Bowed Basement Walls in Milwaukee WI
There are few things as scary when it comes to the structural integrity of your home than dealing with bowed basement walls. They are a sure sign that the structural integrity of your home is compromised and needs attention.
Sometimes the signs of bowing can be obvious. Your walls may bulge into the basement dangerously or there may be a large crack running down or across the wall of the basement. Sometimes the signs may be subtle, such as your wall being slightly out of plumb.
When you notice that you’re dealing with bowed basement walls, it is important to ensure that you deal with the problem as soon as possible. While many homeowners will attempt to deal with the problem on their own, it is vital that you get the help of a professional. This is because a cosmetic solution to a problem like this will not help to restore the structural integrity of the home. In fact, it will only make matters worse.
If you intend to solve the problem without professional help, be prepared to have to deal with more issues in your basement. This is because the underlying causes of bowed basement walls are often far reaching.
There are several factors that can contribute to the bowing of basement walls. The following are some of the most common ones:
- Heavy driveways
Homeowners often don’t realize just how heavy driveways made of brick or concrete are. The weight of the material itself presses into the ground. If the driveway is constructed too close to the foundation of the building, it can cause the walls of the basement to bow due to the pressure they exert on the ground near the foundation.
- Lawns sloping towards the foundation
The grading of the landscape around the foundation is important when it comes to determining the direction in which water will flow. Water will flow in the direction of the slope. If the lawn around the home slops towards the foundation of the home, then it will result in increased hydrostatic pressure against the basement walls resulting in bowing walls.
- Storms and wet conditions
Constant rain increases the level of water in the soil. Run off from the gutters or leaking plumbing draining near the foundation can also increase water levels in the soil near the foundation.
Roots from shrubbery and trees growing near the foundation can cause foundation bowing by draining water from the soil and reducing support for the basement walls.