Few issues are as damaging in the long run as bowed walls. Nothing induces a dreadful feeling like noticing that a wall is starting to bulge or lean in an unnatural way. And besides, if there’s one thing we at HydroHelp911 know for sure, it’s that walls should be straight. So, when we see that they aren’t, it’s a solid assumption that something is seriously wrong. The astonishing thing is that there are more options for bowed walls than ever before. The worrying thing is that bowing walls are a part of a vicious circle. Other problems in your home can be caused by bowed walls.
A bowing foundation wall is a clear indication that your home requires foundation repair, according to basement bowed wall repair experts HydroHelp911. Faulty foundations have a direct impact on the safety and value of your home. If foundation problems are not addressed, they can worsen, and repair costs can skyrocket. In addition, if you ever needed to sell or refinance your home for emergency funds, foundation problems make it nearly impossible.
Indications of Buckling Foundation Walls
Foundation walls move inward due to expansive soils and hydrostatic pressure from the outside. However, foundation walls can crack due to various external factors, including foundation settlement. HydroHelp911’s foundation specialists will correctly identify the source of your home’s foundation issues.
- Cracking along the foundation walls that are horizontal or stair-step in nature.
- Corners of poured concrete foundation walls have diagonal cracking.
- Bowing or bulging inward along the walls.
- On the bottom, the walls are sliding inwards.
- At the top, the walls are tilting in.
- Wet, clay soils around the house, as well as damaged walls.
- Expansive clay soils surround the structure.
Basement Bowed Wall Repair Methods by HydroHelp911
- Carbon Fiber Straps
The best approach for repairing a basement bowed wall is to use carbon fiber straps. They are the least troublesome and generally the least costly to install. Even so, these are best suited for walls that are bowing inward by no more than 2 inches.
Such straps are epoxy-sealed to the wall and are protected at the top and bottom. In general, a belt must be placed every 4 feet all along the border. However, excavation is unnecessary as the installation can be completed entirely inside the basement. After you’ve finished the straps, you can even paint over them if you want.
- Wall Anchors
Wall anchors should be considered if your wall is bowing more than 2 inches. These are more expensive than straps for two reasons. First, they necessitate some digging outside your home (to place the anchor). Second, anchors are more outrageous than straps because they use steel components.
You’ll have at least 10 feet of accessible ground outside the basement to install an anchor. The basement wall is reinforced with a steel plate or channel. Another plate is buried in the yard, with a steel shaft attaching the two.
As the steel rod is clamped, it enforces pull on the wall, held in place by the anchor in the yard. Anchors should be installed approximately every 5 feet along the bowing wall.
- Helical Tiebacks
Helical tiebacks by HydroHelp911 are the best option if your wall is bowing too far for straps and your property agreement does not permit anchors. These are the most secure and expensive bowed basement wall repair methods. A steel shaft with helical (screw-like) plates on end is injected at an angle through the earth outside your foundation.
A large steel plate or channel is used to secure the shaft to the inside of the basement wall, and it is then warped to a specific torque that keeps it tight. Tiebacks are typically 14-21 feet long, but in some cases, longer lengths are required to achieve the proper “grip” on the soil.
- Straightening the wall.
According to foundation repair experts at HydroHelp911, repairing a bowed wall does not imply restoring it to its original position. However, wall straightening is an option if you want your previously bowed wall to be restored to its pre-bowing state. However, it is not a standard service for us at HydroHelp911 because it is more intrusive and costly to your home and property.
A bowed basement wall repair contractor from HydroHelp911 Basement Bowed Wall Repair will excavate outside of your foundation to access the exterior of the wall to straighten it. This relieves pressure on the foundation. The bowing wall will then be pushed back into place using hydraulic jacks within the basement.
If you inspect your basement regularly, it should be possible to perceive early signs of foundation wall bowing. Cracks and water leaks induced by unstable soil, water accumulation, or tree roots pressing from the outside are the most common signs of bowed walls.
Most of the time, creating cracks among concrete block basement walls follow the joints, likely to result in a “stair-step crack” or a horizontal crack roughly in the middle. In the meantime, cracks in poured concrete walls frequently follow a diagonal path from the edges into the center. In any case, when inevitable cracks appear and are merged with lateral loads from the outside, inward leaning and bowed walls are standard.
What Causes Walls to Bow?
Several factors, including:
Expansive soil- Not all soils are created equal. Expansive soils expand as they absorb water and contract as they dry. When the soil expands in the rainy season, it puts pressure on the foundation wall, which can cause bowing over time.
Water- saturated soil outside the foundation creates hydrostatic pressure, which pushes against the wall.
Frozen soil- Once soil freezes, it expands, putting pressure on the wall.
Lateral pressure on the exterior of the foundation wall- This can occur when a heavy vehicle, for example, is parked next to the wall.
The soils around your house can put a lot of strain on the foundation walls. The amount of pressure they apply is determined by four factors:
- The soil type around the foundation.
- The moisture content of the soil.
- The depth to which the foundation is buried.
- The weather conditions.
Outside stress is continuously exerted on your foundation walls; however, the only thing holding them up is the wall on its own. Hydrostatic pressure, expansive clay soil, and frost can impose sufficient pressure on walls to induce them to lean or collapse.
Downspouts and gutters can also contribute significantly to foundation wall problems by allowing large amounts of water to remain in the soil around your structure.
Watch this video to learn more.
When a wall bows or tilts inward more than 50% of its thickness – for example, an 8″ thick wall bowing in more than 4″ – the wall almost always needs to be demolished and replaced. As a result, if you see a crack or any movement in a wall, no matter how minor, you should contact a foundation repair professional right away for an inspection. Put another way, you should never leave a wall unrepaired to the stage where it becomes bowed. Any cracks or inward movement in a wall are not acceptable. The earlier you detect a foundation crack issue, the less expensive it will be to repair. It would help if you were also cautious around any wall with significant bowing or bulging.
If you’re thinking about buying a home with one or more bowing walls, hire an experienced foundation repair contractor or a structural engineer like HydroHelp911 to inspect it. They’ll be able to determine what’s necessary to fix it.
The HydroHelp911 foundation repair contractor will also be able to offer you an estimate of how much it will cost to repair the bowed basement wall damage. You can then factor this into your offer.
Remember that bowing walls are a sign of structural damage. Don’t ever buy a home with bowing basement walls unless you have it inspected by an experienced bowed basement wall repair professional like HydroHelp911 first.
It is most likely due to hydrostatic pressure if you have a bowing wall. When the ground around your home becomes saturated with water, this pressure builds up. When a large amount of water accumulates, it begins to “push” or exert pressure against the foundation walls. Hydrostatic pressure has taken several years to crack your basement wall in most cases.
This means that water has been a concern outside your house for a long time. If it hasn’t already managed to infiltrate your basement? You’ve been extremely fortunate because that much water pressure generally seeps into – and through – concrete.
If you’ve been experiencing water intrusion, you may require water drainage installation. Waterproofing will relieve pressure on your currently bowing wall and may prevent hydrostatic pressure from damaging your basement’s other walls in the future.