You’re spending time in your basement den, and you wonder if your eyes are playing tricks on you. Is that basement wall straight, or is it curved?
Bowed Basement Walls Are a Common Problem
Basement walls bow in when there is too much lateral pressure pushing on the foundation of your home. Basement walls were designed to support vertical loads from the weight of your house. When the soil surrounding your home expands and contracts, it exerts horizontal pressure on your basement walls – and sometimes the pressure is too much for the wall to withstand. This pressure can cause your walls to bow in or even to slide in at the top or bottom.
Bowing basement walls are important to fix in order to make your home safe and usable. Cracks in the block wall lets moisture and insects into your basement. In the following case inward wall movement made finishing this basement with framed rooms, very difficult.
Stopping Basement Wall Collapse in Sparta MI
Our team recently helped a homeowner in Sparta, Michigan with bowed basement walls. He noticed bulges behind the wood paneling. After exploring more areas along the unfinished portions of the basement, he noticed lots of horizontal cracking between the cinder block walls.
He contacted Kent Foundation Repair for an estimate and repair plan. We recommended installing 8 earth anchors to stabilize the walls and pull them back into position.
As we began installation, we found the best solution was to switch to 6 helical tiebacks in order to overcome extensive rubble and reach more competent soils outside the perimeter of the home.
How Tiebacks Work for Basement Wall Repair
In the above picture notice the steel plates installed on the inside of the basement wall holding the wall back from further inward movement. These steel plates are attached to helical piers installed through the basement wall at a downward angle into the outside soil. In order for this process to work well, the piers need to be drilled into solid soil.
Our superintendents have extensive field experience and they are able to problem-solve in the field to provide the very best solutions for our customers and save them money. We adapted our plan, and now the helical tiebacks are providing the exact support the basement walls need.
Depicted above are three of the six helical tiebacks fully installed as viewed from inside the basement. Using heavy-duty steel plates and piers, this basement wall isn’t going anywhere! The new mortar on the right is to fill in the gaps created when the concrete blocks bowed inward. On the left you can see some of those cracks still not filled.
As you can see, bowed basement walls made finishing this basement with internal framing very difficult without a vertical wall to attach the framing.