Your basement walls are essential for supporting your home. They must remain in good condition. You should immediately fix any cracks or sagging walls in your basement. There are some steps to straighten basement walls yourself.
What are bowed walls basements
Basement bowed walls refer to masonry walls that lower or curved inwardly from the outside. When you look at a curved wall inside a basement, you will see a convex wall or dome. This is often called inward deviation. Cracks are common in basement walls. Vertical cracks can be horizontal or vertical, but most often, they are horizontal because of the wall’s curvature. These cracks can widen during rainy seasons and close during dry seasons. Due to water leakage, cracks can cause basement walls to staining with water, mold, or white bloom.
Why do basement walls bow
The basement walls can consider part of your home’s foundation. They provide support, strength, structure, and stability. There are many reasons basement walls can bow. Each one can be problematic and cause more damage to your home. Bowed walls can cause by one of the following reasons:
Although water is essential for survival but can also be a damaging and corrosive ingredient. Your basement wall can become damaged by water. Poor drainage around your home is most likely to cause water damage. Poor drainage can cause hydrostatic pressure to push on the basement walls. Water damage is usually visible as zigzag cracks on your basement wall. Click here to read about how to waterproof a basement.
A house can settle when it sinks into the ground on which it was built. Although this is a standard process for houses, too much movement or settling can lead to cracks in the basement and foundation walls. Settlement cracks are usually visible as vertical cracks extending to the wall’s height.
If the outside of your basement walls experiences lateral pressure, it can cause the basement wall to bow at the center. Water pressure, expansive soil, or water can cause outward pressure. Sometimes, the soil can be superabsorbent and expands outwards. The frosty ground can also cause soil to expand and press against your basement walls.
How to measure a bowed wall
You can determine the severity of your wall’s bow to help you choose the corrective action. You will need to measure the amount of bow in your basement wall.
Look at the bowed wall to determine which point is the furthest. This is the point with the most enormous bow. It is often located in the middle or center of the wall.
Next, attach a weight to one end of a string. The string should touch the bow’s widest point. The point where the weight plumbline falls to the floor marking.
The mark you made on a floor will indicate the distance between the farthest point of the bowed wall and the edge of your wall at the narrowest point. The distance between them will indicate how out of alignment your wall may be. If your wall is out-of-alignment by 3.5 to 4″, you will need to start serious work and reconstruction.
How to straighten basement walls yourself
Here are those steps on how to straighten basement walls yourself.
To investigate the problem, you must remove any siding from your basement wall. Take out as much siding as you can to see the wall. Cracks in the wall will require your immediate attention if you find them. Your basement walls may be curving. To find the best solution, it is essential to inspect your basement for any signs of malfunction.
How the wall repair depends on how much damage was done and what material was used to build it. Hydraulic cement can use to repair cracks or move inwards. Hydraulic cement can find in nearly every hardware store.
Poor drainage can lead to cracks or curvature. You’ll see zigzag patterns on the wall. Vertical cracks can often be caused by a collapsed house. Make sure your gutters are clear of obstructions.
Steel beams can repair any horizontal crack or bend. It is essential to choose the correct sizes. They should place correctly and work well. For concrete walls that slope inwards, wall anchors are also an option. You can straighten each wall using beams and ensure it supports your home.
You can also use wall anchors or beams to solve the problem. It is difficult to renovate a basement wall. You should try other options first. To improve your home’s strength and stability, you must choose the best options for curved basement walls. You can resolve the problem quickly, regardless of which method you use.
How to avoid curved basement walls
Preventative measures are better than DIY basement wall repairs. You can prevent basement walls from tilting by being a homeowner.
- Repair gutters and drains to prevent water from building up near basement walls.
- You can create a solid drainage system by using yachts to drain the water from your house.
- To collect groundwater, build a French drain.
- Elevate the ground from the house.
- You can replace the soil along the exterior of your basement with fast-draining gravel or sand.
- If the weight of heavy objects, such as hot tubs or machines, is not distributed on the concrete slab, you should remove them.
What are the best times to call a professional
Sometimes a basement wall can be too far bowed. This is something that homeowners cannot safely and effectively do on their own. It is best to hire a professional to restore your basement wall’s structure and rigidity if it is more than 2 inches off the ground. Two options are available to bring your wall back in alignment:
Using wall anchors to straighten a wall with a bow can be incredibly helpful. This will help align a wall and give your home the extra support it needs. A wall anchor comprises two steel plates connected by a shaft. One plate attaches inside your basement wall, and the other is hidden in your yard. The steel shaft links the two plates. It can be tightened using a large bolt to bring your wall back in alignment.
Metal beams are a more industrial solution to carbon fiber strips. They can do the same work but have more strength. Metal beams can use when a wall anchoring system fails due to property lines or tree roots. The special brace attaches to the wall and holds the metal beam. Slowly, the brace is tightened to bring the wall back in alignment. Cracks can seal and repair to stop moisture from getting into the home after the wall is straight once again.
Because of the curved basement walls, finishing the basement or adding living spaces is challenging. You must straighten your basement. The curved basement walls can pose a structural risk. Experts must be able to fix the problem and repair the sloping basement walls. You must now know to straighten basement walls yourself.