Correcting Tilting Foundation Wall Problems Quickly To Allow For Basement Finishing
Basement walls that are showing signs of bowing, buckling, and tilting can get worse over time, and they should be addressed before finishing the basement.
However, most homeowners will want to finish their basement and enjoy the space right away, and wall anchors may take some time before your wall has returned to its original position.
Your foundation repair expert can talk with you about options to quickly and effectively restore your foundation wall to its original, straight alignment.
What Causes Tilting Foundation Walls?
The soil around your foundation house can place a great deal of pressure on your basement walls. This pressure varies based on the types of soil that are present, how much moisture is in the soil, and how far underground your foundation extends.
Other factors, such as hydrostatic pressure, expansive clay soils, frost, improper gutter systems, and poorly graded soils can also contribute to foundation issues.
While there’s constant pressure pushing in on the foundation, there’s no equalizing pressure pushing out! If the outside pressure is greater than the strength of your walls, they will begin to fail.
Cracks in the masonry are usually the first sign of wall failure. Then sections of the wall can actually start to buckle, bow, and tilt inwards. Left unchecked, this damage will worsen and can even result in walls that totally collapse.
The good news is that the foundation damage mentioned above can be repaired using proven, long-lasting techniques that are much more affordable than the total replacement of the foundation.
We often use a wall anchor system to stabilize bowing buckling walls. Once a series of these wall anchors have been installed, the system can be gradually tightened to return damaged walls to their original straight, plumb orientation a little bit at a time.
In some cases, homeowners may want bowing and/or tilting walls to be straightened right away as opposed to gradually, so that all or part of the basement can be finished — or perhaps they may want to completely correct foundation wall problems so that the house can be put on the market.
Regardless of the reason, basement walls can be excavated and straightened immediately rather than waiting to tighten the walls periodically.
Repairing & Straightening Tilting Foundation Walls
At Baker’s Waterproofing, we recommend correcting damage done to failing foundation walls with the SettleStop™ Wall Anchor System.
1. Excavating the Foundation Perimeter
On the right is an example of a foundation with a severe soil issue along the foundation wall. Notice the severe inward bowing of the wall due to soil pressures.
To relieve pressure placed on your foundation walls from outside moisture and soils, we at Baker’s Waterproofing begin the wall straightening process by excavating the soils out from around the foundation.
Exterior excavation is only necessary when the foundation walls need to be straightened right away, such as when the walls are dangerously damaged, or you have scheduled the basement to be finished. In normal scenarios, this step is not a necessary part of all SettleStop™ wall anchor system installations.
2. Position The Earth Anchor
Outside of the foundation, a section of the sod is carefully and temporarily removed at each earth anchor location. Workers dig a hole where each anchor will go.
This earth anchor is made of high-quality galvanized steel to resist corrosion and includes a 25-year warranty against manufacturing defects, as well as our own in-house quality and performance warranty.
Each earth anchor has a center hole for attaching the anchor rod that will be installed in the next step.
3. Prepare The Foundation Wall
Next, we drill a small hole in your foundation wall for the steel anchor rod that will extend from the wall to each earth anchor. We drive the anchor rod through the soil until it can be attached to its earth anchor.
One way our wall anchor system is superior to other methods is that the hole created in the foundation wall is very small – just 1″ in diameter. Other methods may require a large hole or section of concrete block to be removed during installation.
4. Mounting Wall Plates
Once the earth anchor has been attached to the anchor rod, a steel wall plate will be mounted to the anchor rod on the inside of the foundation. Once this step of the installation has been completed for each earth anchor, the inward movement of your foundation walls will have been permanently halted. These wall anchors can now be tightened to continue to straighten and support the foundation wall.
5. Straightening Basement Walls
At this point, your foundation repair experts will attempt to straighten the foundation walls back to their original position. Wall anchors will be tightened and adjusted accordingly and will provide long-term support for the walls.
Once the wall is straightened, the excavation is filled using the soil removed in Step 1.
However, to avoid excessive soil pressure in the future, gravel and drainage tile may be installed to help avoid soil pressure due to excessive moisture.
After backfilling, landscape details will be carefully restored.
6. Cleaning Up & Preparing For Basement Finishing
All holes created for the soil anchor installation will be carefully filled in with excavated soil and mechanically compressed.
Your sod will carefully be replaced and raked for a seamless blend with surrounding landscaping.
Contact Us For Foundation Wall Repair
At Baker’s Waterproofing, we take pride in providing a clean, warrantied solution for homeowners in need of foundation wall repair. To help you decide if we’re the contractors for you, we offer free written basement wall repair quotes for property owners throughout our PA & WV service area.
We serve the Pittsburgh, Morgantown, Clarksburg, area, as well as Bethel Park, Beaver, Wheeling, Cranberry Township, Greensburg, Washington, Fairmont, and many outlying areas. To schedule an appointment, call or e-mail us today!