Leaning, Bowed, or Cracked Walls

The pressure of the earth on the outside of a wall causes many retaining walls and basement walls to lean, bow, or crack over time. This is most common in masonry block walls, but it can also be found in other types of foundations. A leaning, bowed, or cracked basement wall cannot effectively support the house above it, so the problem must be addressed.

Carbon fiber strips. A popular solution, these strips are adhered vertically to the bowed wall. Once attached, they will prevent any inward movement of the wall.

Wall pins or struts. Used on masonry block walls, this method involves inserting rebar into select block openings and feeding the rebar down to the footing. Concrete is then poured into the block openings, creating a solid, reinforced pillar or column within the wall.

Steel I-beams. Steel I-beams can be installed vertically against a severely bowed interior wall. They are either bolted to the floor slab or set into the exposed footing below the floor. The tops of the beams are then bolted to braces in the ceiling joists. Concrete or dry packing is installed above and below the point where the wall touches the beam, evenly distributing the wall’s pressure against the beam.

Tiebacks or anchors. Horizontal tiebacks or wall anchors can also be installed through the wall and into the earth next to its exterior in order to pull the wall back into place vertically.