Not every home has a basement, but plenty of residences in cold climates do. Basements can be a fun recreational area for you and your family, providing you with an escape or an opportunity to expand an in-law suite. Anyone who lives in an area prone to flooding can attest when something goes wrong with your basement, it can go really wrong.
However, the most common issue you’ll be facing is bowed basement walls. This happens when the foundation of the house curved inward, forming a bow. Excessive lateral pressure on the exterior causes the foundation walls to bend and bow. When the load is too much, the walls start to warp, crack, or even break. It is important to repair these walls as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
How to Repair Bowed Basement Walls
For those who are dealing with bowed basement walls, it is crucial to get in touch with a company that has extensive experience with bowed basement wall repair methods. The following techniques can be used to repair bowed basement walls.
- Wall Anchors. Anchors stop inward movement. With the use of wall anchors, the load on the basement walls spreads evenly throughout the height of the wall.
- Carbon Fiber Wall. Carbon fiber is a high-strength fabric material that is robust, never stretching or breaking easily. Carbon fiber wall supports connect to the foundation base and house framing. The carbon fiber will be fastened to the sill plate with a galvanized bracket. The plate secures to the foundation floor with a carbon fiber pin. There is no deterioration, which helps in an even distribution of outside pressure.
- Wall Brace. Soil pressure and movement can bring damage to the foundation walls that leads to bowing. Wall braces help counteract stress. The wall brace is a structural tension loaded, steel I-beam system that helps in strengthening the concrete walls. Wall braces are a suitable alternative when wall plates aren’t available.
Bowed basement wall repair methods need to be handled by professionals. If you’ve noticed your basement walls are beginning to look a little off, you won’t be able to take care of it entirely on your own. A team of repair experts will need to analyze the situation and do their best to correct it depending on the specific cause.
Causes of Bowing Walls
- Hydrostatic pressure. Pressure caused by the accumulation of water in the surrounding soil can cause walls to bow. Hydrostatic pressure exerts force against the walls.
- Expansive clay soils. If there is clay soil around the property, then it can expand and contract as the ground moisture increases or decreases.
- Frost. If you notice your walls bowing more in the winter, this might be why. When the soil against the wall freezes, it expands and applies pressure on the basement walls.
If you’ve noticed your walls bowing and you have concerns, don’t hesitate. Reach out to Kent Foundation Repair immediately and we’ll send someone out to examine your home, assess the best means of repair, and help you get back to enjoying your basement.