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Foundation Repair - Carbon Fiber is Ideal for Basement Wall Reinforcement

Friday, January 13th, 2023 by Aaron Stull

Carbon fiber is a material that has been used in various industries for decades, but it is only recently that it has been utilized to reinforce residential basement foundation walls. The material is known for its strength, durability, and lightweight properties, making it an ideal choice for reinforcing foundations. Additionally, it does not rust or decay over time like steel or other metals.


Carbon Fiber is Ideal for Basement Wall Reinforcement - Image 1


Carbon fiber is made from carbon atoms that are tightly bound together to form a strong and lightweight material. The material is five times stronger than steel and twice as stiff, yet it is only a fraction of the weight of steel. This makes it an ideal choice for reinforcing foundations, as it can provide the necessary strength while minimizing the added weight.  This allows the product to lay flat on the wall, unlike steel buttresses or wall anchors which have an outward projection off of the profile of the wall.  Most carbon fiber straps are as thick as two dimes, whereas steel beams and anchors tend to come off the wall 4-inches or more.  This gives carbon fiber an added advantage if you intend to paint or finish over the wall.



The use of carbon fiber to reinforce residential basement foundation walls began in the early 2000s. This was when companies, such as Supportworks, began to develop carbon fiber products specifically designed for this purpose. One of the most notable products is CarbonArmor carbon fiber, which is a product developed by Supportworks.

CarbonArmor carbon fiber is a type of carbon fiber system that is designed to be applied to the walls of residential basements. The system is made up of carbon fiber fabric that is impregnated with a special epoxy resin. The fabric is then applied to the walls of the basement and cured, creating a strong and durable reinforcement. The carbon fiber fabric is also able to withstand the movement of the soil around the foundation and prevent cracking.  


Not all carbon fiber reinforcement systems are the same. The advantage of a CarbonArmor is the design evolution over the years to accommodate the unique loading and shape of residential foundation walls and the certification requirement of product installers. Supportworks has an entire engineering department dedicated to product enhancement to ensure the very best for your home.  Sure, all carbon fiber reinforcement products leverage the tensile strength of carbon fiber, but it is the installation of the product that makes all of the differences.  The straps must be adhered to a wall, so the type and viscosity of the epoxy is of paramount importance. Additionally, the strap should be secured to the first floor framing to ensure connection and the ability to fully utilize the compressive weight of the home for additional reinforcement advantage. Low end straps usually do not do this and are vulnerable in some cases.  



Keystone Basement Systems has Supportworks certified installers of CarbonArmor who are required to pass initial training as well as continuing education at regular intervals.


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One of the main benefits of using CarbonArmor carbon fiber to reinforce residential basement foundation walls is that it can be applied to both new and existing foundations. This means that homeowners do not have to tear down their existing foundations and start from scratch in order to strengthen them. Additionally, CarbonArmor carbon fiber can be applied in a relatively short amount of time, minimizing disruption to the homeowner.


Carbon Fiber is Ideal for Basement Wall Reinforcement - Image 3


Another benefit of using CarbonArmor carbon fiber is that it is resistant to moisture and mold. This is important in basement environments where moisture and mold can be a problem. The carbon fiber reinforcement also allows the foundation to be more resistant to settling and cracking, which can lead to major structural problems.



Overall, the use of carbon fiber to reinforce residential basement foundation walls has become increasingly popular in recent years. Products such as CarbonArmor carbon fiber from Supportworks have made it possible for homeowners to strengthen their foundations without having to tear them down and start from scratch. Carbon fiber's strength and durability make it an ideal choice for reinforcing foundations and its resistance to moisture and mold makes it a great option for basement environments.

About the author
Aaron Stull is a second generation foundation repair specialist from the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

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