Basement Wall Bowing – Causes and Repairs
If you have noticed your basement walls have started to bow inward, you’re not alone. This a common problem for many homeowners especially older homes with block foundations or if improper basement waterproofing methods were applied. If ignored, bowed walls can cause serious foundation issues like cracking, crumbling and even collapsing which will destroy the structural integrity of your entire home.
Many homeowners question why their walls have bowed or how to prevent future bowing. Continue reading to learn how to preserve your home’s foundation.
Causes of Basement Wall Bowing
Sloping exterior landscaping – if your landscape slopes towards your home, it can potentially pile heavy soil on to your foundation thus putting pressure on your walls.
- Patios and driveways – brick and concrete are extremely heavy and if not properly installed can also put pressure on your foundation. Patios and driveways should be professionally installed with clearance from the home to ensure they do not add stress.
- Water – when a home doesn’t have the proper drainage systems or has leaky pipes, the home’s foundation is at stake. When the soil around your home becomes saturated with water, it can become very heavy thus putting stress on your basement walls causing them to bow.
- Trees – trees planted too close to a home can eventually cause your walls to bow. The roots will continue to grow pressing against a home’s grounds.
Preventing Your Basement Walls from Bowing
The most important step a homeowner can take in preventing bowing walls is removing any stress off of your home. Foundation stress can be caused from many elements and environmental factors. Follow the below steps to help prevent your walls from bowing.
- Keep gutters clear. This will prevent water and snow from getting backed up
- Keep up-to-date with plumbing maintenance to prevent leaky pipes
- Remove any trees within ten feet of your home
- Avoid pouring concrete or laying brick too close to your foundation
- Install proper drainage solutions around your home and in your basement
Professional Solution to Bowed Walls
When your basement's walls are bowing, it’s important to take immediate action. The most effective solution to bowing is installing support beams. Foundation beams offer maximum support by stabilizing the walls and preventing future shifting from occurring. Beams are installed to the floor joists and secured soundly to the walls. There are two types of beams which are typically installed in basements, carbon fiber beams and steel beams.
There are benefits to both types of supports and depending on the structure of your home, a MUDTeCH™ beam installation contractor will determine what type of beam or reinforcement is best suitable. Carbon fiber needs a very clean very dry surface to adhere to, and with most basement conditions, carbon fiber strips usually require more surface prep than is practical in a residential setting.