torquing wall anchors

anothermoneypitMay 28, 2007

I'm right and my husband is wrong. But I could be mistaken about that, so I would much appreciate opinions, suggestions, and even "Lady, you're crazy" comments.

Background: A 1970 ranch with full basement. Many years (probably decades) ago, one of the basement walls started bowing in. On the floor above the bowed area you can tell where the floor kind of drops down a little bit starting from the center support of the house towards the bowed wall. Not a big deal, but it's there. The original owners installed six vertical steel beams over a 47-foot wall to stabilize it. The beams are anchored in the concrete foundation and are bolted to the joists above. About two years ago, the second owners made some improvements to the house and had eight Grip-Tite earth anchors installed to help stabilize the walls better and maybe pull the wall back into place a little.

We bought the house about eight months ago and shortly thereafter cut down the huge willow oak that stood not ten feet from the bowed section of the basement wall. This summer, when the soil is at its driest, we're having the earth anchors torqued to see if we can get the wall to move a little more.

So here's my concern: It seems to me that unless we remove the bolts that tie the the vertical steel beams to the joists, it won't do any good to torque the earth anchors. Because the original vertical beams were installed after the wall bowed and after the floor settled upstairs, the beams are going to hold the floor exactly where it is now and not allow the wall to be pulled back out (and therefore up) when we torque the earth anchors. The vertical beams will be working against the torquing of the earth anchors. Make sense?

My husband got a panicked look on his face when I made the suggestion. I think he thinks our basement wall might collapse. I say hogwash! The vertical beams were just the first attempt to stabilize the wall--the earth anchors are doing the job now.Two of the vertical steel beams aren't even touching the basement wall since the earth anchors were installed. I told him nothing bad is going to happen if we remove the bolts just long enough to torque the darn earth anchors.

Am I wrong? Is catastrophe just waiting for me to loosen those bolts?



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Carol - If the beams are attached to the concrete floor and floor joists above in a way that does not allow the floor above to move up slightly when the bolts are tightened then you would be correct that they may work against you. I would try tightening a couple Grip-Tites then removing the bolts from the closest beam or beams and seeing if the Grip-Tites can then be tightened more, proving that the beams were holding them back. I think you are right, but I probably would remove all the bolts at once, just in case. Just my thought. --Rick

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 11:02PM
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Thanks Rick. We're having it done in August, and I'll try to remember to let you know how it goes.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 2:56PM
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