Living in the mountains has its ups and downs, literally. From stunning views to sloping landscapes, lifestyles in the mountains can be unpredictable, to say the least. When it comes to concerns with your home, bowing basement walls should be near the top of the list.
Simply put, bowing basement walls are caused by hydrostatic pressure. When water drains into the ground near your foundation, the soil absorbs the water, expands, and pushes against your basement walls. Once the soil dries, it pulls away from your basement walls and creates weak spots in your foundation.
This is a serious foundation concern and it’s important to spot problem signs before it’s too late. Identifying the issue is the first step to preventing basement wall failure. Here’s what you should look for if you suspect bowing basement walls.
Part of your basement wall has weakened and is being pushed inward.
The top of your basement wall is leaning inward due to hydrostatic pressure.
Wall cracks often occur along joint lines between individual blocks in concrete basements and are typically caused by wall tilts and bows. This includes horizontal, vertical, and stair-step cracks.
For homeowners living in or near the Appalachian Mountains, proper drainage will be vital to your home’s stability. Poor drainage, along with inadequate grading, can create a huge problem for your foundation. When the soil surrounding your basement absorbs water and expands, it must go somewhere. Therefore, the soil presses against your basement walls and may lead to water leaks through the block foundation joints.
Heavy rain and other unpredictable weather can add to the problem. Consequently, increased soil moisture conditions generate more hydrostatic pressure on your foundation. At this point, it’s critical to have an inspection as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Solutions for Bowing Basement Walls
An inspection could lead to a variety of solutions for your home. In fact, each solution is put in place to permanently stabilize your foundation walls. Your best option could be a state-of-the-art wall reinforcement system that’s installed flat against your bowed or cracked walls. However, the best option may be JES Wall Anchors, which extend out to the stable, hard-packed soil beyond your home and anchor themselves while bracing the foundation wall. This stops the inward movement entirely, which stabilizes and straightens your foundation walls back to their original position.
Every solution to bowing basement walls is different. Furthermore, it’s important to have an expert inspect your basement and provide the correct repairs. The mountains are a beautiful place to live, but they aren’t always kind to your home’s foundation. Act now and provide the stability your home needs to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Appalachian Mountains.