Bowing Basement Walls

Simply stated, bowing walls are basement walls that curve inward. This is an indicator of structural failure, and it can happen to all types of walls, including concrete and stone. A bowing problem can be a result of poor structural design, but more often it occurs from foundation damage. As the ground around your foundation shifts, the pressure on your foundation increases, resulting in bowing basement walls. We are Richmond’s trusted experts when it comes to bowing basement wall repairs. In addition to walls curving or tilting inward, there are several other indicators you might have bowing walls in your home including cracks, crumbling along mortar joints, and evidence of hydrostatic pressure. 

Bowing walls can cause an immense amount of damage to your Richmond home, and repairs can be costly if left untreated. Some common causes include expansive soil, hydrostatic pressure, contracting soils, and frozen soils. 

  • Expansive Soils: Soils vary from region to region. Expansive soils expand and contract based on water volume. These types of soils expand during rainy seasons, putting pressure on a structure’s foundation, which can lead to bowing. 
  • Hydrostatic Pressure: One of the most common sources causing bowing or buckling basement walls for Richmond area homes. When water inundates the ground around a foundation, the pressure against basement walls increases. This causes them to bow and can also lead to water leaks. 
  • Contracting Soils: Excessively dry soil can lead to deep cracks underground, and this shift in the soil weakens the support of the ground around the foundation. Further damage is compounded when there is excessive rain after long periods of drought.
  • Frozen Soils: Water saturated soil expands when it freezes, and this can add pressure against the foundation. 

Bowing or buckling basement walls compromise the structural integrity of a home and can be a safety hazard. A job of this magnitude should only be done by trusted professionals—such as our experts at Stable Foundations. Contact our Richmond team today to determine the best solution to repair your bowing basement walls and to schedule your free inspection!