Repair Bowing Foundation Walls | Horizontal Cracks on Block Foundation Walls

 Bowed/Leaning Foundation Walls – Repair/Replace

American Foundation Repair, repairs bowing/leaning foundation walls. These bowed walls are typically cinder block, but can also be poured concrete walls. Many low-grade level homes can experience this problem. Signs of a bowed wall could be a horizontal crack across your foundation, diagonal cracks on the corners, and a bow in the middle of the foundation wall.

Many of these signs could be overlooked, especially in a finished basement. Homeowners could be living with a potentially bowed wall and not even know it! The main cause of a bowing foundation is the grade (ground) level pitching toward the home instead of away. Other factors could be unsatisfactory gutters (clogged, damaged etc.) preventing the flow of water from going into the downspouts and instead letting it flow into the foundation. The excessive lateral pressure pressing against the block foundation will cause the wall to bow inward because  the block wall is not strong enough to prevent the wall from bowing and therefore your home starts to bow inward.

Even with proper working gutters, you may still have a problem with your foundation wall bowing if the grade level is pitching toward your home. When it rains, water tends to naturally flow from the highest point to the lowest spot; unfortunately, some homes are sitting in some very low spots.

 Soil pressure is one of the main factors causing a wall to bow inward. The outside pressure from the soil against the foundation wall will eventually lead to misalignment and cause the foundation wall to bow. This does not happen overnight! It takes years for walls to start showing signs of structural failure. Once the signs are evident it is too late to take preventative measures, and now the problem must be structurally repaired. 

A leaning wall will occur when the floor framing is not properly secured to the foundation wall. Experiencing this problem you will notice a diagonal cracks on the foundation wall indicating inward movement. Not addressing this issue will cause significant damage to your home, have an expert come out and evaluate the situation, we’ll provide you with the best solution to your foundation problem.  Epoxy or urethane injection in most cases is not an adequate repair, but a “quick fix – band-aid” to a more extensive problem, make sure to have one of our experts and evaluate your problem for a proper permanent foundation repair.

A driveway directly next to your home may also cause your foundation to bow because of continuous lateral pressure from the outside including extra weight from the cars and trucks parked outside.

Symptoms of a Failing Bowing/Leaning Foundation Wall

  • Diagonal cracks on ends of foundation wall – Floor joist not nailed to sill plate (wood sitting on top of foundation)
  • Split sill plate – Improper anchor bolt installation
  • Pocketed I-Beam going through foundation wall (From outside you can see a bulge at I-Beam end)
  • Horizontal crack on cinder block wall – Excessive lateral soil pressure due to extreme saturated ground

Stabilize Bow Walls

One of the best options to stabilize a bow wall is to place a concrete retaining wall adjacent to the existing bowed wall. This method will secure your wall from bowing inward. The gunite method (high pressure spray of concrete onto rebar) is engineered to keep your home from any further bowing, it stops the wall completely from bowing inward. Most companies will not offer you this method, since it requires specialized trained technicians and cumulative years of team experience.   We are most experienced trained team in the Chicagoland area to solve your foundation problem. 

 A cut of approximately 18″ away from existing foundation wall is made for new drain tile system. A waterproofing barrier is placed at entire work area. Rebar is endowed into existing footing. Rebar is placed horizontally and vertically along entire damaged work area. We gunite the wall and trowel for a smooth finish. Replacement of your  concrete floor is performed, leaving your basement looking like new. Your home is secure from any further bowing or seepage, all of our work is done accordingly to engineered specifications, meet with one our professional experienced team members for a free evaluation.

Unfinished Basement Trench Next to Footing

A trench is dug out next to footing.

Vapor barrier to protect new wall from seepage.

Vapor Barrier

Reinforced rebar at 12″ center.

Smooth finished wall

Finished smooth trowel wall