Identifying & Repairing Issues Related to Foundation Wall Failure
Your foundation walls are bowing, buckling or are showing signs of inward movement.
- Horizontal or stair-step cracking along the foundation walls
- Diagonal cracking at corners of poured concrete foundation walls
- Inward bowing or bulging along the walls
- Walls sliding inwards on the bottom
- Walls leaning in at the top
- Wet, clay soils around the home coupled with damaged walls
- Expansive clay soils present around the structure
How to Fix It:
Install Wall Anchors along the bowing walls, and use the system’s clamping pressure to stabilize and restore the wall.
When space issues prohibit wall anchor installation, we recommend installing the IntelliBrace™ Wall System or Carbon Fiber® Wall Reinforcing System.
We can straighten your bowing, buckling foundation walls! Our solutions are warrantied, and most can be done in a day. Call us for a free foundation wall repair quote today. We serve Springfield, Columbus, Mansfield, Zanesville, Lancaster, Westerville, Newark, Chillicothe, Dublin, Marion and many nearby areas in Ohio.
Signs of bowing foundation walls
Foundation walls move inward primarily due to expansive soils and hydrostatic pressure on the walls from outside. However, foundation walls may also crack due to many other outside causes, including foundation settlement. Our foundation experts will accurately identify the cause of your home’s foundation problems.
Below are images of several foundations that are showing damage from hydrostatic pressure and expansive soils outside the structure.
What Causes Cracked & Bowing Foundation Walls?
How Does Moisture Affect Clay Soils?
These two clay samples started out exactly the same in size, weight, and composition. The sample on the right was allowed to dry out, while the one on the left was kept moist.
If a small sample of clay can gain this much volume when it gets wet, just imagine how dramatic the changes are in the soil around your home!
The soils around your home can put enormous pressure on foundation walls. The amount of pressure they exert depends on four factors:
- The type of soil around the foundation
- The amount of moisture in the soil
- How far underground the foundation is
- The temperature conditions
There’s constant pressure on your foundation walls from the outside, but the only thing holding up your foundation wall is the wall itself. Hydrostatic pressure, expansive clay soil, and frost can all exert enough pressure to cause walls to lean or even collapse.
Gutters and downspouts can also contribute significantly to foundation problems by allowing large volumes of water to collect in the soil around your structure.
If roof runoff is not directed away from your foundation, the soil around the foundation will become heavier and more expansive as it’s saturated with water.
Installing Foundation Wall Anchors
At Ohio Basement Authority, we recommend the Wall Anchor System, to stabilize failing foundation walls. Our contractors follow these six steps when installing our warrantied wall anchor system:
Digging Holes For the Earth Anchors
Before the installation, earth anchor locations will be determined to maximize system effectiveness. When the foundation contractors arrive, their proposal will show the location of each earth anchor in the yard outside your house.
At the beginning of each earth anchor installation, sod is carefully removed from your lawn and placed aside for later. A sheet is laid down to help protect your lawn and landscaping, and an earth anchor hole is made using a power auger.
Preparing The Foundation Wall
Once the outside excavation is complete, a small hole is cored through your basement wall. A steel anchor rod is then driven through the wall and surrounding soil, extending out to the buried earth anchor.
Compared to other wall anchor systems, our method requires only a 1″ diameter hole in your wall. Other methods require a MUCH larger hole to be cored, or the removal of an entire section of the wall itself.
Attaching The Earth Anchor
After securing the end of each anchor rod to its earth anchor, these assemblies are buried in the ground, using soil removed earlier. To resist corrosion damage, each of our earth anchor systems is designed with galvanized steel.
Each of the Earth Anchors we install includes a 25-year warranty against manufacturing defects, as well as our own in-house quality and performance warranty.
Mounting The Wall Plate
Once the earth anchors have been installed, our foundation repair experts will mount a wall plate over each anchor rod end that protrudes from the basement wall. Screwing a large nut to the threaded end of the anchor rod secures each wall plate and stabilizes the wall as the nut is tightened.
Restoring The Landscaping
At Ohio Basement Authority, we take pride in leaving each job clean, neat, and free of damage to existing landscaping. As part of our cleanup process, we fill holes completely with dirt saved earlier and tamp filled areas to ensure that depressed areas will not be created as the soils settle over time.
