkscrews, and are installed by rotating the anchor into the ground. They provide opposite pressure that cancels out the hydrostatic pressure, which caused the wall to bow in the first place. These are perfect when interior access is limited. Installation can be done in just one day! Helical anchors don’t use excavation, but that means the anchor will straighten and or stabilize the wall immediately.
These next two support systems are not “wall anchors” and are used for less extreme wall damage.
Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) – There are many concrete crack repair and structural strengthening options available in the industry, so why should you choose CFRP products? Our wall repair system reinforces foundation walls by linking the foundation base with the building’s frame. This system is one of the strongest options available on the market, so you can rest easy knowing that the bowing or leaning wall is strong and structurally sound again, which helps prevent future dynamic cracks. Once the carbon fiber application is completed, the area can be painted or covered, leaving a clean look with a small footprint.
I-Beams – Steel I-Beams are a structural brace system that counteracts movement stress, such as constant soil pressure which can cause bowing and cracking. They can improve and/or straighten the wall.
Wall anchor systems for seawalls
Seawalls are a crucial part of coastal cities and homes on lakes, canals, inlets, and the ocean. They keep erosion from sweeping away your home into the water, but they are also susceptible to erosion and other natural impacts.
Here are some signs of seawall damage:
Cracks in the seawall cap – The cap runs along the top of the seawall and is usually made of reinforced concrete.
- Rust stains – Rust stains are a possible sign of corrosion. Sometimes it’s easy to find out where the rust is coming from, perhaps a metal railing. Or it may seem to be seeping from cracks in the seawall surface.
- Gaps in between slabs – If you notice a gap is widening between one of the slabs, it could mean that the joints have weakened or broken.
- Slabs are cracked, bowing, leaning, or misaligned – Seawalls are under constant stress and pressure. If action is not taken, it can result in partial or complete sudden seawall failure.
- Soil settling – Holes or soil settling in the ground along or near the seawall are signs of erosion. Erosion is a common cause of pressure imbalance.
One of the best wall anchor solutions for supporting failing seawalls is:
Helical Seawall Anchors – Professionals can use the same kind of helical tiebacks used for basement walls to pull leaning seawalls back into place. Using limited excavation, the anchors can be drilled through only one side of the seawall. Helical anchors provide more holding capacity vs. concrete deadman anchors and can be used where deadmen aren’t working.
Wall anchor systems for retaining walls
Retaining walls are used to create level areas in a landscape and prevent erosion. Over time, these walls can fail due to poor drainage, shallow footing, or improper reinforcement. When these occur, the most recommend solution is Deadman anchors.
Deadman Anchors – These are anchors that consist of poured concrete blocks 10 to 15 feet landward of the wall and tie rods that connect the block to the retaining wall. These can also be used to tie back seawalls and basement walls and help support plate anchors’ resistance.
Who to call for wall anchor systems
If you notice signs of damage on your basement walls, seawalls, or retaining walls, who should you call for help? These are professional solutions that require professional assistance. Check out Foundation Professionals of Florida, an award-winning and top-performing company. We specialize in all your wall anchor system needs and can provide any of the services above.