Bowing walls are a big problem and a big question we get asked about from homeowners. Bowing walls show that the home’s foundation has inward movement – meaning it’s becoming less stable over time.
The soil on the outside of the home causes the walls to bow inside of the home, through what’s called hydrostatic pressure. This pressure can be caused by heavy rain, poor drainage, inadequate grading, expansion due to frost, and large tree roots.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. A driveway, patio or porch can also put pressure on your foundation walls and cause damage.
Here’s how to tell if a home’s foundation walls are bowing:
Horizontal cracks along the inside of the foundation wall. Cracks that span the wall show a weak point in the wall’s connection.
Water leaking through the foundation walls. This can be an early sign of increased hydrostatic pressures on your basement walls.
Your walls are no longer straight up and down. Bowing walls mean the walls are giving way or buckling inward under the pressure from the outside soil.
Once the damage is done, it must be repaired and stabilized against further movement or eventual failure. If you have bowing basement walls, it's best to have your home inspected by a professional foundation repair contractor who can pinpoint the cause and provide the right solution.