Do you have bowed basement walls? Bowing of the walls in your basement can cause many problems around the home. If left unchecked, the bowing can eventually lead to serious structural problems that can render your property unsafe to live in.
Repairing bowed basement walls in the early stages of development can help save you money and time. You, however, need to learn how to identify the signs that your basement walls are bowing.
- Cracks in your basement walls
This is one of the most obvious signs that your basement walls are bowing. These cracks are typically horizontal or split in different directions in a poured concrete foundation. If your foundation is a concrete or masonry block foundation, you may see stair step cracks.
- Cracks in external walls
If you have brick walls, you may witness cracks on the external surface of the walls. While these cracks may also be a result of poor construction methods, cracks in a zigzag pattern are often a sign of a foundation issue.
The cracks form on the external walls as a result of the walls sinking into the ground. This happens when the foundation walls bow inward or sink as a result of settling. Filling these cracks will be a waste of time and money if you don’t address the underlying issue of the bowing basement walls.
- Separated or leaning chimney
If you have a chimney that is leaning or separate from the supporting wall, then you should check your basement walls for bowing too. The mortar or braces that support the chimney can no longer hold it in place as a result of the movement of the foundation walls. The heavy chimney therefore separates from the wall. This results in a very dangerous situation where the chimney can collapse.
- Sagging, sunken or cracked floors
The bowing will also affect your floors. If you notice that your floors are uneven, sunken in some areas, or cracked, the culprit may be your basement walls. The unevenness in your floors may also result in doors and windows sticking or not fitting as well as they used to.
If you notice any of the above signs, you should get in touch with a waterproofing professional. They will inspect your basement and provide you with a solution for the cause of the bowing. Be sure to consult with more than one professional so as to get different opinions on the best solution for your problem.
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