Cracked or bowing walls are often a sign of foundation problems. Olshan offers effective wall repair and stabilization services.
The problems that affect basement and crawl space walls come in different shapes and sizes. Since no job is exactly the same, Olshan offers a wide variety of products and services to help stabilize damaged walls.
To determine the best solution, a Certified Structural Technician will carefully investigate the structural problems affecting your home. Once the analysis is complete, a custom repair plan will be offered at no cost to the homeowner.
The type of repair we recommend is determined by the build of the wall (concrete or brick), the severity of the damage, and the home’s infrastructure. Personal project goals will also be assessed to determine a long-lasting solution that can fit any budget.
Wall Anchors are usually the most powerful option available and we highly recommend the Wall Lock™ Wall Anchoring System, but we also offer Adjustable Wall Braces, Epoxy Crack Injections and Carbon Fiber Strips. Root Barriers are also available to deter hazardous tree roots.
Why Your Walls Bow and Tilt
Excess moisture in the soil around your home can cause expansive soils to swell. This creates hydrostatic pressure strong enough to make your basement walls bow inward. This extreme pressure puts stress on the basement walls and may eventually cause the walls to crack and lose strength. Since your basement walls are a key part of the support structure of your home, other serious problems can arise.
Common Causes of Problems
Wall Destabilization – Pressure from expanding soils or perched water tables eventually cause walls to crack and lose strength, negatively impacting the foundation
Hydrostatic Pressure – Building soil pressure stresses walls over time, leading to damage
Interior Water Intrusion – Water left un-managed will eventually find the path of least resistance and pool around your foundation. This problem, left ignored, can weaken the structure over time. This promotes structural damage, the deterioration of indoor air quality and leaks
Types of Walls
Basement walls can be one of two construction types; masonry block or poured walls. Moisture can find its way in regardless of the type of wall construction, if water and outside soil pressures are present.
Masonry Block Walls
Wall Repair Solutions
Many of the repair plans for cracks and bowing walls offered here at Olshan are designed to alleviate hydrostatic pressure – the root of the problem. By patching only the cosmetic issues, like the crack or leak, the forces causing the problems will remain. To provide a long-term solution, Olshan usually recommends a more comprehensive approach that includes Exterior Water Management or Waterproofing in conjunction with wall repairs.
When dealing with basement wall damage, Wall Anchors are often the strongest solution. They are cost-effective, minimally invasive and quick to install. Common wall anchoring methods include:
- Wall Lock™
- Concrete Tie back
- Plate Tie Back
- Screw Tie back
Wall Anchors extend outside to the exterior of your home and can be used successfully as a stand-alone fix. However, Wall Anchors alone do not alleviate hydrostatic pressure. If your problems stem from hydrostatic pressure, Olshan may recommend using Wall Anchors in conjunction with Water Management.
Adjustable Wall Braces
Adjustable wall braces help support bowing & buckling basement and crawl space walls from the interior of the structure, without disturbing the outside of your home.
- Wall Braces are used in situations that may not call for the superior strength of wall anchors
- Utilizes three floor joists to help eliminate twisting and side-pressure on the floor joists
- Galvanized steel beams brace your basement walls against the expansive outside soil pushing against it.
Carbon Fiber Strips
Carbon Fiber Strips help support unstable crawl space walls. They are designed to reinforce poured or block concrete walls that are still within tolerance, without straightening. In a small number of cases, bowed walls can be addressed using Carbon Fiber Strips.
- Structurally isolate movement in basement or crawl space walls
- Can be painted
- Not as costly as Wall Braces or Wall Anchors
- Additional Interior/Exterior repairs may be recommended
- No excavation required
Epoxy Crack Injections
Epoxy Crack Injections are an economical method for repairing non-moving cracks in concrete walls, slabs, or columns. Epoxy Injections can improve indoor air quality and help mitigate water leaks. They can be used to help weld a cracked concrete wall back together, which helps restore the structural integrity of the wall.
- A cosmetic repair in nature, if the cause of the cracking is not treated, cracking may occur again
- Primarily performed on the interior of basements
- Economical and effective, but does not eliminate the cause of the cracking
Root barriers help maintain a healthy soil moisture balance while also protecting against harmful tree roots.
- Great way to protect soil moisture in dry climates (good for the foundation)
- Offers protection against destructive root growth
Wall Lock™ – What’s Behind the Wall Matters
Our most popular Wall Repair solution is the patented Wall Lock™ System. The most advanced Wall Anchoring method available.
- Pull-tested at the time of installation to ensure that the anchor is set
- Galvanized to resist corrosion for long-term performance
- Industrial strength – proven in commercial applications such as utility poles, sea walls and underwater pipelines
- When used with exterior excavation, wall recovery is more achievable