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Bowed Basement Walls

Bowed basement walls are caused by too much pressure pushing against your basement walls.

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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.

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

Identifying and Repairing Issues Related To Basement Wall Failure

Bowed Basement Walls – Look Familiar?

The Causes of 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.

hydrostatic pressure 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.

Bowed Basement Walls – A DIY Fix?

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 it again ourselves if a future situation arises.

~ Leah G., Rockville, Maryland

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.

Bowed Basement Walls Solutions

Some of the solutions we may recommend for bowed walls include Carbon Fiber, JES Wall Anchors, and IntelliBrace. 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.



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