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4 Steps for Repairing a Basement Wall

crews installing wall anchors to repair a basement wall

The basement is an easy place to overlook when it comes to damage and repairs. However, what begins as an aesthetic concern can quickly compromise your home’s safety and structural integrity, especially when it comes to damaged walls.  

As fellow homeowners and trusted basement and foundation repair professionals, our Groundworks teams understand the stress this causes. This complete guide eliminates the guesswork in identifying and fixing basement wall damage.

Common Signs Your Basement Walls Need Repair

There are various signs indicating the need for basement wall repair, including:

bowing basement wall

Bowing Basement Walls

Bowing basement walls refer to walls that curve or bulge inward, typically due to pressure from the soil surrounding the foundation. This inward movement, usually in the middle of the wall, occurs gradually over time and may be caused by hydrostatic pressure, poor drainage, expansive soils, or inadequate foundation support. Bowing walls are often accompanied by cracks.

shearing basement wall

Shearing Basement Walls

Basement walls sustain another form of inward movement called shearing. Shearing basement walls are similar to bowing walls, but this movement is characterized by sliding or shifting near the bottom or top of the walls. Like bowing walls, shearing walls accompany cracks and can be caused by exterior soil and drainage issues and hydrostatic pressure.

Impact of Damaged Basement Walls 

The effect of shearing and bowing basement walls goes beyond the basement, potentially impacting your home and general property. It’s essential to catch them early to avoid severe damage in the future. Damaged basement walls can impact: 

  • Structural Integrity: Bowing and shearing basement walls compromise the structural integrity of the foundation and the entire structure. Continued inward movement can lead to cracks, displacement, and even collapse of the walls, posing a serious safety risk. 
  • Water Intrusion: Wall movement creates gaps and cracks that allow water to seep into the basement, leading to moisture problems, mold growth, and water damage. This can worsen the wall movement and compromise the integrity of the foundation. 
  • Health Risks: Moisture and mold growth can contribute to poor indoor air quality and pose health risks to your family, including respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues. 
  • Decreased Property Value: Damaged basement walls are a sign of foundation issues and can significantly decrease a property’s value. Potential buyers may view bowing and shearing walls as a red flag and require costly repairs before purchasing the property. 
  • Aesthetic Damage: In addition to structural and functional issues, basement wall damage can detract from the basement’s appearance and reduce its usability as a living or storage space.  

It’s essential to identify and repair damaged walls before they become severe. Water in the basement, growing wall cracks, heavy rainfall, and foundation shifting are also important to look out for since they often spring from the same cause as bowed walls. If you notice any of these issues, contact a local foundation repair expert right away. 

4 Steps to Repair Basement Walls 

While specific steps may vary depending on the extent of the damage and the underlying cause, here’s a general outline of how Groundworks might address basement wall repair: 

1. Initial Inspection

A trained technician conducts a comprehensive basement wall inspection to assess the severity of the damage and identify the root cause. This may involve measuring the degree of bowing and inward movement, evaluating structural integrity, and examining factors such as soil conditions and drainage issues. 

2. Customized Solution

Based on the findings of the evaluation, the inspector develops a customized repair plan tailored to address the specific needs of your property. This plan may include a combination of foundation repair techniques, waterproofing solutions, and drainage improvements to stabilize the walls and prevent further damage. 

3. Foundation Reinforcement

braces installed on interior basement walls

We may use a range of wall repair solutions to reinforce the foundation and stabilize the walls, depending on the severity of the damage. To provide additional support and prevent further inward movement of the walls, this could include:

4. Waterproofing

Implementing waterproofing solutions may be necessary to keep the walls dry and prevent water intrusion. This may include installing an interior drainage system and a sump pump and ensuring proper grading and landscaping around the foundation. 

By following these steps, Groundworks aims to effectively address basement wall repair and provide you with durable, long-lasting solutions to protect your property and restore the integrity of your foundation. 


The severity of a basement wall crack depends on its position, characteristics, pattern, and size. Contact a basement repair specialist for a thorough inspection and repair recommendation. It’s crucial to address cracks at their initial signs to prevent more costly future repairs.

Preventing bowing basement walls involves water management, soil stabilization, and adherence to construction codes. Routine maintenance and the installation of a well-designed drainage system are also essential. 

Minimally. One small section of the wall anchor system will have to be placed below the ground in your yard. However, this won’t require intense excavation like other types of foundation repair. 

Get Reliable Basement Wall Repair with Groundworks 

Groundworks inspector meeting with a homeowner

Maintaining a home is stressful; we get it. However, you don’t have to go through tackling essential repairs alone. You can trust your local Groundworks company to lead you through every step of the process, from inspection to restoration of your basement walls.

It’s never too late to protect your home and your family. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection and ensure the safety, integrity, and stability of what matters most. 

Leah Leitow

Leah Leitow

Content Writer

Leah is a Content Writer for Groundworks with nearly ten years of experience working in the foundation repair industry. Her experience ranges from working with homeowners to find the right solution to training inspectors and staff. In her background as a Michigan journalist, she gained invaluable insight into people's lives throughout our state. Leah lives in metro Detroit with her husband and two sons.