If it seems like the wall in your basement is bowing to the inside, you may think you're seeing things. However, wall bowing is a sign of a type of foundation damage that can happen due to the hydrostatic pressure of water on the outside of the wall or from frozen soil pressing against the wall. This could happen suddenly after a flood or happen gradually and slowly get worse. Here's how a foundation repair contractor may go about fixing a bowed wall.
Determine The Amount Of Bowing And The Cause
The foundation contractor starts by assessing the situation so they can begin the right type of repairs. One thing they need to do is measure the amount of bowing as this determines the type of repairs that are needed. The bigger the bulge, the more extensive the repairs need to be up to the point of replacing the entire wall.
The contractor also looks for cracking since bowed walls also crack, and these cracks need to be filled in with epoxy to plug them so water doesn't leak into the basement. Another important thing to determine is the cause of the problem. Repairing bowed walls alone won't stop further damage. The source of the water issue must be found and fixed even if it just involves installing an outside drain.
Stabilize The Walls
There are different ways to stabilize bowed walls, and this can be done inside or outside. For walls that are only mildly bowed, the contractor might use straps to provide support to keep the walls from further bowing. If the walls are moderately bowed, the contractor might put steel beams up against the walls to hold them in place.
A wall that has a large bow may need to be anchored in the soil outside. This is more costly, but it provides a lot of stability to the wall so the worry of it collapsing is eliminated. If the wall has enough damage, the contractor may need to replace it. This is much more work, but the repairs are permanent and effective.
Fix The Water Drainage Issue
Some things the foundation repair contractor may need to do to solve the water issue that caused the wall to bow include putting in an interior drain and sump pump, installing an exterior French drain, and putting a waterproof membrane on the exterior basement wall. All of these methods keep water from pressing against the wall and causing further movement.
The foundation repair contractor will still need to fill cracks in the wall even if water no longer comes through because the filler helps stabilize the wall and it also keeps out bugs like termites.
To learn more, contact a foundation repair service in your area such as Texas Foundation Experts.