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Bowed Basement Walls

Foundation Problems

Bowed Basement Walls

Bowed basement walls are caused by too much pressure pushing against your basement walls, and are a serious foundation concern. Learn how you can save yourself time and money by requesting a professional foundation evaluation and receive a Free Homeowner’s Guide to Foundation Repair.

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Bowing Basement Walls and Basement Wall Repair in Virginia, Maryland, DC

Identifying and Repairing Issues Related To Basement Wall Failure

Do These Bowed Basement Walls Look Familiar?

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exclaimation-pointWhat Causes Bowed Basement Walls?

Bowed basement walls are caused by too much pressure pushing against your basement walls. When water drains into the ground by your foundation, the soil expands as it absorbs water, pushing against your basement walls. And as the soil dries, it pulls away from your basement walls, creating weak areas in your foundation. Look for the following:



The top of the wall is being pushed inward by soil pressure.



Only part of the wall has weakened and is being pushed inward.


Wall Cracks

Cracks typically appear when a wall tilts or bows. If the foundation wall (or retaining wall) is made from concrete block, cracking will often occur along joint lines between individual blocks.

What Causes Bowed Basement Walls?

hydrostatic pressure causes bowed basement walls

Increased soil moisture conditions increase hydrostatic pressures on basement walls. Combined hydrostatic pressure and earth pressure (exerted by the surrounding soil) on the wall exceed the wall’s design capacity, the wall will crack, bow, lean, or shear.

Heavy rain, underground water, poor drainage and inadequate grading can all create a big foundation problem. When the soil surrounding your basement foundation absorbs water, it expands. As the soil expands it presses against your foundation (a.k.a. hydrostatic pressure) – after all the soil has to go somewhere.

The continued pressure from the wet soil pushing against your foundation will start to cause damage. The damage may start as a horizontal crack, or maybe some water will start to leak through the block foundation joints. If these problems are left alone or you try to fix them without the help of a Professional Engineer, the result will always be the same: bowed walls which will collapse.

Can I Repair My Bowing Walls Myself?

Bowed wall repair is a job for a professional foundation repair contractor. It cannot be safely done with kits, bracing or retaining walls. These quick fixes don’t address the foundation problems, can be expensive and can cause more damage to your home’s foundation.

It’s best to have your home inspected by a foundation repair contractor who can pinpoint the problem and provide you with a solution that repairs the foundation problem and bowing walls.

Foundation Repair Inspection

The inspector spent quite a lot of time going over our basement foundation, inside and outside and was very helpful with suggestions. We were very pleased that there was no charge for this assessment and would definitely recommend JES to others or use again ourselves if a future situation arises.

~ Leah G., Rockville, Maryland

Foundation Repair Solutions

Bowed Basement Walls Solutions

Some of the solutions we may recommend for bowed walls include CarbonArmor, JES Wall Anchors and PowerBrace. However the solution to everyone’s foundation problem is different so make sure to speak with an expert to find the best solution for your home’s bowed walls.

Foundation Repair Solutions

Get Your Free Homeowner’s Guide to Foundation Repair

Have you ever wondered about your bowed basement walls and what causes them? Or if that drywall crack is a sign that you have a bigger problem? Our Homeowner’s Guide to Foundation Repair is your resource for learning about foundation problems, causes and solutions. Request your free foundation repair inspection and receive your own copy of the e-book, as our thanks for putting your trust in JES.

Bowed Basement Walls - Solutions

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