Leaning Basement or Retaining Walls

Due to the weight of the earth on the outside of the wall and the pressure it creates, many retaining walls and basement walls start to lean, bow, or crack over time. Because a leaning, bowed, or cracked basement wall can no longer effectively support the weight of the house above it, the problem must be addressed. To fix the problem, horizontal tiebacks or wall anchors are installed to pull the wall toward the earth behind it.

These devices usually consist of some type of anchor in the earth, a plate on the inside surface of the wall, and a rod connecting the two. Helical screw anchors and plate anchors are two common anchor varieties. For plate anchors, a hole is dug in the earth a number of feet from the wall. Then, the rod is drilled through the wall and the earth until it reaches the hole. The plate anchor is attached to the end of the rod in the hole, and the hole is refilled and compacted tightly.

For helical screw anchors, a hole is dug in the earth directly behind the wall. The rod is extended through the wall and the helical screw head is attached. Then, the entire assembly is slowly turned deep into the earth behind the wall.

After either the anchor plate or helical screw is firmly in place, special plates or brackets are installed and tightened on the other end of the rod to pull the wall toward the earth behind it.