If your stem wall repair contractor tries to tell you the preferred method of repairing rusted rebar stem wall includes sealing the stem wall, don’t believe it.
Recently, we performed a cosmetic stem wall repair on a home. Although the structural replacement of the corroding rebar performed perfectly, the other area of cosmetic patch did not with the surface patch de-bonding. There were several lessons learned on this project.
First, the reason for failure: excess moisture. We have patched thousands of stem walls with excess salts (calcium chloride) in the soil with no de-bonding of the surface patch. In this particular case, excess moisture transmission of the water from the below-grade concrete to the above grade stem wall deposited those salts between the original concrete and our patch, causing areas of the patch to de-bond.
The lesson already known, but consistently to be remembered: controlling excess moisture is critical to foundation performance. Grading and drainage, repair of leaking pipes and similar actions are key items to be done.
The matter resulted in the homeowner stacking up the testimonies and repair statements of several prominent valley foundation repair contractors and experts, all of whom testified that the way to fix this problem was to waterproof the entire stem wall. The problem with that is moisture could still come in from the footing, and the back side of the stem wall. And if you seal the only exposed face of the stem wall, you in effect seal in the moisture with no escape.
Apparently the adjudicator agreed with our experts and ruled in our favor.
The NeveRust Stem Wall System removes the corroding steel from stem walls and replaces it with patented composite reinforcing systems - rebar, hold down straps, and shoring jacks that will not rust - negating the need for waterproofing and thus eliminating the problem of sealing in moisture.
If your stem wall repair contractor tries to tell you that the preferred method of repairing rusted rebar stem wall includes sealing the stem wall, don’t believe it…… it has been proven irrelevant and perhaps counterproductive.
Introspectively, we could do a much better job of communicating about what our systems do and what they don’t as well as emphasizing better the homeowner responsibilities of controlling excess moisture. And if we suspect there are excess moisture problems, we will exercise more diligence in warning our customers ahead of time. Although frankly if the homeowner had installed our patented moisture mitigation system, as our engineer recommended, the moisture would have likely been mitigated.
I want to hear from you! Leave me a question or comment below.