How to Repair Bowing Basement Walls

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  • 48-168 hours
  • Advanced
  • 50-500
What You'll Need
Crow Bar
Hydraulic cement
Steel beams

Basement walls must support your entire house, which is why it's important that they are in good condition. If you notice that your basement walls have bowed or cracked, then it's essential that you find out how to repair them as quickly as possible.

Repairing bowed basement walls may not be a project that everyone can undertake; however it is possible for the seasoned DIY professional. Follow these steps to repair your bowed basement walls.

Step 1 - Inspect the Wall

The first thing you need to do is tear down anything that covers your basement wall so that you can examine the problem. Remove as much of the covering as possible so that you can look at the whole wall.

If you notice any cracks in the wall, then they will need your attention first. You might also notice that your basement walls are bowed. It's important that you inspect the faults so that you can find the best way to solve the problem.

Step 2 - Choose Repair Methods

The method of repairing the wall will depend upon the type of damage you experience and the material from which your wall is built. If the wall is cracked, or if it is moving inwards, then you can use hydraulic cement to fill the voids. Hydraulic cement is a very useful material which is available from pretty much any hardware store.

Step 3 - Check Drainage

drain pipe

The cause of bowing or cracks could water damage from poor water drainage. You will notice zigzag patterns on the wall. Vertical cracks are often a result of the house settling. Check that gutters are not blocked and that downpipes are free from obstructions which could cause cracking and bowing.

Step 4 - Use Beams

Any bowing or horizontal cracks can be repaired with steel beams. It's important that they are the correct size. If they are positioned properly, they should work very well. Wall anchors can also be used for concrete walls which are bowing inwards. By using beams, you will be straighten any wall and ensure that it will support the rest of your house.

Step 5 - Last Resort

basement walls and bulkhead

If you can't solve the problem by using beams or wall anchors, then another option is to completely rebuild the wall. Rebuilding a basement wall is not an easy task; that's why you should try other solutions first.

Choose the best repair options for your bowed basement walls so that you can improve the strength of your entire home. Whichever method of repair you choose, you will find that you can quickly solve the problem.