We will also replace all sod, carefully grooming it with a rake to help it blend in with surrounding grass for a seamless landscaping restoration.
Tightening Wall Anchors
Wall Anchors do more than just stop the inward movement of your foundation walls — they also provide the opportunity to straighten your walls over time.
Eventually, your walls can be significantly repaired, or even returned completely to their original position. This is a powerful way to restore value to your home and return your home to looking solid, stable, and attractive — both for you and for prospective home buyers.
When Foundation Wall Anchors Won’t Work
In some cases, a wall anchor system can’t be used to repair a bowing wall because the yard outside the house isn’t accessible. When we at Ohio Basement Authority encounter this kind of problem, we suggest that you install our IntelliBrace™ Foundation Wall System.
Saving a wall with the IntelliBrace™ system. This innovative system stabilizes bowing walls and can even straighten walls over time.
The IntelliBrace™ System
The IntelliBrace™ is a patented foundation wall repair system designed to stabilize failing basement walls and also allow for potential straightening over time.
This product is a great option when access to the yard outside of the home is not possible and bowing, buckling wall problems need to be solved.
The IntelliBrace™ is an I-beam system that has several advantages over traditional “old school” systems.
This includes its rust-resistant zinc coating and a design that makes it possible not only to stabilize bowing walls but also to straighten these walls over a period of time.
Installation of a IntelliBrace™ system can be conducted quickly in your home, with no disruption to your lawn, gardens, foliage, or other landscaping.
More about The Intellibrace™ System.
Carbon Fiber™ stabilizes cracked & bowing foundation walls with high-tech carbon fiber
When soil pressure causes a foundation wall to bow inward and crack, one solution is to stabilize and strengthen the wall using Carbon Fiber® bracing technology.
The Carbon Fiber™ Wall Reinforcing System relies on the exceptional strength of carbon fiber fabric – 10 times stronger than steel.
Concrete is strong in compression, enabling a foundation wall to withstand extreme downward pressure. But concrete is weak in tension. A foundation wall can’t stretch or bend in response to sideways soil pressure, so cracking and bowing problems sometimes develop.
When installed against a foundation wall with special structural epoxy, Carbon Fiber™ fabric is exceptionally strong in tension. This reinforcement treatment enables a cracked or bowed foundation to withstand soil pressure without sustaining further damage.
Carbon Fiber™ repairs can be made quickly and at an affordable price, and this low-profile repair is easily hidden with a coat of paint.
Learn more about the Carbon Fiber™ Wall Reinforcing System.
What NOT To Do
A foundation repair is a big job — something you definitely only want to do once! When you’re repairing your foundation, beware of expensive options that will not actually fix your problem — and watch out for quick solutions that just don’t work.
Wasting time and money with total foundation replacement.
This extreme repair option damages the yard and requires the house to be placed on temporary supports. It’s also expensive and time-consuming.
Total Foundation Replacement
To undertake a job like this, you have to excavate the entire perimeter of your foundation — including gardens, shrubbery, sidewalks, and other landscaping.
Next, the house is jacked up, and the floor slab and foundation walls are removed. Finally, the foundation is rebuilt, the house is repositioned and the soil is replaced.
This solution is extremely disruptive, expensive, and time-consuming. What’s worse, it’s not really addressing the issue that caused the damage in the first place!
Your foundation isn’t the problem — the soil is! When you’re done building that brand new foundation, you can count on the soil to press just as hard on the new walls. This will cause them to be damaged — just like it did to the ones that preceded them.
If you’re going to invest money in repairing your foundation, choose the solution that is not disruptive and will be warrantied for 25 years.
Looking For Foundation Wall Repair Experts In Ohio?
At Ohio Basement Authority, we’re proud to provide warrantied solutions that will permanently solve issues with bowing, buckling foundation walls.
We provide free, no-obligation foundation wall repair estimates to homeowners throughout our Ohio service area. Each estimate is made in person, on site, and is presented in writing.
Our service area includes Mansfield, Springfield, Columbus, and nearby areas such as Newark, Westerville, Zanesville, Lancaster, Marion, Dublin, Chillicothe. Call or e-mail us today!