A foundation’s primary purpose, whether it is block, poured, or stone, is to support the compressive load of the building. However, these building components are generally weak in tensile strength and lateral forces. Thus, concrete and other building materials incorporate reinforcing materials, such as rebar, to increase the lateral load capacity of the foundation wall. Sometimes, these reinforcing methods are not enough and lateral forces can overcome the strength of the wall.
A Bowed Basement or Foundation Walls can occur as a result of soil loads pushing against the wall. Compounded with depth and other factors and the lateral forces surpass the foundation’s original resistance to these loads. Over time, these factors can produce lateral bending and the foundation or basement wall becomes bowed. This condition also produces significant cracking. If left unattended this condition will worsen with time jeopardizing both the structural integrity and resale value of the property.
Fixing Bowed Basement and Foundation Walls
A Bowed basement or foundation wall can be straightened but require excavation of foundation, lifting the weight of the structure off of the wall and pushing the wall back to as close to plumb as possible. Even after this is accomplished, the wall itself has lost the structural integrity and requires reinforcement.