Do you have bowed basement walls? Bowing is a sign of foundation shifting. Foundation shifting or movement can be caused by any of the following causes:
- Lack of or poor planning
A lot of factors have to be considered when constructing a home. You have to consider the lay of the land and the type of soil for example. If the soil is shifting, you will have to install products that would be able to withstand movement or possible issues.
There are several things that can be done to prevent foundation shifting if you decide to construct a house on a slope or area with shifting soils. The builder can ensure that there is proper drainage or that they attempt to control erosion. You may also want to get a professional contractor in to have piers or other anchors to help provide the home with a stable foundation.
- Drainage problems
This is one of the most common causes for bowed basement walls. Drainage problems can result from:
- Soil that has a hard time draining
Soils such as clay soils absorb a great volume of water quickly. They expand to many times their original size. They exert pressure on basement walls causing them to bow inward.
- High water tables
If you live in an area with a high water table, your foundation may suffer the effects of hydrostatic pressure especially during the rainy season when the water table rises. The force exerted by water against the basement walls can cause them to bow inward over time.
- Faulty drainage systems or a lack of drainage systems
Downspouts, gutters, French drains, and surface drains are all designed to help keep water away from the foundation. Absence, poor design, or faults in these drainage systems can result in the pooling of water near the foundation. This results in increased pressure being exerted against the basement walls.
- Use of substandard materials
A house is only as good as its foundation. If your home’s foundation was built with substandard materials, it is likely to succumb to pressure over time. It is therefore not surprising to have bowed basement walls if you have a basement that was built with poor materials such as limestone rocks or poorly mixed concrete.
- Lack of or poor maintenance
Many homeowners do not understand the importance of maintenance when it comes to their foundations. They don’t take the time to prevent issues and possible damage through simple maintenance of their plumbing or drainage systems. This can result in unexpected failure of the foundation, which can be costly and involving to repair.