Bowing walls do I need carbon fiber or is it a gimmick

Ok guys I need some advice I recently purchased a home built in 1962. We have moved in and the inspector caught that the walls were bowing in with about 2 inches of wall is sticking further out than normal. So cut to the chase had basement guys come out to do a quote. For $5,100! To install 17 carbon fiber strips to the wall. It’s leaking and inspector said the walls could be bowing bc of the two trees along my house which we can see a small root on corner of basement. Anyways there was water leaking from window bc gutter was leading straight to basement window. So I dug a temparary small trench down hill to have water from drains run away from house eventually will add piping/French drains also the bottom left corner of my basement away from the window that was leaking gutter water is leaking and can’t figure out where leak is coming from. Anyways I’m having. A tough decision on hiring these guys guys to come out and do work if maybe all I need to do is fix the outside? Help me out! Does carbon fiber need installed if there is already a 2 inch ledge sticking out from the normal wall. And it’s bowing

Read Mr Bubber’s posts, all of them, then decide

Fix from the outside

DO NOT waste your money on band-aids and false promises!
Hire a professional foundation contractor and get it repaired the right way!
BTW… you should have performed your research after the inspection was made and BEFORE making the purchase!

2 inch displacement on a block foundation wall is a failure.
Carbon Fiber is one form of repair.

The Inspector informed you of the deficiency present at the time of inspection.
It is unfortunate that you did not contract subsequent inspections based upon his findings.

Carbon fiber straps/strips do NOT remove/lessen expansive clay soil (weight, pressure against a wall) and underground roots from tress or concrete slabs that can settle/lean against a wall… they all cause cracks in walls (bowed walls) and subsequent water/seepage in basement.

Fairfax county gov, scroll down to… BAASEMENT WALL DAMAGE, cause and resolution
Read what they tell ya, in-part they say “To prevent future damage, the clay MUST be REMOVED and replaced with sandy-gravelly soils… and waterproofed on the exterior”

Do they tell anyone all that is needed is 69 carbon fiber straps and–or an interior knothead system? Nope.

They don’t mentioned underground tree roots… like this, short video, one of our jobs

See the big boy? The inside of this wall had a horizontal crack and vertical crack… see the outside of the wall? See the corner cracks? Installing carbon straps or wall anchors and an interior system and sump pump does NOT remove the roots or clay soil and doesn’t waterproof these EXTERIOR cracks.

Another one of our jobs, photo album… click lick then click photos to ENLARGE photos… see the horizontal crack on the inside?? And other cracks? Then see the exterior cracks etc.
Also eyeball the STUMP that was right against the foundation wall next to chimney, see that? lool See the exterior cracks caused by the stump?
Installing carbon fiber straps, wall anchors etc does NOT remove any of these problems NOR does doing anything inside waterproof the exterior cracks.

Short video, wall is bowed in… horizontal cracks and step and vertical cracks. YET, another interior basement drainage company installed a butt head interior system, still leaks… many thousands down the drain. Why would any supposed competent and honest company/contractor install this garbage when the problems-causes are on the outside!!

Carbon fiber straps are NOT a … ‘repair’, not in my experienced book

Digging shallow trenches on the outside and ploppin’ some lousy piping/drain tile/whatever won’t do squat but do what you like

IF a tree fell on your ROOF and caused damage to the roof… would you LEAVE duh tree on your roof and not repair the damage to the roof and instead hire some dork to install carbon straps or beams etc etc up in the attic and ummm maybe install some drain tiles and a sump pump in the attic???

Man that John Bubber has a real way of laying it out, but he is right. They are charging you for snake oil that will not fix the problem. for that price you should be able to correct the problem the right was (from the outside) making your home more stable into the future.


To give you some background, when I got my masters degree in structural engineering my professor Dr. Antonio Nanni was one of the top experts in the field of carbon fiber strengthening of existing structures. While I don’t claim to be an expert I do have enough experience to tell you carbon fiber can be used as an externally applied reinforcement on concrete and masonry walls, but residential basement walls that are bowing under soil or hydrostatic loads is not one of the applications I would recommend. If you read the American Concrete Institute manual ACI440.7R “Guide for the Design and Construction of Externally Bonded Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Systems for Strengthening Unreinforced Masonry Structures” you will see the testing and engineering needed to apply this material is probably not being done by these basement repair companies IMO.

Way to go Bubba;)

how is your recovery coming man? you 100% yet?

Afraid not Bubba. Took a turn for the worse on back pain and leg pain and Doctor took me out of work undergoing therapy, surgeon 2nd opinions and what not.
Looks like my attic and roof climbing days are over.

Hope all is good with you my friend. Stay dry and don’t get buried with the gophers. ;):slight_smile:

Damn Marcel, sorry to hear that!

I like them gophers, yeah, like all them fuzzy things including beavers, got milk?

Take care. :slight_smile:

All 2000? Can’t you read them and condense them into 100 words or less that is relevant to this post?

Marcel, hang in there, sorry to hear, I’ve been there too. Sometimes your body just needs a break. That helped me.

Also, consider giving that holistic stuff (like yoga) a try if you can. That helped me a lot. Also deep tissue massage. Hurts like crazy, but it can help break up muscle groups that have been seized or partially seized for years, preventing your body from realigning. If the muscles can relax, it can sometimes take the pressure off nerves.

always need to cry about something, sheesh k man… never a, ‘gee Bubb’s, thanks for taking the dang time to add to our forum as we happily welcome facts, videos from experienced contractors to help others’. Some would prolly applaud if I was an interior system moron from Colorado bs’ing people on here, right? Sure. J K, I post videos to HELP some peeps who are fishing around for honest information on their leaky basement. The posts/videos have helped some homeowners, do you have a problem with that?

Is this guy a bit redundant doing his video on basement mold risk assessment?
Could he have condensed the vid?

1:45… he says , behind him homeowner got water in…

Ok so since that area got water in and it’s finished you can do two things to identify the problem… one, remove some of the drywall so that one can see the basement wall which often provides clues/cause of water entering basement OR, run a water test with a hose on the outside of this area to deduce whether or not there is a crack etc in the foundation wall or opening above the basement wall that allows water in.