Steel Beam Basement Wall Support

 All you might ever want to know about steel beams and how they work

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Building a house that is stable and long-lasting is a challenging task! However, it’s not always possible to find the best and ideal ground for construction. If your house is standing on unstable soil, like soils with high content of clay, you will soon need to stabilise the walls to avoid problems with your basement!

In this article, we will learn more about one of the wall-stabilising methods that require the use of steel beams. You will discover how this basement wall stabilization approach works and when it might be helpful. Also, we will share some details on this subject should you get curious and want to learn more! Of course, you might not become as knowledgeable and skilled as professional constructors afterwards, but at least you will better understand what this method is about. So, let’s start now!

Why Would I Need Steel Beams to Support My Basement Walls?

If your house is standing on land that is river bottom and the soil is all clay, it is likely to become one of the candidates for foundation work! Such soils lead to the need for drainage and waterproofing, foundation jacking, or wall repair because most of the houses built on this heavy soil are unstable.

Steel beams supporting basement walls
By vista.com

Also, the type of your basement walls matters. Many of the homes that were built in the post­ World War II period have block basements. These block basements are often laid with no grout or rebar in the cores. But even homes that have stone foundations are also vulnerable to buckling inward from soil pressure! Even many poured concrete basement walls can tip inward if the soil contains a lot of clay.

What does it have to do with the steel beams? Well, to fix the basement walls, they often have to be torn out and rebuilt. This is especially true for the stone and block basement walls. However, that’s a lot of work to do and a lot of money and time to spend! This is why, if the walls of your basement haven't moved too far, it might be more effective (and easier) to reinforce them in place using basement steel beams.

What Hazards Can Steel Basement Beams Prevent?

Iron beams propped up in the basement of the house
By vista.com

As we have already said, steel beams are used to reinforce your basement walls if the house sits on clay soil or any other kind of unstable and moving soil. And you should not neglect this stabilising method since such a location can lead to severe damage to the building!

The most common wall problems that homeowners face include the following:

  • Cracked walls
  • Leaned walls
  • Sinking house
  • Buckling inward due to soil pressure

If you leave these issues unattended, they can lead to the house collapsing!

Benefits of Foundation Beam Support

If you realize that your basement walls need steel beams to support them, you might want to know how beneficial this stabilization method is. Below, we have provided you with several essential perks you get when using steel foundation support beams in your basement.

  • Steel beams have an expected lifetime of several hundred years!
  • The strongest steel beam brackets are used for this kind of basement wall support.
  • By stabilizing basement walls with steel beams, you will help your basement walls stand strong against the pressures of soil.
  • Steel beam basement wall support helps you restore structural integrity to a foundation wall.
  • Steel foundation beams allow you to prevent any further bowing or bulging of the wall.

Using steel beam foundation reinforcement is a remarkable and relatively simple way of extending your house’s lifespan and safety. This pre-engineered method is effective and serves as a permanent solution that will not require tiresome construction work and hiring a team of professionals. With this method, you can quickly repair bowed, sheared and tipped walls and restore them with just one product!

How Steel Beam Foundation Support Is Installed

Generally, there is no need for a homeowner to know the precise sequence of actions and steps needed for installing the steel beams to support the basement walls. This part of the job will be done by a professional worker. 

However, we find it helpful to let you know how this job is done. This way, you will have a general understanding of the process. When you know at least approximately how this method works, you can better understand all the benefits and perks you get by using it!

So, how does it all work? The overall scheme is pretty simple.

  • The steel beams are cut to fit the correct height and meet your basement dimensions.
  • To hold the steel beam in place, the floor plate is mounted to the floor.
  • Structural steel beams are placed vertically every 5 – 6 inches against the foundation wall.
  • Then, these beams are held in place using special steel brackets. The brackets are installed below at the footer and above at the joists.
  • The brackets are then tightened, which allows transferring pressure from the beam to the wall.

Being reinforced this way, your basement walls can last much longer, even if the house sits on clay soil!

Now you know why you might want to consider reinforcing your basement walls with steel beams. This method is widely used in states with clay soil since houses built on such land are prone to all kinds of wall damage, from cracks to bending! 

This is why, in order to ensure your house is safe and stable, we recommend you consider steel beams! They are made of very durable materials and can last very long, which means you need to install them once and be sure your house is stabilized. Moreover, now that you know what this method is used for and how it works, you can clearly see what you get by installing supportive steel beams in your basement to keep its walls in place.

 

Rough framing is an essential part of building construction. This stage involves creating the frame or skeleton of the building, which will serve as the foundation for all other stages of construction. Rough framing is often called "stick framing," which refers to the method of using pieces of lumber to create the structure.

The goal of rough framing is to create a solid and stable structure that can support the weight of the building, including the roof, floors, and walls. During this stage, workers will install the framing members, which include the floor joists, wall studs, and roof trusses. They will also install the sheathing, which is the material that covers the exterior of the frame. Rough framing is important because it sets the stage for all other stages of construction, including electrical and plumbing work, insulation, and finishing work.

It is crucially important to ensure that rough framing is done correctly. Any mistakes made at this stage can lead to significant problems later on. For example, if the frame is not properly aligned, it can cause doors and windows to stick, and walls to crack. A poorly constructed frame can also lead to structural issues that can compromise the safety and stability of the building. For this reason, it is important to hire experienced professionals who have the knowledge and expertise needed to ensure that the rough framing is done correctly.

Links on this topic to authoritative sources:
  1. Foundation (engineering) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_(engineering)
  2. Stabilizing Basement Walls with Steel I-Beams : https://pro.homeadvisor.com/article.show.Stabilizing-Basement-Walls-with-Steel-I-Beams.13691.html

Frequently Asked Questions

What Purpose Does A Steel Beam Serve In Basement Wall Support?

The primary role of a steel beam in basement wall support is to reinforce the structure. They prevent the walls from bowing or collapsing due to the building's weight.

How Can I Tell If I Need A Steel Beam For Basement Wall Support?

Indications of the need for additional support with steel beams might include bowing basement walls or signs of distress like cracking or moisture infiltration.

Is It Possible To Self-Install A Steel Beam For Basement Support?

While it is possible for a DIY enthusiast to install a steel beam, the process requires a thorough understanding of structural engineering and adherence to building codes. It is highly recommended to seek professional assistance.

What Is The Installation Process For A Steel Beam In A Basement?

Installing a steel beam involves measuring and cutting the beam to fit, positioning it correctly, and securing it to the floor and joists using appropriate fasteners.

What Is The Expected Lifespan Of A Steel Beam In A Basement?

Steel beams are incredibly durable. If correctly installed and maintained, they can last for many decades.

What Distinguishes A Foundation Support Beam From Other Beams?

Foundation support beams are specifically designed to support the building's weight and prevent structural shifting, while other beams might have diverse functions including aesthetics or partitioning.

Are There Alternatives To Steel Beams For Basement Support?

Yes, alternatives such as helical screw anchors and concrete pillars exist, but steel beams often offer superior support and longevity

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