How to Straighten Basement Walls Yourself | Follow 5 Simple Steps

Basement walls need to support your entire home, which is why it’s important to keep them in good condition. If you notice that the walls in your basement have sagged or cracked, you must figure out how to fix them as soon as possible. Follow these steps on how to straighten basement walls yourself.

What is Bowed Walls Basement?

What is Bowed Walls Basement

Basement bowed walls are masonry walls that are lowered or curved from the outside inwards. If you are standing inside a basement and looking at a curved wall, you should see a convex or domed wall. This problem is sometimes called inward deviation.

Basement curved walls are also often cracked. There may be vertical or horizontal cracks, but they are most often horizontal due to the direction of curvature of the wall. During the rainy season, these cracks might widen, and during the dry season, they can close.

Due to cracks, the curved walls of the basement can be stained with water, mold, or white bloom due to mineral deposits due to water leakage.

What Causes the Curved Walls of the Basement?

How to Straighten Basement Walls Yourself

Hydrostatic pressure

The curved walls of the basement are caused by pressure from the outside that pushes the walls inwards. Water is the most prevalent source of pressure on basement walls.

The outer ground along the side of the basement wall becomes saturated with water during the rainy season. This soaked soil becomes heavy and spreads. This expansion pushes the basement wall from the outside.

Frozen ground

Frozen soil is also spreading. When most of the ground next to the basement wall freezes, it can be pushed against the top of the basement wall.

Heavy objects

Extremely heavy objects placed on the floor next to the basement wall can push the floor, which also pushes the floor outwards. Ordinary outdoor structures such as bridges will not cause this, but heavy machinery or long-term parked vehicles can cause it. 

How to Straighten Basement Walls Yourself?

How to Straighten Basement Walls Yourself

Step 1: Inspect the wall.

The first thing you need to do is tear down anything that covers your basement wall so you can investigate the problem. Remove as much siding as possible so you can see the entire wall.

If you notice any cracks in the wall, they will need your attention first. You may also notice that your basement’s walls are curved. It is important to check for malfunctions to find the best way to resolve the issue.

Step 2 – Select repair methods

The way the wall is repaired will depend on the damage you received and the material from which the wall was built. If the wall is cracked or moving inwards, you can use hydraulic cement to fill the gaps. Hydraulic cement is a very useful material that is available in almost every hardware store.

Step 3: Check the drainage.

Curvature or cracks can be caused by water damage due to poor drainage. On the wall, you’ll find zigzag designs. Vertical cracks are often the result of a house collapse. Ensure you check that the gutters are not clogged, and the drainage channels are free of obstructions that could cause cracks and bends.

Step 4 – use beams

Any horizontal bend or crack can be repaired with steel beams. The sizes must be correct. If placed correctly, they should work quite well. Wall anchors can also be used for concrete walls that are sloping inwards. Using beams, you will straighten each wall and make sure it supports the rest of your home.

Step 5 – Last resort

If you can’t solve the problem using beams or wall anchors, the other option is completely renovating the wall. Renovating a basement wall is not an easy task; therefore, you need to try other solutions first.

Choose the best repair options for curved basement walls to improve the strength of your entire home. No matter which repair method you choose, you will find that you can fix the problem quickly.

How to Avoid Curved Basement Walls

How to Straighten Basement Walls Yoursel

Repairing basement walls is not a DIY job, but preventative measures are. As a homeowner, you can prevent the basement walls from tilting after repairs:

  • Repair drains and gutters to prevent water from accumulating near basement walls.
  • Create a solid drainage system with yachts that drain water from the house.
  • Build a French drain to collect groundwater.
  • Level the ground away from the house.
  • Replace expansive soils lying along the outside of the basement with fast-draining sand or gravel.
  • Remove heavy objects such as machines or hot tubs (unless the weight is distributed on the concrete slab).

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to level a basement wall?

Basement arched walls can be fastened with carbon fiber or steel reinforcing tape for $350 to $1,000 per strip. This type of damage is a sign of poor soil conditions caused by expansive clay, poor backfilling, or insufficient drainage.

What causes the basement walls to bend?

In most cases, the sloping wall is caused by hydrostatic pressure. This pressure develops when the soil around your home is saturated with water. The ground expands and pushes along your foundation.

What degree of curvature is acceptable for basement walls?

Usually, the sloping basement walls can be reinforced to prevent further movement. 

Note: it takes up to 2″ inward curvature or less; anything above that and your wall is no longer structurally solid and needs to be replaced.

Can you level a concrete wall?

The most common effect of external pressures acting by force on a poured concrete wall is cracking. 

Correcting a curved foundation wall is not always possible, so stabilization is the most common approach. Sometimes the traditional straightening process can be used in combination with modern stabilization methods.

How bad is a curved basement wall?

Curved basement walls can be a sign of serious structural problems in your home. If one or more walls in your basement begin to lean inward, it’s important to act quickly before the damage spreads.

How much does it cost to repair a curved wall?

A sloping wall repair will cost you between $75 and $400 per square foot. Usually, the curvature is caused by the foundation and structural problems, which means more expensive repairs to solve the root of the problem. 

Conclusion

Straightening your basement is important because the curved walls of the basement make it difficult to complete the basement or add living space. Most importantly, the curved basement walls pose a structural hazard. In most cases, experts must take care of the problem and repair the sloping basement walls.

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