What’s the Cause and Remedy for a Buckling Wall?

Posted on by BPN

Hi all, thanks much for this valuable resource! I have a small single story home built in the 1950-1960s. The foundation wall is concrete block, but one side of the basement walls is buckling/ bowing inward, as well as shifting on the bottom. In total I would guess that the wall is bowed in at least 2″ in the middle. Please advice what is causing this and what I should do about it!

One Response to What’s the Cause and Remedy for a Buckling Wall?

  1. Bruce Blok Bruce Blok says:

    The cause of a bowing or buckling basement wall is almost always due to soil and water pressure against the foundation. When a home is built,it is important to backfill a basement with good clean fill. While it is tempting and cheaper to backfill with the soil that has been excavated when digging the basement, if it contains clay, topsoil, or other material that can absorb water and expand, it should not be used. This may require bringing in clean fill sand, but will save a lot of potential trouble later on.

    The remedy depends somewhat on how bad the situation is. In your case, if it has bowed 2″ and is shifting on the bottom, it may be necessary to excavate along the wall and replace at least part of it. Other options include reinforcing with steel, using a carbon fiber mesh epoxied on the interior face of the wall, or various types of anchoring systems. You can find a very good summary at this website: http://www.basement-repair.com/foundation/foundation-bowing-walls.html

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