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Homes with basements often see their own unique set of challenges, as basements can sometimes be susceptible to problems, like leaks, floods, cracking walls, and more. At Everdry Waterproofing, we are the experts you need to handle all of your basement issues. We offer numerous services, including basement waterproofing, crawlspace waterproofing & encapsulation, basement ventilation, foundation replacement, and the repair of bowing walls to protect your home. You can count on our team to provide professional service to address your basement issue and ensure your home will be livable for many more years. Please reach out to us for additional information about our services.
What Are Bowing Basement Walls?
The walls in your basement help to support the structure of your entire house and are therefore under a lot of pressure. Sometimes, this pressure can become too much, and the walls of the basement will begin to curve inward from the pressure, forming a bow shape. Bowing walls can lead to structural issues for your home, as they can eventually crack or break if not fixed. This can cause a significant safety risk for your family and will decrease the value of your property.
What Causes Bowing Walls?
Basement walls are constantly under pressure from the soil and rock that surround them, but many times they can stand strong and withstand the pressure. However, in some cases, the pressure can reach a level where your basement walls are no longer able to withstand it. It is at this time that bowing, or cracking may occur. The constant pressure of surrounding soil coupled with the expansion and contraction of soil during Pennsylvania’s freeze and thaw cycles can create a continuous battle between your walls and these outside forces. There are also other factors that can increase the strain on your walls, including:
Clay soil retains moisture and does not drain well, causing it to be incredibly expansive. It easily expands and contracts, as the moisture level in the ground increases and decreases, which can put added pressure on your basement walls.
Hydrostatic pressure can occur in all types of soil during wet seasons where water accumulates in the soil. The additional moisture can exert pressure against your basement walls.
Frost can also contribute to bowing walls, as soil tends to expand when it freezes, applying pressure to the walls. Over time, constant freezing and thawing can cause basement walls to bow or crack.
How to Identify Bowing Walls
The walls of your basement can begin to bow without being visible to the naked eye. However, there are other warning signs of bowing walls that are visible just by paying attention to your walls and other areas of your home. Knowing these signs will help you catch the problem early before it becomes worse and requires more expensive repairs. Basements with obviously bulging walls can be an extreme safety risk, as they may be at risk for collapse. That’s why knowing the early warning signs could help you protect your home. Do not delay in seeking the help of a professional if you notice any of the following early warning signs for bowing basement walls:
- Cracks in the basement walls that are wider at the top than at the bottom
- Unlevel floors in your home
- Doors, windows, and cabinets that will not shut properly
- Cracks in upstairs plaster or drywall
- Cracks in exterior brickwork or caulking
- A leaning chimney or porch
Methods to Repair Bowing Walls
Depending on the severity of the damage to your basement walls, there are a few different ways to repair them. Our team has experience identifying the extent of the damage to your walls and can determine the appropriate course of action based on our findings. With our expertise, you can be sure your home’s foundational support will be properly repaired to ensure it is safe and sturdy. Once we determine the best option for repair, we’ll fully explain the process, so you can understand exactly what we’ll be doing. Some of the most common methods used to correct bowing basement walls include:
This method is commonly used in conjunction with crack filling. The cracks are first injected with a filler material to repair them and are then cross-stitched with carbon fiber staples. These staples are made of high-tensile-strength carbon fibers encapsulated in a thermal-set resin for ultimate support.
Carbon fiber straps are used for basement walls with moderate damage. They are installed in a grid system to stabilize bowed walls with minimal disruption to your home, as no excavation is needed.
Helical ties are necessary for more severely damaged walls and are often used in combination with carbon fiber reinforcement. These ties are attached to the exterior of the basement wall underground and are then installed in deeper soil more suitable to carry the load of the home. This deeper soil will resist the pressure of surrounding soils and the ties will pull the walls back into alignment.
Why Choose Everdry Waterproofing
When it comes to something as important as your home’s foundation, you don’t want to entrust the job to just anyone. You want an expert team that has experience identifying and solving foundation problems. Everdry Waterproofing is the team you want! We have more than 30 years of experience in foundation and waterproofing services, ensuring we’ll get the job done right. We approach every job with the same attitude, focusing on providing the customer with exceptional service from start to finish. If you are concerned about the current state of your foundation or basement walls, we encourage you to schedule a free, no-obligation inspection with our team. We’ll take a look and determine how we can address the issue. Reach out to us today to make your appointment.