Identifying and Repairing Foundation Wall Failures

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 by Cailyn Mayse


Identifying and Repairing Foundation Wall Cracks - Image 1* The Stair-step cracking*

Over time, when a home experiences a foundation settlement, it may include wall cracks, cracks in the exterior brick or stucco and changes in the way doors and windows cooperate. You may constantly try to hide the issue, but it only covers up the problem temporarily. To repair the damage permanently, there are certain procedures to follow depending on the cause or area of the issue.  

A crack in the wall, such as the crack displayed in the picture above, is a sign of wall failure. The first sign of wall failure is a horizontal crack. Horizontal cracking near the middle of the wall is one of the first symptoms you will notice with a bowing wall. The second sign is a stair-step cracking at corners. As the wall bows more severely in the middle, adjacent walls hold the corners up, creating the stair-step cracking effect. The third sign is the pushing in at the bottom of a wall. If a basement wall pushes in, it may be noticeable that the wall is sliding inward near the bottom. Another sign is leaning in at the top of the wall. This issue needs to be taken seriously because it has compromised the framing of the house.  

There are solutions for wall failure that will persistently keep the foundation together. The CarbonArmor comprises carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers. This type of carbon fiber is 10 times stronger in tension than steel. This system pairs well with the ArmorLock system, which is a patented product that provides support to existing top-of-wall connections, preventing walls from leaning. Another solution is the PowerBrace system, which is designed to permanently stabilize the home’s foundation. The zinc-plated beams are accustomed to fit the basement wall height and secure tightly against it. A solution to use that is engineered to anchor in the soil outside the wall is called the GeoLock Wall Anchor system. What makes it successful is the high soil capacity to anchor into. A bonus is that the GeoLock Wall Anchor system is fascinating to watch when it is being installed!

Identifying and Repairing Foundation Wall Cracks - Image 2

* The PowerBrace System is used along the walls of this basement to prevent bowing *

Wall failure can be scary and frustrating, but finding the right solution to fix the problem permanently is possible. Keeping track of the signs of wall failure and performing regular checks of the foundation will keep you and your home safe.  

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