Repairing Your Leaning Foundation Wall

Leaning foundation walls are a significant problem for a number of reasons, including weakening a key support for your home's structure, creating gaps for moisture and infestation and potentially causing growing, widening cracks that could indicate coming wall failure.

bowing basement wallLeaning basement walls affect your home's structural integrity, possibly causing floor shifts, windows and doors to start sticking, tilting chimneys or other issues.

Foundation walls normally start leaning due to lateral forces from hydrostatic pressure. The three most common causes are wet clay soil, soil expanding due to moisture, or frost heaving when cold temperatures cause soil to contract. In masonry basement walls, this pressure normally causes cracks in the mortar joints between blocks or bricks, oftentimes creating a stair-step pattern. In poured concrete walls, the lean is normally at the top where soil is looser, and diagonal cracks can start to form in the corners.

There are a number of solutions for repairing a leaning foundation wall, including wall anchor, brace or carbon fiber repair systems, depending on underlying cause of the issue, the extent of the lean and your home's unique circumstances.

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Cracked foundations, leaky basements and mildewy crawlspaces are often serious problems that shouldn't be ignored. If you feel you've put your repair project off long enough, financing can help you get it done now instead of later. It's not worth gambling with the investment you've made in your home!

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Wall anchors are one of the most proven and widely used methods of repairing basement walls damaged due to foundation issues. Not to be confused with drywall anchors, wall anchors are two metal plates, one placed in packed soil in your yard, the other placed against your basement wall, joined by a steel rod that can be rotated to bring the anchors together, restoring bowing, leaning and cracked basement walls to a straight vertical position.

  • A push pier is a foundation bracket placed along the footing of a building foundation to prevent sinking. Push piers are installed after the ground around the building foundation has been excavated and are anchored deep into stable soil to better support the building. A series of push piers are often used to help distribute the weight of a building onto the stable soil that anchors them.

  • A foundation repair project generally takes less than a day to complete with the proper
    assessment, trained experts and the right equipment. For repairs that require some yard
    disturbance - wall anchors or pier solutions -- a small surrounding area must be excavated,
    although disturbance is kept to a minimum, allowing for working in tight areas. The more
    widespread foundation problems are, the larger the repair system required, taking extra time.
    Once the project is completed, all signs of work will be covered as dirt is put back into place and
    landscaping restored.

  • Many minor cracks are simply visual, and not indicative of serious structural damage. However, to distinguish this from cracks that might show larger problems, you must look at the size and
    number of cracks. If cracks are more than 1/8 inch or spanning a large surface area, that's probably serious. If the cracks are growing over time, it likely signals the foundation starting to give way under pressure,which could become a very serious issue.

  • Drywall cracks, if not caused by seasonal changes in humidity, may also be caused by structural
    problems. For example, poor settlement leading to cracks in concrete slabs often indicates that
    sagging walls are next and drywall is soon to follow. If your house is built on uneven soil, the
    shifting and sinking will result in cracks forming on your interior walls.

  • Thrasher guarantees customer satisfaction, offering a transferable warranty. Foundation repairs, basement waterproofing and crawl space repair are backed by 25-year warranties, while concrete repairs have a 5-year warranty and egress windows have a 10-year warranty. When any owner sells the home where Thrasher has performed the work, the warranty transfers to any new owners, through the life of the warranty.

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