Bowing Basement Walls

A bowing basement wall with a widening deflection

Hydrostatic pressure is created by excessive amounts of water in the soil. For a concrete foundation, that pressure can eventually lead to cracks and other kinds of foundation damage. Given enough time, those cracks may widen as the concrete foundation gives way to hydrostatic pressure. In some cases, this can lead to bowing basement walls.

Bowing basement walls are preceded by a horizontal foundation crack that appears around the middle of your foundation wall. At first, the crack might not look like much. But it should be promptly inspected and repaired if needed, otherwise it will get worse. Along with that hydrostatic pressure pushing against your foundation wall, it may eventually start pushing water through those cracks. This can then lead to groundwater intrusion and excess moisture. Here are some of the common problems that arise when there’s water or invasive moisture in the basement…

  • Mold growth
  • Wood rot
  • Termites, dust mites, and other moisture-loving pests
  • Sagging floors and floor joists
  • Rusting of mechanical equipment

Are You Noticing Bowing in Your Basement Walls?

It can be quite visible when your basement wall is bowing inward (or deflecting and shearing in severe circumstances). Bowing block walls in basements are usually accompanied by a horizontal crack running about 4 feet above the floor and ending about 6 feet from the corners. From there, the crack dissipates into the corners in the form of stair step cracking, both diagonally toward the ceiling and toward the floor.

Solutions for Your Basement Wall

Bowing basement walls can be repaired in one of several ways. Our Carbon ’58 Wall Straps, also known as carbon fiber wall straps, can be used if the deflection doesn’t exceed 2 inches. Other repairs can include I-beams or C-channel beams with helical tiebacks, sometimes called wall anchors.

If you are noticing bowing walls in your basement, a ‘58 Foundations & Waterproofing approved foundation repair solution can help. From the Philadelphia, PA to Atlanta, GA, we have local offices all along the Eastern Seaboard to provide your basement with the solutions it needs. Reach out to your nearest ’58 Foundations & Waterproofing location to find out more and schedule a free estimate.

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