Why Is my Foundation wall Bowing Or Buckling?
Many homes in the Midwest, like Des Moines, are sitting on foundations constructed of concrete blocks. During housing booms, concrete blocks become popular with builders because they can build a foundation quickly and move on to the above-ground structure faster than they can with poured concrete.
A typical concrete block foundation sits on a spread footing of poured concrete. The walls are built in a running bond pattern with mortar used to cement the blocks together and fill the joints in between. Done properly, concrete block foundations are strong and stable and will perform as well as poured concrete. Block foundations are, however, subject to a unique form of damage and several methods have been developed to remedy it.
Signs Of Expansive Soil Damage
Basement walls showing signs of bowing or buckling get worse over time and should be addressed right away to ensure the continued integrity of your home. Bowed walls is a major sign of extensive basement soil damage, but other signs include:
Soil pulling away from foundation walls
Cracks in bricks or brick veneer
Water seepage in the basement
Diagonal cracks along the corners of foundation walls
Horizontal wall cracks
Jammed windows and doors
Cracks in the concrete garage or driveway slabs
Ways to Repair a Bowed Concrete Block Basement Wall
All foundation walls are subject to lateral pressure from the soil outside. When the soil surrounding the foundation becomes oversaturated, perhaps because of inadequate yard drainage, the soil expands and increases the pressure also known as (hydrostatic pressure). Under these conditions, concrete block foundation walls can bow or bulge inward in the middle, with mortar joints cracking and separating to allow movement of the blocks. Left unrepaired, this wall movement can cause seepage and damage to the structure of the home it supports.
The most effective way to repair a bowing wall is to use PowerBraces on the wall itself. These are steel I-beams that are set against the wall and anchored to both the basement floor and to the floor joists. The I-beams help stabilizes the wall and prevents further inward movement. With seasonal tightening of the PowerBraces sometimes complete recovery can be achieved. Here at B.A.M! Basements and Masons of Des Moines our main priority is to stop the bowing problem in the area we address. That is why our clients rely on us. If the wall requires more than just PowerBraces to correct the bow, we can excavate around the perimeter of the home to relieve the pressure and literally push the wall back into place from the inside, installing the PowerBraces at that time. In some cases, the wall is beyond bracing and the foundation wall needs to be replaced.
We Fix Bowed Walls In Des Moines
At BAM Basements and Masons of Des Moines, our highly trained team of sales experts know how to spot and diagnose structural foundation damage and how to repair it permanently and cost-effectively. Why not ask for a free consultation when you spot a bowed wall in your basement?
BAM Basements and Masons of Des Moines is your premier foundation repair company serving the Des Moines, Iowa area. If you’re located in Des Moines, Ankeny, Bondurant, Altoona, Pleasant hill, Ames, Adel, Waukee, Indianola, Grimes, Urbandale, Johnston, West Des Moines, or the surrounding areas, we’re the place to call. We can help you avoid costly and stressful foundation repair mistakes, by giving you a customized solution that’s going to work for you and your home long term. BAM Basements and Masons of Des Moines is a professional and locally owned and operated state-registered contractor. BAM’S offers free estimates and limited lifetime warranties.