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What Causes Concrete Foundation Walls to Lean and Bow?

Jan 5

There are several reasons why a concrete foundation wall may lean or bow. Expansive soil, horizontal cracks, mold and mildew, and helical tieback anchors are just a few.

Expansive soil

If you have expansive soil around your home, you should be aware of the numerous problems that it can cause. Aside from causing serious damage to your foundation, expansive soil can also be a major source of water erosion.

In addition, the moisture contained in expansive soil can lead to cracks in the floor. Expansive soils have also been known to cause walls to bow and lean.

However, the best way to avoid any type of extensive or costly damage is to identify and resolve the problem right away. You should have an expert inspect your home to see if you have any expansive soil issues. This will save you from having to invest in expensive repairs.

Fortunately, there are many experts out there that can help you figure out the kinks. For example, the company Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Service offers a solution to expansive soil issues. The expert can also take a sample of the expansive soil around your home to confirm that you indeed have an expansive soil issue.

Horizontal cracks

When there are horizontal cracks in your concrete foundation walls, the integrity of the structure is compromised. These cracks will need to be repaired by a professional to ensure that your home's structural integrity is preserved.

There are several causes of these cracks, but the most common cause is excessive pressure from the outside. The outside pressure pushes against the foundation wall, causing it to bow inward. This pressure is typically caused by expansive soil or poor drainage.

Another cause of these cracks is differential settlement. Differential settlement occurs when the soil under the structure expands or contracts in different areas. In these conditions, the soil under the house will push against the foundation wall. Often, the pressure will create a horizontal crack.

Horizontal cracks are more common in brick and concrete block foundations. They can be more hazardous than vertical cracks, and require a professional inspection to determine their severity.

When there are significant horizontal cracks in your foundation walls, the structure may be at risk of collapse. The level of the risk depends on the location and the size of the building. A structural engineer will evaluate the situation to determine whether a repair will be effective.

Mold and mildew

If you have a foundation wall that leans and bows, it could be a sign that you have a moisture problem. This moisture could be caused by flooding or leaks in your roof.

Mold and mildew can cause this type of damage. They cause the concrete to absorb too much moisture. Over time, the water will find the path of least resistance and make its way into the home.

When it comes to preventing mold growth, the best method is to avoid excess moisture. A dehumidifier can help. It can also be useful to install exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms.

A mold infestation can be very serious. If it is left untreated, it can cause irreparable damage to the building. Also, the mold can lead to allergic reactions and health problems in some people.

To prevent this from happening, inspect your house and look for signs of water or humidity. If you see mold, call a professional mold removal company.

Helical tieback anchors

Bowing basement walls can lead to serious foundation problems. Aside from posing serious safety risks for people living in the area, they can also collapse. It's therefore important to recognize signs that a wall is in danger.

A typical repair solution involves drilling small holes into the affected wall. A concrete patch is then placed over the hole, and the entire wall is then fixed. This method is fairly quick and simple, and it is permanent.

Another alternative is to install wall anchors. They are designed to counteract the pressure that a wall is facing. In most cases, a wall will start bowing when it is subjected to excess pressure. However, the amount of pressure the wall is subjected to will vary depending on the damage and the size of the home.

Wall anchors are used in many different situations. Depending on the type of wall, the damage, and the location of the problem, you may need one or more anchors.

Syracuse Foundation Repair
1109 N Townsend St #403 
Syracuse, NY 13208
(315) 807-0990