Hydrostatic pressure could cause uneven foundations and when this happens it’s not enough to fix the walls. We must also remove the cause of the problem. The root cause most often comes about when the soil surrounding the foundation fills with more water than it can absorb and starts to exert pressure on the walls of a home. This can lead to leaks or mold in the basement as well.
There’s also a problem that’s known as the clay bowl effect. Foundations are most often built below grade, which means that they require backfilling with either the dug-up soil or some other backfill. This soil will never compact as tightly as it once was and the settling of soil, as well as heavy rains that sometimes hit Medina and the greater Cleveland, OH, area, can cause walls to bow inwards as water pools around the foundation.
It may sometimes seem that foundations are indestructible since they are made of concrete and last a long time. However, this isn’t the case and over time many foundations require repair. There are a few reasons a foundation can become uneven, which will lead to cracks in the walls, leaks in the basement, and bowing walls like the ones our customer had to deal with.
Our Initial Inspection and Meeting the Customer
A homeowner reached out to our team with a common but serious problem. The property in Medina, OH, about 30 miles south of Cleveland, OH, had a structural problem with two walls. One of them was bowing towards the inside of the home and the other had cracks in it and it appeared to be moved towards the inside as well.
The home was built in 1956 and the basement was used for storage and laundry. The issue took years to escalate and it required the IntelliBrace™ to fix. Luckily, this was a simple two-day project and one that was easy to manage and complete.
The source of the problem with bowing walls is always with the foundation itself. Foundation problems can cause the walls to tilt. This is what happens when the wall is pushed inward by soil pressure. When only a portion of the wall is weakened, it leads to the wall bowing, as is the case in this Medina, OH, home.
Repairing the Damage
The IntelliBrace™ system is one way to fix bowing walls. It’s made out of I-beams that will brace your wall and straighten it over time.
The first step we took was to clear out the basement and measure the walls to make sure that the beams fit the needs of the homeowner. One of the good things about this system is that it’s easily customizable and the beams could be cut to the exact length that a homeowner needs.
Our experts measured the beams so that they grip the wall and straighten it over time while simultaneously supporting it. That way, the wall can return to its initial position but not too fast so that it doesn’t crack or cause any further damage. The IntelliBrace™ system is also rust-resistant.
The installation process is rather simple and even though the beams are sturdy and can hold your wall in place, they are relatively lightweight and our team had no problem quickly and efficiently installing them. The beams will be able to withhold the harshest storms that may affect this home in the years to come.
The braces are attached via bolts. Two sets are on the floor through brackets, and another is above the floor joist. The top one is installed with a special brace that can be tightened over time. That’s what the repair team should do over time to straighten the wall gradually so that it doesn’t crack.
The braces won’t damage the floor even though they’ll grip it tightly. Once the wall is straight, the beams will keep it that way.
This approach to foundation repair doesn’t require any exterior work. This is sometimes a necessity when there’s no room to install other solutions like wall anchors. Many homes in Medina, OH have beautiful yards and their owners pay attention to the landscaping. In such cases even when exterior work is possible, it’s not recommended.
The homeowner was very pleased with the work we’d done. It fixed what seemed like a complex and difficult problem without too much hassle for the occupants. When you notice a crooked wall, it’s best to call us and get a free inspection, since these issues can be fixed with the best solutions by highly experienced professionals.