If you are standing in your basement and wondering what bowed basement walls mean you are not the first to wonder. Any of your walls can indeed bow but it is most common in your basement.
When this happens, it is an indication of serious problems that can affect the whole foundation and your entire house. It is commonly caused by excess moisture.
What Do Bowed Basement Walls Mean and What Should You Do?
What do bowed basement walls mean? It means there is too much pressure behind them from the soil, causing them to bend inward. This is most often caused by hydrostatic pressure.
Water is extremely heavy and when there is too much water, either from a storm or melting snow and ice, the water needs to go someplace. When it comes up against your basement walls, it begins to build pressure.
Soil expansion, melting and freezing, and even excess weight from a vehicle like a motorhome parked next to the wall of the house. If you have these types of conditions, keep an eye on your basement walls.
This can not only cause your walls to bow but they can get pushed too far and that water can start to get in. It can start to saturate the concrete and even break, flooding your entire basement.
The best thing to do is call a contractor as soon as you notice your walls bowing or bulging inward. You do not want to wait for this to fix itself, as it can be dangerous.
What Can Be Done If Your Basement Walls are Bowing
Your contractor will likely give you a few options for coping with the bowed basement walls. It will depend on how far your walls are bowing or bulging on what type of method of repair they choose.
If the walls are only slightly bowing then they may be able to make repairs or provide structural support that is not very invasive. Carbon fiber straps can be epoxy sealed right on the walls to stop them from bowing any further.
These are applied every few feet inside the basement so there is no need for excavation. Once the straps are in place, they can be painted over and you may never know they are there.
There is also the steel i-beam that is used to brace your walls where there are. Over time, they can be tightened slightly to slowly straighten your walls back to their original position.
If the walls are badly bowed and starting to break, then theory may need to be repaired or even replaced. This is more invasive as it needs to be done from the outside of the foundation.
If the walls are deeply bowing, then demolition and replacement are often the only choices available. Once they are too far damaged, it isn’t worth it to try and repair them.
What Do Bowed Basement Walls Mean and What Should You Do
As soon as you notice any change in your basement walls, you need to call your contractor right away. This is a reason for concern and you should not wait. You don’t want your walls to collapse.
Give us a call, right away here at KC Pier. We can help you identify your problem and make recommendations for the best solution for your situation. We promise to be the most cost-effective solution and provide the best value for your dollar when comparing service, quality, terms, and cost.