We can all agree that basements are an ideal storage space for precious items. However, due to water damage, they are prone to bowing. In fact, a study shows that 98 percent of homes have basements affected by water damage once in their lifetime.
Common signs of bowed basement walls include horizontal cracks and walls sliding in at the bottom. These issues take time to develop and may worsen if left unsolved. They could also pose safety hazards and lower your home’s resale value.
Fix bowed basement walls to prevent property damage and flooding. It also keeps your lawn in good shape and brings personal comfort.
Many homeowners don’t know how to proceed when they spot bowed walls in their basements. In this guide, we’ll take you through six ways to deal with this problem:
Get Your Basement Walls Inspected
Hire a home inspector to inspect your basement for any signs of water damage. The inspector will check the seals around the basement door and window seals for leaks. They will also inspect the window casements for the same reason.
Expect the technician to inspect your basement walls to identify areas that bulge. They will also check whether there’s an uneven load on the walls. A good basement wall should be level and flush.
After identifying the cracks, the home inspector will isolate them and determine their hazard levels. Expect them also to assess the integrity of the concrete floors and walls within the foundation.
The inspection will take about one and a half hours to complete depending on the extent of water damage. The inspector will ask you to give more details about your home’s building and repair history during the inspection.
Prepare Your Yard
Avoid carrying out any landscaping work when you have bowing walls in your basement. You should also remove all items from the basement perimeter to reduce pressure on the walls. The home inspector will inform you about any areas where the yard has to be cleared.
The basement should have proper access and clearance before the repair. You may have to remove some plants away from your home’s walls to prevent root damage. It’s also wise to regrade your lawn to improve its drainage and avoid water stagnation.
Fix any wet areas in your lawn to reduce the water damage on your home’s walls. You may consider aerating previously flooded areas to allow proper drainage, If your place of residence is prone to flooding, install an artificial pond on a low-lying surface to collect excess water.
Protect Valuable Items in the Basement
You risk degrading the quality of your precious items when you store them in a basement with poor waterproofing. Avoid storing your possessions on the floor since they may absorb moisture from the ground and develop mold.
You should also store them in airtight containers or bags if they fit in there. Keep your fabrics in airtight bags to absorb musty scents caused by water intrusion.
Avoid storing delicate items made of wood or metal in the basement if it’s prone to water damage. You should also keep your electronics away from the water-damaged basement to prevent damage caused by water contact or rust.
Have a list of items stored in the basement and examine them regularly for signs of water damage. Instead of placing the furniture on the floor, wrap them in plastic paper to prevent wood rot and rust.
Choose the Reinforcement Material
You have different options for fixing cracks in your basement walls. These options include hydraulic cement, carbon fiber straps, epoxy crack injections, and wall beans.
Hydraulic cement is one of the safest and versatile solutions for wall cracks. Though you’ll need to apply it every couple of years, it can prevent moisture from seeping into the walls.
Carbon fiber straps are a strong, easy to install, and durable solution for cracks not more than two inches. Reinforcing the cracks with epoxy injections can restore the structural strength of the wall for up to five years. Wall beams support the load coming from the top of the wall and transfer it to the side.
Think About Temporary Relocation
Basement repair and waterproofing are often very loud and intrusive. It may be uncomfortable for you and your family to cope with the noise and movements brought by the work. Relocating to a temporary location may thus be a good idea.
Only think about relocation if your basement walls need extensive repair. You should also agree with the repair contractor about a repair schedule that doesn’t interrupt your daily life.
Relocating during the repairs will give the contractor ample time and space to fix the bowed basement walls. Consider moving to a place that’s a few minutes away from your current home for you to monitor the repair project.
Enlist Wet Basement Repair Help
Hire a repair technician before the bowed walls in your basement affect your home’s structural integrity. You may seek referrals or search for the service online. Either way, ensure that the company has relevant certifications and skills related to the work.
The company should have an excellent track record of using the latest technologies for wall repair. Their services should also come with long-term transferable or lifetime warranties. They should inspect your home once the work is completed to guarantee the safety of the walls.
The technician will carry out basement waterproofing using sealant materials to keep out water from your home. This service will reinforce your property’s foundation and protect it against future basement problems. Waterproof sealants also prevent condensation and keep humidity levels in your basement down.
Get Bowed Basement Walls Repaired Today
Since your home rests on top of your basement walls, it may weaken when any of the walls experience water damage. Bowed basement walls are a safety hazard that needs to be addressed immediately. The water damage may extend to other parts of your home and attract hefty repair costs.
You can count on our foundation repair and basement waterproofing services to improve your home’s structural integrity. We use the latest construction technologies and techniques in our work. Schedule a basement inspection with us today, and we’ll gladly be of great help to you.