There are few things scarier for a homeowner than having to deal with bowing basement walls. For many homeowners, the bowing will be at an advanced stage by the time it is noticed. However, this doesn’t mean that your basement walls cannot be saved. Advances in technology have meant that there are now better ways to save foundation walls.
You may be wondering what you did to cause your basement walls to bulge. The hard truth is that many times, the bowing is not as a result of anything you or anyone else has done. The following are the three most common causes for bowing of basement walls.
When foundations are built, excavation is done and the walls are installed. Soil is then backfilled to offer support to the foundation walls. This is a crucial part of the construction process.
When it rains or when snow melts, water is introduced to the soil surrounding the foundation wall. When there is a high volume of water in the soil, hydrostatic pressure (the force resulting from the water) is increased. This pressure acts against the foundation walls. If hydrostatic pressure in the soil surrounding the foundation is greater than the opposing force of the foundation wall, the wall will begin to bulge inward.
Trees are a great addition to any property. They provide shade. They also act as wind breakers and prevent erosion of the soil. However, they can also cause damage to your property especially the foundation.
Tree roots spread out in the ground in search of water. Though they may not seem like much, roots can cause damage to foundation walls by exerting pressure. This often happens over years. The roots of trees growing near the foundation of the home can cause the walls of the foundation to bow inward.
If the foundation of a home is inadequate, the basement walls will bow. This is common in homes that are old or whose foundations were not constructed properly. These foundations are inadequate and therefore cannot bear the weight of the home properly.
If you spot bowing basement walls, it is important to get in touch with a professional contractor as soon as possible. This will increase your chances of saving the foundation wall and avoid having to replace it.