Why Bowing Basement Walls Are Common in Concrete Foundations
Concrete has taken the modern construction industry by storm. Many modern homes have concrete foundations. It is the preferred material for construction as it is one of the most durable substances available today. It is also quite inexpensive and can be customized easily.
Common causes of concrete repair
Many contractors opt for concrete when building foundations because of its durability. Homeowners love this material because it promises minimal upkeep in the long run. However, concrete foundations can still succumb to the wear and tear of the years.
One of the first noticeable signs of bowing basement walls in concrete foundations are cracks. Cracking of the foundation however, is often an indication that the bowing has been going on for a while and now needs to be attended to as soon as possible.
In order to provide a long term solution, it is important for the contractor to understand the underlying cause of the bowing. Some of the most common causes include:
- Poor backfilling of soil
The soils around the foundation provide support for the foundation. If the soil is not backfilled or compacted properly, the foundation will not be stable. This will result in the foundation bowing outward.
- Poor drainage
When soils retain large volumes of water, they exert pressure against the foundation walls. This is one of the most common causes for bowing basement walls.
- Poor construction practices
These include poor mixing of the concrete as well as not allowing it to set properly. The concrete therefore won’t be as strong or durable as it ought to be.
Soil movement, displacement or erosion can result in loss of stability for the foundation. This in turn can result in leaning walls as there is uneven stress on the foundation.
Addressing bowing basement walls
Many homeowners opt for the easy way out: ignoring the problem in the hope that it will go away. The problem with this approach is that foundation problems never go away. If anything, they will only get worse.
If you have spotted a problem with your foundation wall, ensure that you get the foundation inspected. This will ensure that any serious problem is identified and dealt with. You should avoid doing any DIY repairs. These are likely to be only cosmetic solutions. They will not address the root cause of the problem. They are therefore likely to make the problem worse over time.