Wall Damage Diagnosis

Kerotech is skilled in the examination, diagnosis and remediation of all wall types, both interior and exterior. Below are examples of walls we rectify:

Retaining Walls - Often found as part of a property's landscaping, retaining walls are built to resist lateral earth and (or) fluid pressures, including soil surcharge (a combination of vertical soil load with lateral force). Freestanding pool walls are also considered retaining walls. Cantilever retaining walls are usually constructed from reinforced concrete stems supported by a reinforced concrete base while segmental gravity walls generally consist of manufactured modular concrete segments layered in a running bond pattern without reinforcement. Retaining walls can even be built using rubber tires or railroad ties.

While useful and decorative, homeowners and buyers should not discount the potential hazards associated with the collapse of a retaining wall. For example, in May 2005, a 150-foot retaining wall section above Manhattan's Henry Hudson Parkway failed, burying parked cars, disrupting traffic and necessitating a detour for months around the repair project.

The forces weakening the masonry and concrete found in retaining walls include earth pressure (e.g., soil saturation and (or) expansion) and frost damage (i.e., cracking), which can lead to bowing, leaning or bulging of the wall. It should be recognized that when water accumulates behind a retaining wall, it adds considerable weight to the soil already present (soil surcharge).

Foundation Walls - can be subject to both vertical and horizontal movement. Vertical movement occurs when a wall footing subsides into soft soil, or shifts up or down when a wall or its footings is affected by frost or clay soils that expand or contract depending upon the increase or decrease of water content. Horizontal movement is usually due to external lateral force, which may cause a wall to lean, bow, bulge or shift (i.e., creep). Often a combination of vertical and horizontal wall movements occur simultaneously.

Spalling Concrete Block Walls & Foundations - per inspectapedia.com, "Spalling is defined as the flaking off or loss of material in masonry block, brick, concrete or other masonry structures, usually caused by the action of freezing water that has penetrated the masonry surface." The damage caused by spalling to concrete walls and foundations range from cosmetic to catastrophic. The latter─ indicative of structural damage─ may well be dangerous and costly to repair. Spalling is often found on chimneys, pilasters and veneer walls constructed of concrete or masonry blocks.

Drainage Problems ─ without adequate drainage, walls can be destroyed by lateral and vertical earth pressures as well as pressure induced by frost and wet soils. "Weep holes" are commonly installed on the face of retaining walls but must be kept clean and free-running in order to facilitate proper drainage.

Kerotech employs a variety of repair techniques to remediate wall failure. These include replacing cracked and (or) broken foundation masonry and concrete with carbon fiber/Kevlar strapping, wall anchor systems and foundation wall supports. We are experts in the use of cutting-edge composite materials that remediate the condition of legacy masonry and concrete walls and foundations.