Bowing or leaning walls in a basement are often the result of varying pressures in the soil surrounding a home’s foundation. Whenever the soil absorbs moisture from a heavy rainfall, or from melting snow, it will expand and put added pressure on your foundation walls. This is known as hydrostatic pressure. Likewise, during a drought, the soil will begin to shrink and pull away from the foundation. Over time, this soil movement can cause the wall(s) to actually lean or bow into the home. This movement will jeopardize the structural integrity of the building and has led to entire walls collapsing when left untreated.
This structural issue can also be attributed to the freeze/thaw cycle. During colder months of the year, moisture in the ground can freeze and also cause the soil to expand and put pressure on the wall. It’s not uncommon for hard winters to cause existing small (or previously repaired) cracks in the foundation to get larger or start actively leaking again.
In addition to the sources listed above, below are some other common causes of bowed or leaning walls:
* Poor building materials or construction techniques
* Age of the home
* Excess tree roots from large trees on the property
* Other structures like driveways or porches
* Poor grading around the foundation
Fortunately, Perma-Seal has effective and proven solutions to address this problem.
Carbon Fiber Straps
Carbon fiber straps can be installed to reinforce and stabilize the problematic wall, preventing any further movement. Most commonly, concrete block or brick foundations will begin to bow inwards, while poured concrete walls will start to lean. These straps can be installed to either kind of wall. The material is designed to be 10 times stronger than steel, but is flexible enough to tightly fit the contour of the foundation wall. The best benefit is they can be installed relatively quickly without any exterior excavation of the home. And if you’re worried about what the end result will look like, they can be painted or drywalled over to match with the rest of the basement environment and not compromise any of your valuable basement living space.
Importance of Bowed Wall Repair
Structural foundation issues make it much more difficult to sell a home and will affect the value of your property. More importantly, leaving a bowing wall problem neglected for too long could result in the structure actually collapsing into the home. To replace an entire wall in your home will be a very costly and disruptive process and could easily be avoided with a system like our Carbon Fiber Straps. If you’re seeing any symptoms like these in your home, schedule a free estimate immediately with one of our trained and certified foundation repair consultants. They will provide you with a thorough inspection and the permanent solution to the issue.