Wall failure signs will look different depending on whether the basement walls are built from concrete block or poured concrete. At Ohio Basement Systems, our System Design Specialists are trained to look for all types of signs and to outline the most effective and long-lasting solution to repair failing basement and foundation walls.
Here are some common signs:
IN THE CASE OF A BLOCK FOUNDATION:
Horizontal Cracking – Horizontal cracking near the middle of the wall is one of the first symptoms you will notice in the case of a bowing wall. Horizontal cracks usually start out small and increase in the width over time as the soil outside continues to put pressure on the wall.
Stair-step Cracking at corners – Stair-step cracking at the corners of a bowing wall is another common sign and typically means that the problem is getting worse. As the wall bows more severely in the middle, the corners are held yup by adjacent walls, creating the stair-step cracking effect.
Pushing-in at the bottom of the wall – If your basement walls begin to push in severely, you may notice the wall sliding inward near the bottom. This happens when the concrete floor in the basement holds the bottom row of blocks in place as the rest of the wall cracks and pushes in.
Sliding-in at the Top of the Wall – Another sign that your wall problem is becoming more severe is when the wall begins to lean in at the top. When the wall begins to slide in at the top, you are dealing with a very serious structural problem because the connection of your foundation wall to the framing of the house has been compromised.
IN THE CASE OF POURED CONCRETE FOUNDATION:
Leaning-in at the Top of the Wall – Because poured foundation walls are more rigid than block, they are more likely to lean in at the top rather than bow near the middle like block foundation walls.
Diagonal Cracking at Corners – Diagonal cracking at the corners of a poured wall is a very common sign of wall failure. Because the corners of the wall are supported by adjacent walls, you will see diagonal cracks extending from the bottom corners up toward the top center of the wall.