What Causes Basement Walls To Bow?

2 May 2018
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You may think your eyes are playing tricks on you when it looks like your basement wall is bowed or that the concrete blocks have shifted. Those are actually signs of foundation problems that you need to have repaired before the wall cracks, and the structure of your home is in peril. Here's a look at what causes basement walls to shift and how a contractor might make repairs.

What Causes Basement Walls To Bow Or Shift?

Knowing what causes the problem is important so the right type of repair can be done and to stop further shifting. It might be due to increased pressure on the wall from saturated soil. If you have a downspout that drains near the foundation, that might be the cause of the excess water and increased pressure. Another cause could be a big tree root pushing against the wall or lifting the foundation. A shift in the foundation can also affect the walls in your basement. A foundation can shift due to changes in the soil underneath it. An increase in water or a drought can change the condition of the soil and lead to foundation problems.

How A Damaged Foundation Might Be Repaired

Once the cause is known and repairs have been made, repairs can be done to the foundation. One possibility is installing steel beams against the inside of the affected wall. This braces the wall and prevents further movement. Attaching an anchor is another approach. This not only stops the wall from shifting further out of place, but it also helps pull the wall back into position gradually. An anchor is placed outside and attached to a plate on the inside wall. Tension on the plate slowly pulls the wall back to its original position.

If the foundation slab is shifted, it might be elevated back into place by pumping concrete slurry underneath it. It might be necessary to sink piers instead that support the foundation and slowly elevate it back into position, which can help move the walls back into position too.

Your basement foundation contractor will decide on the best way to make repairs that keep your house safe. You may need to combine methods for the best results. Any time you see cracks in your foundation or concrete blocks that appear to be shifted, call a contractor for an inspection right away so you can stop the progression of the damage. Simple cracks are not always a cause for alarm, but it's better to be safe, especially when the damage affects a wall that supports your home.

For more information, contact your local basement foundation repair service today.