In any situation where a wall is cracked or bowed, have a professional look at it so you know what options you have. In general, though, the possibilities include:
- Steel beams
- Wall anchors
- Carbon fiber
Steel beams have been used for years to provide back pressure to walls. Because they are strong, the belief was that it would provide additional support to a weakened wall. They are attached to the floor, and the joists above the wall, with a portion sitting against the wall itself. If the wall tries to get worse, it is halted by the beam that is sitting against it.
Wall anchors are plates that are bolted to the wall. The bolt extends out through the wall, and is attached to another plate that is dug into the earth about 6 – 10 feet away, out in the yard. The theory here is that since the dirt won’t move, the plate against the wall won’t move – thereby adding support to the wall. Also, there is a bolt in the middle of that plate. The theory here is that the bolt might be able to be tightened over a long period and push the wall back toward it’s original position.
Rebuilding a wall is an effective way to eliminate a crack or bow and return strength to a wall. It is also very expensive and messy, since the wall needs to be excavated in order to rebuild it. It is used in extreme bow / damage circumstances, and may be your only option if the damage has progressed too far
Carbon fiber is technology that has been used in commercial construction for years to repair and add strength to concrete structures like parking decks, commercial buildings, bridges and the like. It is bonded to the concrete, and because the carbon fibers will not stretch, the concrete cannot move. This method adds strength to the wall itself. Keep in mind that using carbon fiber to strengthen a wall can only be used if damage to the wall has not progressed too far. As well, it is being used as a preventative measure to protect against any potential movement.