Say you are outside doing yard work, and you notice a bit of crumbled concrete next to your house’s foundation, or you see cracks. Is it a big deal? Yes, it can be if not remedied. The part of the house’s foundation that you can see is the stem wall, and it’s an integral part of the building’s structure. Bob Brown, owner, Arizona Foundation Solutions, a Rosie-Certified Partner, walks us through stem wall failure and repair.
What is a stem wall?
Understanding what a stem wall is first requires knowledge about the three basic foundation types:
- Basement Foundations
- Crawl Space Foundations
- Concrete Slab Foundations
Stem walls are a part of the slab foundation system. A building’s stem wall attaches the walls of the home to the foundation. Stem walls are often composed of concrete and rebar. Given enough time and the right conditions, many stem walls will fail regardless of how well they were constructed. Variables such as moisture (either from the weather or landscape) may cause oxidation of the rebar contained within the home’s stem wall.
Symptoms of stem wall failure.
Symptoms of stem wall failure may include cracking (vertical and horizontal), concrete crumbling at the stem wall, concrete spalling (flaking) at the stem wall, and erosion.
What causes stem wall failure?
Stem wall failure is caused by chloride ion exchange in the moisture-laden pores of the concrete that facilitates the oxidation of the rebar. Once started, it is rather difficult to stop with traditional means. Sealing the crack with epoxy will not prevent the rebar from continuing to oxidize and expand.
Cracks may start small. They are a result of the rebar oxidizing (rusting). This occurs because the pores of the concrete contain minuscule amounts of water that actually conduct electricity, forming a tiny current between the rebar and the outside of the concrete wall. This current facilitates a flow of chloride ions that cause the rebar to rust. Eventually, the rebar grows large enough to break the concrete out completely on its own, causing total failure. Don’t ignore the warning signs! The good news is that it can be repaired.
Why do most stem wall repairs fail?
Foundation wall cracks generally stem from the porous nature of concrete, which allows moisture to build up and oxidize. This oxidation causes expansion and cracks that gradually grow and worsen over time.
There are a couple of traditional repair options used in these cases including:
- Patching the cracks
- Epoxy injection/coating
- Standard Rebar Replacement
- Rebar Replacement with Epoxy Coating
- Waterproof Coatings
Unfortunately, all of these methods have issues. While they might solve the problem for a brief period, the oxidation will eventually recur. Cracking will begin again, or old cracks will reopen. While there are other methods too, like electrical cathodic protection systems which, is a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface, these methods have their own problems. Notably, electrical cathodic protection systems are very effective at stopping oxidation. However, they are costly, running roughly $20,000 to $30,000, and designed for power plants and other industrial facilities, not homes.
There really hasn’t been a cost-effective and reliable stem wall repair system for residential use. At least until now.
NeveRust® Stem Wall Repair System
Horizontal cracks sometimes form on the outside foundation walls of buildings. While they might start small, they are usually the result of the rebar oxidizing and will eventually spall and split if ignored. If you’ve seen these cracks then you have to make sure you have stem wall repairs done right away!
However, most stem wall repair systems have serious problems. Most notably, they too will rust and oxidize, eventually nullifying their benefits. Luckily, Arizona Foundation Solutions can help. Their proprietary NeveRust® Stem Wall Repair System, which claims to never rust, will keep your building safe for years to come.
What makes NeveRust® Stem Wall Repair System special?
NeveRust® is the reliable and cost-effective stem wall repair system that residential homes have always needed. This system is engineered and exclusively available through Arizona Foundation Solutions. NeveRust® is:
- Rust-free and non-corrosive: The NeveRust® system uses a composite material that is non-corroding. While replacement rebars often fail when they oxidize, this isn’t a problem with the NeveRust® system.
- Environmentally friendly: The rust-free nature of NeveRust® also helps make it environmentally friendly. Since there is no rust, it won’t stain the stem wall or leach into surrounding soils, plants, or water.
- Lifetime Warranty: The NeveRust system has a lifetime warranty against rust, which is transferable should the home change ownership.
Click here to view a video of stem wall repair using the NeveRust® system.
The average cost of a repair using the NeveRust® system runs $2,000 and covers approximately 20 feet of repair work.
Bottom line: Don’t ignore cracks, crumbling concrete, or anything related to the foundation. Your whole house literally depends on a strong, sturdy, and solid foundation.
The part of the house’s foundation that you can see is the stem wall. It’s an integral part of the building’s structure. Bob Brown, owner of Arizona Foundation Solutions, walks us through stem wall failure and the fix he developed called The Never Rust Stem Wall Repair System. He explains the process and how steel rebar can cause moisture build up leading to a crack in the concrete and replaced with composite rebar. Watch the video above for a more detailed explanation or tune-in below!
SPONSORED BY: ARIZONA FOUNDATION SOLUTIONS
Arizona Foundation Solutions serves the Greater Phoenix & Statewide areas, providing long-term solutions for structures with foundation problems. Owner, Robert Brown brings over 30 years of construction experience. He is LEED Accredited and one of 2 Certified Foundation Repair Specialists (CFRS) in the State of Arizona. CFRS is a Designation of the Foundation Repair Association. Arizona Foundation Solutions also performs radon testing and radon mitigation in Arizona.