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When a home’s basement wall begins to fail, the first signs are typically the appearance of cracks in the block or cracks in the mortar. Basement wall cracks usually run horizontally along the wall near its mid-height. A basement wall crack is rarely cosmetic; you may have serious foundation problems.
What Causes Basement Wall Damage?
Basement walls fail for a variety of reasons:
- Lateral Pressure
The most common reason for failure is too much lateral pressure on the wall from the earth outside.
- Excess Water
Wall damage can be accelerated by poor drainage or plumbing leaks.
- Wall Construction
The wall construction may be inadequate to withstand normal lateral pressure pushing against the wall.
A professional foundation inspection can identify the source of basement wall cracks in your home and provide a solution.
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Residential Basement Wall Repair Options and Solutions
Repairing a basement wall is very rarely a DIY project. It’s best to contact a foundation contractor to solve the problem. This can include not just repairing the wall, but also fixing the underlying foundation problem that caused the failure in the first place.
The two most common repairs for bowing basement walls are:
- Carbon Fiber Reinforcing
To restrain a basement wall from bowing, carbon fiber straps are attached to the wall with epoxy, from top to bottom. Carbon fiber reinforcing is a very cost-effective basement wall repair method, one that can be applied quickly and with little disturbance.
Tieback systems are commonly used for failing walls. If a basement wall is leaning significantly, a tieback system may be used. Common tieback systems include:
- Driven tiebacks
Tiebacks are installed through the wall and into the soil strata behind the wall to create a secure anchor. The tiebacks are then attached to a plate or whaler system installed on the face of the wall to prevent further bowing or leaning.
How Helical Tiebacks Work