On this project our client had the option to choose whether to complete an interior vs. exterior foundation repair on their home. The issue that they were experiencing was a bowed and cracking back foundation wall. In a case like this we always recommend starting with an Licensed Structural Engineer to get at the root cause and to design an expert repair. This tends to save homeowners money in the long run as they are getting the right repair the first time around. Without the engineering, you are getting at best an educated guess. At worst, you may be getting work you don’t need or may worsen the problem. This homeowner reached out to the designing engineer of Buyers Protection Group who designed two different repair options.
One approach to reinforce failing foundation walls is by installing support structures known as buttresses or counterforts. While they both amount to the same basic concept; a buttress is a support located on the interior of a wall, while a counterfort is installed on the exterior.
The exterior option required us to excavate along entire rear foundation wall to footer depth and install 4 counterforts. We would then install a new 4″ Schedule 40 footer drain and inject up to 20 lineal feet of cracks with structural epoxy. Once structural repairs and drainage systems are in place the foundation wall would be pressure washed and prepped for foundation sealant. At this point we would coat the exposed foundation wall with HLM 5000 and cap with mira drain 6200, to further facilitate drainage and waterproofing. This will help prevent further damage to the foundation by protecting it from its number one enemy; moisture. And finally, since the proposal involved the removal of an existing back deck; we were to install a new 16×19′ concrete patio to replace it.
The interior repair option consisted of installing 4 buttresses on the inner bowed wall to brace and reinforce it. As well as injecting up to 20 lineal feet of cracks with structural epoxy. While this option was a little less involved and a bit less expensive. It also meant losing some valuable interior space and was disruptive to their household. As you can imagine, a buttress or construction crew on the interior of a home can take up a lot of space.
**Perhaps most importantly, this option also did not allow for additional waterproofing measures and drainage on the exterior. Good drainage is key to preventing further degradation of any foundation.**
Taking this all into consideration the homeowner opted for the work to be completed on the exterior of the home. The added expense was worth it to keep their interior space usable and their foundation protected from the elements.
What would you choose for your foundation repair, exterior vs interior?
Do you have cracking, leaking, or bowing foundation walls? Contact us and we will help point you in the right direction.