Removing foundation ties.There are all sorts of safety hazards around a home that may not be obvious to everyone, but that should be addressed to ensure safety. Hiring a home inspector to check a home for these not so obvious safety issues can help to protect you and your family when buying a new home, or even in a home you already own.

A common but not so obvious safety hazard found in homes with concrete foundation walls is protruding foundation ties. Foundation ties are pieces of sheet metal, nails, rebar or wires that are used during construction to hold concrete forms in place when concrete is poured to form the foundation wall. When the forms are removed, the foundation ties should also be removed from the concrete surface, but they are often left in place. This may be a result of a “not my job” mentality when workers are finishing up their project. Good building practice would require removal of the foundation ties. If they are not removed, the protruding metal could puncture or cut occupants. Children may be especially at risk of injury when foundation ties are present at the foundation wall.

How to remove foundation ties after a home inspection.Foundation ties that have been left in place are not only a safety hazard, but also a cosmetic issue. Having lots of metal pieces protruding from a foundation gives an unfinished look, and when the metal corrodes, rust stains can form on the foundation and make the home appear to be damaged or run down.

In some cases, corroded metal embedded in concrete could cause the concrete to crack. Since corrosion makes the metal expand, concrete can crack when the expanding metal builds up pressure inside the concrete. Over time cracks could grow larger, which could lead to water intrusion issues, and possibly foundation structural issues.

Most homeowners could probably tackle removal of foundation ties, but in some cases, it may require special tools and the help of a licensed professional. Always wear proper personal protective equipment and hire a professional if necessary. Check out the video below about how to remove foundation ties.