If a homeowner is a stickler for aesthetics, one might imagine they may have an issue with little pieces of metal sticking out of their foundation wall, but is there a more insidious reason why they might be concerned about this phenomenon? The Crackman answers.
Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Man himself, Rich Comeras. Rich has 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and over 25 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: Can little pieces of metal sticking out of my foundation cause a problem?
Narrator: So Rich, if a homeowner is a stickler for aesthetics, I imagine they may have an issue with little pieces of metal sticking out of their foundation wall. But is there a more insidious reason why they might be concerned about this phenomenon?
Rich: Yes, first of all, let’s go over what they are. These are called tie rods or snap ties, and it’s used on the construction phase of a poured concrete foundation. What they do is they put up the wood that’s called forms. Forms just don’t stand up by themselves, they need a little piece of metal to hold them in place. They’re not very big, maybe an eighth of an inch, quarter of an inch, but they do protrude beyond the concrete.
When the forms are up, they pour the concrete and then they’re supposed to snap these metal ties and push the wood apart, so you have a nice concrete wall. But some builders forget to snap these metal rods out and they can stick out about all six inches or so. They can be on the outside or the inside. Now why they’re important to snap off and to address is because these tie rods, if you’re walking by it can cut your leg. And pretty badly too. They usually get rusted, so you got a tetanus situation there. So what you do is re-snap them off on the outside, and on the inside, a good builder will fill them in with a good butyl caulking or something so that air doesn’t get to it.
If air gets to steel that has moisture, it’s going to rust, and when it rusts, it gets smaller, and when it gets smaller, what happens is there’s a void between the concrete and the metal tie rod. This is a great place for water to come in. So, we get this call fairly often, probably four, five times a month anyway, and this month we got one in Shrewsbury and we also got one in Melrose and they actually had these tie rods poking out.
If you take a look at the picture that is going to be on our website, you could take a look at and see if you have that issue, and if they do leak, it’s not the end of the world, we can fix them with a permanent solution and give you a warranty on it. So, watch out for those tie rods.
Narrator: Great information, Rich. Thanks for explaining what these little pieces of metal sticking out of a foundation wall are, and what can be done about them.
Narrator: If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at email@example.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.