Foundation Repair Case Studies: Bowed Cinder Block Wall Repaired

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017


This Leavenworth house was built above a crawl space with cinder block walls; one wall was beginning to collapse.

Thrasher’s foundation repair crews are skilled at working in crawlspaces and other confined areas.

Thrasher presented our customer with two repair options: install vertical wall restraints (steel beams) or helical tiebacks with C-channels. C-channels are used mainly on block walls, or walls that are broken horizontally, to support the entire wall when necessary. Although installing the tiebacks was slightly more expensive, the customer chose this option because of the 25-year warranty offered with the tieback system.

Block walls are commonly used for foundations throughout the Midwest, from Kansas and Missouri to Nebraska and Iowa, and are susceptible to bowing, leaning, and collapsing. Bowing basement walls, usually caused by moisture in loose or expansive soil, are a sign of a serious foundation issue that requires an inspection by a foundation expert. A bowing foundation wall is usually cracking near the middle, generally in the mortar joints between blocks, sometimes forming a stair-step pattern as it moves up. These cracks can let moisture and other infestations in your basement, creating unhealthy conditions and seriously weakening the support your home requires to retain its structural integrity, leading to even more significant problems. Left unaddressed, it can lead to a full wall failure and replacement.

Due to the limited access in the crawlspace, the crew needed to install the tiebacks from outside the home.  The project was completed on schedule, even though the crew had to perform the work in below-freezing temperatures.

Early symptoms of a bowing wall do not only crack but signs the foundation gives in, causing doors and windows to stick, wall cracks, including in drywall, and uneven floors higher in the house.

If you see any of these signs in your foundation cracks, it is time to get an inspection. Foundation cracks don't get better over time, only getting worse and leading to more expensive repairs.

Repairing foundation cracks is the work of trained foundation experts, requiring a full inspection to assess and repair properly.

After receiving your approval to repair your foundation cracks, we will make scheduling your project easy and convenient. We take every measure to protect the working area and the rest of your home from minimizing disruptions and dust. We complete most projects in one day with our high quality and efficient repair teams.

Thrasher has proven solutions. If you notice a bowed foundation, they include wall anchor systems secured in compact soil in the yard and wall. If trees, outbuildings, streets or sidewalks prevent outside wall anchors, wall braces are a common bowed basement wall repair. If the bowing isn't too severe and the lateral pressures can be remediated,  Carbon Fiber straps are another solution.

The wall was brought back into a plumb position; our customer was delighted with the result, as he no longer had to worry about the wall collapsing. If the customer hadn't used our helical tiebacks with C-channels, the wall would have eventually caved in. The customer would have had to lift his house and replace his foundation, which would have been very expensive and disruptive to his life and home.

No matter the job - we aren't going to feel good about the hard work we've done until you're happy. So we'll do it right or make it right. That's the Thrasher promise.

For the last 45 years serving in the Siouxland area in the basement and foundation repair industry, we've focused on the value of doing whatever it takes to get the job done and "wow" our customers every step of the way.

After thoroughly inspecting your basement wall repair needs, Thrasher takes every step to educate you on our findings and our best recommendations for your home's unique needs. We deliver a same-day, no-obligation estimate with transparent pricing and a copy of our industry-leading warranty.

After we've earned the opportunity to repair your basement walls, you can expect easy scheduling and high quality and efficient work with minimal disruption from locally trained experts from the Siouxland area. That means proper measures to protect your floors and walls and a well-ventilated workspace to reduce dust. Most projects can be completed in one day.

We also provide ongoing, routine maintenance, through Thrasher Care Club, during the term of your warranty to ensure we deliver on our promise to you.

Due to the crawlspace's limited access, the crew needed to install the tiebacks from outside the home. The project was completed on schedule, even though the staff had to perform the work in below-freezing temperatures. Thrasher's foundation crews work year-round in the Sioux City area, regardless of weather conditions.