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Carbon Fiber Structural Reinforcement in Conjunction with Piering and Foundation Stabilization

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

This week's project highlights how Carbon Fiber Reinforcement was utilized on a foundation underpinning project, in order to provide confinement strength over a large vertical foundation crack prior to stabilizing the the structure with helical piers.

Carbon fiber surface preparation CSP-3 for FRP application on structural crack
Structural Concrete Crack in Foundation - Surface Preparation prior to Carbon Fiber Application

From lifting over 700 homes a year throughout the state of Washington, R&R Foundation Specialist understand's the variable factors of foundation stabilization and have a reputation for providing thorough structural repair solutions. When it came to lifting and correcting the settlement on this Seattle home, one of the helical piers needed to be installed directly beneath the location of the large vertical crack to address the differential settlement and prevent the foundation from sinking further. From R&R's experience on similar projects, there were concerns that the foundation crack could worsen or pull apart during the process of stabilizing the foundation and correcting the settlement.

To address this problem R&R determined that the crack should be reinforced using the 12” wide SRS-660 Bidirectional Carbon Fiber. This important step provides over 35,000 lbs per sq/ft of confinement strength to structurally bond the foundation back together. This type of repair prevents the crack from spreading apart therefore limiting the deflection on each side of the break during the lift. Since the foundation crack was the initial cause of concern to the homeowner, this permanent reinforcement solution provides complete peace of mind that the crack has been properly addressed.

Carbon fiber foundation crack repair prior to lifting and stabilizing the house foundation
Structural foundation crack filled with hydraulic cement prior to FRP Application

The carbon fiber strap location was prepared by grinding the surface of the concrete to remove the paint, open the pores of the block and expose the aggregate. This process is required to promote high bond strengths with the SRS-1000 epoxy. Next the crack was packed and filled using hydraulic cement to create an even surface profile prior to the carbon fiber application. Next, the Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer or CFRP was installed and left to cure for 24 hours prior to the foundation being lifted. With the added strength of the repair the foundation was successfully raised the next day without concern that it would be lifted unevenly.

Another added benefit to this structurally bonded surface mounted repair solution is that carbon fiber reinforced polymer, or CFRP, creates a barrier impervious to water intrusion. This added layer of protection seals to the surface of the foundation to prevent any water from leaking into the adjacent crawlspace. Due to the ultra thin profile of the carbon fiber, it can be painted to blend in with the existing foundation finish.

Foundation underpinning with carbon fiber structural crack reinforcement
SRS-660 Bidirectional Carbon Fiber Applied Over Structural Crack Prior to Lifting the Foundation

If you need assistance on any concrete repair or reinforcement projects, or if you're looking to learn how to expand your repair capabilities with Carbon Fiber, reach out to setup a webinar and go through the vast applications where CFRP can be used for foundation repair and more.


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