When basement walls are damaged, it’s typically due to external pressure from the soil surrounding the foundation. This happens when the weight of the soil becomes too great to be held back by the foundation wall. Although there are numerous reasons, the two most common are expansive clays and poor drainage. Whatever the cause, if you recognize any of the signs below you most likely are dealing with basement and foundation wall damage.
Signs of Basement and Foundation Wall Damage
TiltingYou will see a wall tilt when the top of the wall is being pushed inward by soil pressure.
BowingYour wall will bow when only one area of the wall has weakened and is being pushed inward.
CracksWhen a wall tilts or bows you will typically see cracks. If the wall is made from concrete block, the cracking will occur along joint lines between individual blocks.
Symptoms Of Bowing or Tilting Basement WallsThe symptoms of a bowing or tilting basement wall will vary depending on the type of construction.
- Horizontal cracks in mortar joints
- Stair-step cracks at outside corners
- Horizontal shearing at the bottom of the wall
- Tipping at the top of the wall
- Tipping of the wall
- Diagonal cracks at outside corners
- Vertical cracks in the wall
- Horizontal cracks in the wall
Repair MethodsSome of the common basement wall repair methods include; wall anchors, I-beams or wall reinforcement beams, carbon fiber straps, and helical anchors. To determine the most effective repair method for the specific problem in your home, it’s important to have an inspection done by a well-trained foundation repair expert.
Anchors Counteracting Soil PressureWall anchoring starts with connecting two steel pressure plates at the ends of a strong steel rod. The “outboard” pressure plate acts as an anchor in the soil, and the interior plate exerts the pressure to straighten and stabilize the damaged foundation wall. This clamping action occurs when a technician tightens a nut on the threaded end of the rod.
Why Fix It Now?It’s common knowledge that foundation wall issues do not repair themselves but rather worsen over time. If left unattended, the open cracks in the walls can be pathways for flooding water, pests, odors, and humidity. To avoid further damage such as unwanted water in your basement or a sunken home, it’s wise to act quickly and enlist the services of a foundation repair expert.
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At Foundation Technology, we offer permanent, warranted solutions to quickly and effectively fix your damaged basement and foundation walls.