What are steel beams?
Steel beams are just that – steel beams that come in a variety of sizes and shapes. C channel beams, 3” I beams, and 4” I beams are typically used on foundations to strengthen the walls. The beams are placed against the wall, then held in place by wood framing that attaches to the joists at the top, and either a bolt at the bottom that is driven into the floor, or the floor is opened and the beam is attached to the footer.
One factor in steel beams is the expertise of the installation crew. If they are not experienced enough, the pressure can bow, crack or distort the joists where the beams have been attached. Also, since the beams are rigid, they will only touch the wall at one point – where the foundation wall is bowed the most. If installed correctly, they will add back pressure to the wall, discouraging it from moving any further.
How is StablWall different?
StablWall’s strength comes from its fibers that are bonded to the wall. This effectively makes the wall stronger than it was before, over a wider area – instead of just one point.
StablWall is very thin, and almost invisible once it is applied to a wall and painted over. A steel beam is very visible, and can stick out as much as 6 inches from the wall. Anyone wishing to finish their basement would have to stud out around the beams. With StablWall, there is no lost space.
StablWall is virtually invisible once it is painted over. Steel beams can only be masked by finishing the basement.
Steel beams look industrial, and accentuate the repairs made to a foundation wall. StablWall becomes part of the wall.
The strength of beams are only as strong as their points of attachment, which tend to be done with 2X4s and nails in the sub-flooring. StablWall is bonded to the wall, making the wall stronger.
With bowed walls, typically only the center portion of the beam will even be touching the wall. Stress applied from the wall is not spread out, but focused on middle 1-2 feet of beam.