Repairing Bowed Walls

Bowed Walls Repaired

Bowed walls can be caused by different things. Block walls and poured foundation walls can bow when the soil outside the wall puts pressure against it. This pressure can increase when water swells the clays in the soil and expands.

A block wall will show signs of stair step cracks in the corners of the foundation and usually a long horizontal crack near the center of the wall. This usually indicates that the block wall is bowing in due to the lateral load against it. Sometimes a poured wall will crack and bow due to soil pressure against it. Concrete is very good at compression strength but not so strong with tensile strength. This is why builders will install rebar within the concrete wall.

There are several ways to repair a bowed wall depending on your budget and, also, the severity of the problem. Here is a list of the most common solutions to a bowed wall:

1) Carbon Fiber Straps – Installing carbon fiber straps embedded in an epoxy resin can add support to a block or poured concrete wall.

2) Wall Tie Backs – These are helix anchors that are vertically screwed into the earth around the foundation wall. A plate is attached on the inside of the basement wall to help support the bowed wall. If a full recovery is desired we would need to remove the soil from against the outside of the wall so that the wall could be torqued back to where it once was.

3) Some bowed walls are caused by the foundation settling, also, so it may need to have brackets and piles installed to prevent the foundation from downward movement.

4) Part of the solution to repairing a bowed wall is to deal with the reasons it bowed. Trees too close to the foundation wall should be removed, Groundwater and roof water should be directed away from the foundation, as this additional water can cause the soils to expand more. Freezing of this water can also influence the foundation wall. Therefore, we recommend that all downspouts be directed at least 10 feet from the foundation wall and that the grade of the soil around the home be leading water away from the foundation wall.

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