Commercial Services Case Studies: Strengthening a Stone Wall Foundation in Grand Rapids, MI
Arwen bought his new home while his son was preparing to move to Grand Valley State University (GVSU) for his first year of college. During this transition, he hadn't considered the implications of buying a home with a stone foundation. Within the first three months of moving, he noticed that his basement walls were literally crumbling. Buying a home can be an exhilarating process but, it is imperative to be aware of the possible problems of buying an older home because he was losing precious family time and money.
Today it is uncommon to build homes with a stone foundation. However, they were regularly built within communities during the early nineteen-hundreds prior to advancements in civil engineering. Over the years, water erosion and the sheer weight of the home has caused stone foundations to gradually decompose. Arwen found himself in the middle of this predicament when preparing to move his son into college. To preserve the structural integrity of his new home and spend more time with his son, he called us.
We began an in-depth process of inspecting the severity of the issue and created a plan to help solve it. When dealing with disintegrating stone walls we implement a process called shotcrete. In a nutshell, shotcrete is when we attached a sturdy layer of concrete to the existing wall to stabalize the foundation. To do this, we first measure the area of the basement because shotcrete will thicken the walls which decreases the size of the overall space by a few inches. However, strenghtening the foundation dramatically increases the longevity and usage of the home.
Then, we fasten a metal, fence like, frame to the wall to act as a bridge to the new support system (the fresh concrete). The picture on the right shows what this framework looks like when it is locked on. The concrete is then sprayed onto the stone wall with a high-powered hose by our foreman, Lee. Throughout this process, he sprays the wall, pauses to smooth it out, and then begins spraying it again until the entire space is filled. Lee worked diligently to produce a sleek, finished wall in the homeowner's house.
A photo of a wet finished look is shown on the right. After 48-72 hours, the newly refurbished shotcrete wall will be dry. Arwen successfully stabilized his home and freed up more space for him to enjoy his family and new home. Check out the photo gallery link below for an extensive look at the process.
The stone foundation in Arwen's home has flooded his basement months into buying the home. Consider the implications a stone foundation when buying a home.
The wire framing that will be concealed indefinitely after we cover it with the stabalizing concrete
The wet finished look of shotcrete; concrete that has been sprayed over a stone wall.