What causes foundation walls to bow inward and or displace laterally?

All foundation problems are caused by water, get rid of the water and get rid of the problem. The more you keep ground water away from the foundation walls the more you reduce the risk of structural damage to your home.

Unreinforced foundations have tremendous strength vertically but very limited resistance to lateral pressure, particularly masonry foundation walls.

Foundation walls that are displaced or bowed inward is a common occurrence particularly in areas where the native soil is expansive clay.

Lateral movement due to clogged weeping tile
Bowed cracked wall due to frost

Indicators of the problem

If the second course of masonry is displaced, it is usually and indicator the problem is a result of undrained, heavy saturated clay soils caused by a clogged  perimeter weeping tile.

If the horizontal crack in the bowed masonry wall is 1 or 2 feet below the exterior grade, it is usually a result of lateral frost heave caused by saturated soils and cold winter.

Bowed wall
Foundation wall pushed in at top
Foundation wall pushed in
Foundation wall pushed in from frost

7 Solutions to bowed or displaced foundation walls

Most foundation walls can be straightened by excavating on the exterior and using hydraulic jacks to push the wall back into vertical alignment. First and foremost is to address the water issue that caused the problem in the first place – usually poor grading or roof drains discharge too close to the foundation.

Once the wall has been straightened. There are seven proven methods in which to stabilize the wall preventing any movement in the future. The choice of which method of stabilization depends on a number of factors; accessibility to the work area, condition of the wall, height of backfill, type of soil and future use of basement.

  1. Replace the clogged weeping tile
  2. Remove clay soil and backfill with free draining soils
  3. Insulate the ground
  4. Install earth anchors
  5. Install wall braces
  6. Install engineered wood wall
  7. Install carbon strapping

Bowed Walls and Foundation Repair - Service Area

We provide bowed walls and foundation repair services in the .

Need Bowed Walls and Foundation Repair Services?

Call us for an estimate: Hamilton: 519-647-0256 / Toronto: 647-921-7437.
Alternatively, you can submit your estimate request online.

Cochren Foundation and Repair Company is proudly affiliated with the following professional organizations in Ontario and Canada, dealing with quality assuring in construction and engineering projects.

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