5 Important Facts about Bowing Basement Walls Charlottesville, VA
Bowing basement walls are not just an eyesore, they also denote that your home’s foundation has a serious problem. Often, basement wall bowing is associated with horizontal cracking. When this happens, the core structure of the basement becomes comprised and this affects the safety of your building. Here are some key facts about bowing basement walls.
- What Are Bowing Basement Walls?
Simply stated, bowing basement walls are basement walls that bend inwards. If you look at a cross-section of the wall and use a plumb line to examine whether the wall is perpendicular, you will see that the wall is not straight but curved inwards.
- What Causes This Problem?
Basement wall bowing is caused by several factors. Here are some of the key factors:
- Settling of the foundation: The basement walls are part of the foundation. Hence, the walls have to be strong to sustain the weight of the building. If your building’s structure is weak, the settling of the foundation can cause basement wall bowing. As the foundation starts to settle, it can exert a lot of weight on the basement walls and lead to basement wall bowing.
- Increased hydrostatic pressure: Bowing basement walls can also occur as a result of increased hydrostatic pressure. When the soil that surrounds the foundation and basement walls becomes saturated with water, its weight increases. The result is that the wet soil exerts a lot of lateral pressure on the basement walls, which can cause them to bend.
- Frost heave: Constant freezing and expansion of the soil around the basement walls can cause the walls to bend inwards.
- Large roots: As large roots near the foundation and basement walls grow, they push against the walls, causing them to bow in.
- What Are the Signs of Basement Wall Bowing?
There are several signs of basement wall bowing. These include:
- Stair-step or horizontal basement wall cracks.
- Signs of bulging, buckling, or inward movement of the basement walls
- Walls that appear to lean at the top
- What Is the Implication of Cracking Due to Basement Wall Bowing?
Cracks on the basement walls can cause water to seep through the basement walls and lead to notable structural damage.
- What Should You Do If You See Bowing Basement Walls?
Basement wall bowing is a serious structural problem. If you notice that the walls of your basement are bowing, you should contact a professional foundation repair contractor immediately. The company will do a thorough inspection of your building and advise you on the best way to fix the problem.