What Causes a Bowed Basement Wall?

A bowed basement wall is more than just a cosmetic problem. It can mean serious problems if not looked at and taken care of.  A bowed wall occurs when a massive amount of lateral pressure on the outside of the structure affects the wall, producing an inward movement. There are many causes for a bowed basement wall.


This is the most common cause. Poor drainage, increased water pressure or uncontrolled water into or out of the basement will affect the wall.

Tree and Bush Roots

Lateral pressure occurs with compaction by the outside soil. Tree and bush roots can extend far in the earth, compacting soil and put pressure on basement walls. Be aware of how close trees and bushes are on the property.


With time, basement walls acquire cracks since they are below a home.  As the cracks multiply, it becomes easier for water to seep into them.  The walls, like other parts of the house, do wear.

Original Building Processes

When the house was first built, there may have been shortcuts taken along the way, unknown to the homeowner, which can surface by bowed walls.

Take a close look at the basement walls and repair bowed walls for the safety of the home.