Most basement foundation walls—even if they are brick or block walls—can be saved. The most common cause for foundation walls bowing in is saturated clay soils in the backfill. This often occurs when gutters are left unattended and rain water spills over them, or downspouts drop right next to the foundation.
Repairing bowed basement walls can be dangerous, difficult and expensive. It is even more challenging when dealing with a concrete block foundation. However, it is not impossible. You’ll simply have to rely on professional assistance to ensure that the results of the repair are not only effective but also long term.
There are various methods of repairing bowed basement walls. The best method for your situation will depend on the factors that resulted in the bowing of the concrete wall in the first place. This is why it is important to have a professional inspect your home before embarking on the repair of the foundation.
Despite the type of repair method applied, there are various factors that must be considered and issues addressed to ensure long term benefits from the repairs.
- Filling the foundation
Concrete blocks used in construction of foundations are hollow. You can therefore counter the pressure on the foundation wall by filing up the hollow core and making the concrete blocks solid and thus heavier. This is possible by cutting the faces off the concrete blocks that lie at ground level. You can then fill the hollow core with wet concrete.
This method of repair should only be used when the bowing is no more than 1 inch. The faces of the blocks are replaced once the concrete has set.
- Preventing lateral movement
If the concrete blocks of the foundation were previously filled, you must ensure that there is no lateral movement. How this is done will depend on the state of the foundation as well as when the house was built.
If your home is old, you can nail a piece of wood to the underside of the joists to prevent movement of the wall. If your home is new, you may have to install a mudsill on the top interior of the wall. Anchors may also be introduced to provide support to the wall and keep it anchored to the slab.
- Installing support beams on the interior
An effective long term solution is the installation of steel beams on the interior of the basement. This will provide support to the wall from the inside and prevent further inward movement of the wall. This solution is effective and provides long term results. The wall can be straightened over time by adjusting the steel beams.
Get in touch with a professional foundation repair contractor to learn what options are available for the repair of your bowed basement walls.
Contact the professionals at Ohio State Waterproofing today! 330-467-1055