When you notice that your walls are bowing in your basement or crawlspace, you may immediately become anxious and worried. No matter how small the damage is, there is a certain fear that comes with this type of foundation repair. Why is that? Bowing walls can mean the eventual collapse of your home, and they also signal certain foundation damage and failure. Even for those not worried, they may instead be worried about the cost. Many people put off foundation repair because it seems too costly. In this blog, we will consider how and why bowing walls come about and how to perform bowing wall repair to resolve the situation. We will also discuss some common worries and anxieties along the way.
This is the big question that you may be focused on. Bowing walls could spell your home collapsing and you not being able to live there anymore if left unresolved. Many people want to know how this could happen if they didn’t do anything to cause it and they’ve never noticed any big problems before they noticed the bowing walls. Well, there are a few reasons that you may have bowing walls.
The biggest culprit for bowing walls is hydrostatic pressure. When a home foundation is dug out, there is extra room left around the sides for workers to work. When the soil is filled, it may not be compacted properly. This leaves loose soil up against your foundation. Water gets into this loose soil easily and the soil becomes heavy. It then pushes up against the foundation and can eventually cause cracks. These cracks let in water and weaken the foundation walls even more. If left unresolved, this can lead to bowing wall repair.
Another big way that you can end up needing bowing wall repair is when you have trees and shrubs with long roots next to the home. These roots can and will find their way over to the foundation wall and being to exert pressure on it. This is even more true when there are problems with drainage next to the foundation, as the roots will seek out water in any form they can get it. When these roots exert pressure against the foundation, they can cause cracks and bowing of the walls as well.
Lastly, age can be a big factor in bowing walls. Overtime, the foundation walls will age and deteriorate. If they are not checked out by a structural contractor before the damage is too great, or repaired by a professional, you may end up with bowing walls. However, this is one of the easiest kinds to spot because you know that the house is old and needs attention in these areas.
Bowing walls are usually resolved with helical piers or steel push piers. Both piers are driven deep into the soil that is more compacted and stable. Then the pier is attached with a plate to the foundation. The weight of the foundation is then transferred onto this plate. The wall will then gradually be straightened out so as to not cause further damage. The difference between the two is that a helical pier has a spiral as it is driven into the ground which can provide even more stability.
Think of it this way: how will you afford a new home if you ignore bowing wall repair? If you ignore bowing wall repair needs, you will end up with an even costly repair with what is likely an entirely failed foundation with extreme damage. Your entire home could collapse with bowing walls. As you leave foundation repair, it gets worse. It will never get better by just leaving it be. It will only get worse and cost you more over time. So, the benefit of getting the bowing wall repair done as soon as you notice it rather than weeks and months and years down the line greatly outweighs the cost.
Bowing wall repair may give you immediate anxiety, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Give the experts at Foundation Systems of West Virginia a call. We’ll help you work through the problem, get you set up with a free estimate, and offer the best solutions for your particular situation. If you need help with bowing wall repair, Foundation Systems of West Virginia can help.