Identifying & Repairing Issues Related To Foundation Wall Failure
Your foundation walls are bowing, buckling or are showing signs of inward movement.
- Horizontal or stair-step cracking along the foundation walls
- Diagonal cracking at corners of poured concrete foundation walls
- Inward bowing or bulging along the walls
- Walls sliding inwards on the bottom
- Walls leaning in at the top
- Wet, clay soils around the home coupled with damaged walls
- Expansive clay soils present around the structure
Wall anchors can repair many bowing wall problems. Soil anchors are placed in the ground outside the home.
Steel rods attached to soil anchors extend through the foundation wall and wall plates.
Wall plates distribute clamping pressure. Tightening nuts on the threaded ends of the rods stabilizes the wall for a permanent solution.
How to Fix It:
Install SettleStop® Wall Anchor System along the bowing walls, and use the system’s clamping pressure to stabilize and restore the wall.
When space issues prohibit wall anchor installation, we recommend installing the IntelliBrace™ Wall System.
Signs of bowing foundation walls
Foundation walls move inward primarily due to expansive soils and hydrostatic pressure on the walls from outside. However, foundation walls may also crack due to many other outside causes, including foundation settlement. Our foundation experts will accurately identify the cause of your home’s foundation problems.
What Causes Cracked & Bowing Foundation Walls?
The soils around your home can put enormous pressure on foundation walls. The amount of pressure they exert depends on four factors:
- The type of soil around the foundation
- The amount of moisture in the soil
- How far underground the foundation is
- The temperature conditions
There’s constant pressure on your foundation walls from the outside, but the only thing holding up your foundation wall is the wall itself. Hydrostatic pressure, expansive clay soil, and frost can all exert enough pressure to cause walls to lean or even collapse.
Gutters and downspouts can also contribute significantly to foundation problems by allowing large volumes of water to collect in the soil around your structure.
If roof runoff is not directed away from your foundation, the soil around the foundation will become heavier and more expansive as it’s saturated with water.
Installing Foundation Wall Anchors
At Foundation Systems of Michigan, we recommend the SettleStop ® Wall Anchor System, to stabilize failing foundation walls. Our contractors follow these six steps when installing our warrantied wall anchor system:
Before the installation, earth anchor locations will be determined to maximize system effectiveness. When the foundation contractors arrive, their proposal will show the location of each earth anchor in the yard outside your house.
At the beginning of each earth anchor installation, sod is carefully removed from your lawn and placed aside for later. A sheet is laid down to help protect your lawn and landscaping, and an earth anchor hole is made using a power auger.
Once the hole has been excavated, we will core a small hole through your basement wall. Then, a steel anchor rod will be driven through the wall and soil, extending through a hole in the center of the earth anchor.
One way our wall anchor system is superior to other methods is that the hole created in the foundation wall is very small – 1″ in diameter. Other methods may require a large hole or section of concrete block to be removed during installation.
After securing the end of each anchor rod to its earth anchor, these assemblies are buried in the ground, using soil removed earlier. To resist corrosion damage, each of our earth anchor systems is designed with galvanized steel.
Each of the SettleStop® Earth Anchors we install includes a 25-year warranty against manufacturing defects, as well as our own in-house quality and performance warranty.
Once the earth anchors have been installed, our foundation repair experts will mount a wall plate over each anchor rod end that protrudes from the basement wall. Screwing a large nut to the threaded end of the anchor rod secures each wall plate and stabilizes the wall as the nut is tightened.
At Foundation Systems of Michigan, we take pride in leaving each job clean, neat, and free of damage to existing landscaping. As part of our cleanup process, we fill holes completely with dirt saved earlier and tamp filled areas to ensure that depressed areas will not be created as the soils settle over time.
We will also replace all sod, carefully grooming it with a rake to help it to blend in with surrounding grass for a seamless landscaping restoration.
SettleStop® Wall Anchors do more than just stop the inward movement of your foundation walls — they also provide the opportunity to straighten your walls over time.
Eventually, your walls can be significantly repaired, or even returned completely to their original position. This is a powerful way to restore value to your home and return your home to looking solid, stable, and attractive — both for you and for prospective home buyers.
When Foundation Wall Anchors Won’t Work
In some cases, a wall anchor system can’t be used to repair a bowing wall because the yard outside the house isn’t accessible. When we at Foundation Systems of Michigan encounter this kind of problem, we suggest that you install our IntelliBrace® Foundation Wall Bracing System.
The IntelliBrace® System
Saving a wall with the IntelliBrace® System. This innovative system stabilizes bowing walls and can even straighten walls over time.
The IntelliBrace® is a foundation wall bracing system designed to stabilize failing basement walls and also allow for potential straightening over time.
This product is a great option when access to the yard outside of the home is not possible and bowing, buckling wall problems need to be solved.
IntelliBrace® is an I-beam system that has several advantages over traditional ‘old school’ systems.
This includes its rust-resistant and a design that makes it possible not only to stabilize bowing walls, but also to straighten these walls over a period of time.
Installation of a IntelliBrace® System can be conducted quickly in your home, with no disruption to your lawn, gardens, foliage, or other landscaping.
What NOT To Do
A foundation repair is a big job — something you definitely only want to do once! When you’re repairing your foundation, beware of expensive options that will not actually fix your problem — and watch out for quick solutions that just don’t work.
Total Foundation Replacement:
To undertake a job like this, you have to excavate the entire perimeter of your foundation — including gardens, shrubbery, sidewalks, and other landscaping.
Next, the house is jacked up, and the floor slab and foundation walls are removed. Finally, the foundation is rebuilt, the house is repositioned and the soil is replaced.
This solution is extremely disruptive, expensive, and time-consuming. What’s worse, it’s not really addressing the issue that caused the damage in the first place!
Your foundation isn’t the problem — the soil is! When you’re done building that brand new foundation, you can count on the soil to press just as hard on the new walls. This will cause them to be damaged — just like it did to the ones that preceded them.
If you’re going to invest money in repairing your foundation, choose the solution that is not disruptive and will be warrantied for 25 years.
Call or e-mail us today to schedule your free quote! We proudly serve Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, Saginaw, Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Toledo, and the surrounding areas in Michigan and Northern Ohio.