Foundation Repair with Wall Anchors
There’s nothing that can’t be fixed, and that includes damaged, cracking, bowing basement walls. More severe measures may need to be taken if your home is in a dangerous state of disrepair, but heavy-duty solutions like wall anchors can save your home if you catch the problem in time. Not only will this system permanently stabilize your problematic foundation walls, but it offers the best opportunity to straighten the walls over time.
If you’re worried about your basement walls, foundation repair experts may suggest wall anchors to remedy your foundation situation. Here’s what you should know before investing in wall anchors.
What Are Wall Anchors?
The concept that something could move extremely bowed walls back to their initial position can be alluring. However, especially if you have a severe bowing basement wall, you might not be sure these wall anchors could have such a tremendous impact on your basement foundation walls. Here’s what you should know.
- The Structure of Wall Anchors
The structure is crucial to the reasoning for how wall anchors work effectively. Wall anchors utilize a steel panel and an anchor that stretches out multiple feet into the dirt to the outside of the anchor. For this gear to work appropriately, the anchor needs to be at least six feet from the wall, although it can be up to 10 feet from the wall, depending on the unique home situation.
It’s important to remember that wall anchors need the anchor positioned a fair distance from the wall to work effectively. If you don’t have that much space around your basement walls, you’re going to need to choose a different method of straightening them out. Having less space just won’t allow for the anchors to do their job.
- How Wall Anchors Work
How do wall anchors work? Wall anchors utilize tension between the steel panel and the anchor to straighten your basement walls. By tightening the cable that connects the two, an expert can realign your basement walls. The earth between the steel panel and the anchor will ensure that only the steel panel moves, straightening the basement wall.
This can be an incredibly effective way of straightening even severely bowed walls. However, you need an expert to install and adjust them due the incredible amount of work necessary, including digging out a significant amount of dirt from around your basement.
What Can Wall Anchors Do?
If you’re having any of those basement wall problems, you might feel frustrated about your prognosis. How can wall anchors make your basement walls function more effectively?
- Alleviate Hydrostatic Pressure
“Hydrostatic pressure” is just a fancy way of referring to the pressure water exerts when it’s at rest. Think about it: If you have a water bottle, the water in that bottle has some amount of weight. The more water, the more weight, and that much weight resting on anything can be dangerous. The amount of water surrounding your basement may be hundreds of gallons or more, which is a lot of weight.
Wall anchors attach to your basement walls and pull against the force of the water. Where the water pushes inward on the basement walls, the anchors pull outward away from the basement walls. Essentially, wall anchors allow you to give a hand up to your basement walls in fighting off the pressure from the water surrounding it.
- Move Basement Walls Back to Their Initial Position
If you already have bowed basement walls, you might not like how they look. You may prefer that they look more like they originally did. Not only is this an important aesthetic choice, as it will make your basement look more polished, but it’s also an important element of foundation repair. After all, your basement walls are an important part of your home’s foundation.
When you move those foundation walls back to how they looked and sat originally, you’re less likely to get other problems around and outside of your home. That may even include issues with concrete on the outside of your home. Your home is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. If even one piece is out of place, like a bowed basement wall, you may find that the whole puzzle looks a bit out of sorts.
- Restore Your Property Value
Bowed basement walls don’t look good to prospective buyers because those buyers know that the basement will have some problems with those walls. If you have bowed basement walls or other elements that tend to go along with the excess of hydrostatic pressure, you’re almost certainly going to lose property value over time, even if the problems aren’t extremely severe.
Restoring your property value requires that you fix your bowed basement walls. It might not seem like a big deal to you right now, but if you wait until you want to sell the home, you’re either going to need to take a hit on the home’s value or put a lot of money into fixing it. When you fix it right now, you’ll at least be able to enjoy the healthy basement yourself for a while.
FAQs About Wall Anchors
There are a variety of common problems with your basement walls that wall anchors can help with. These are just a few of them.
- Bowing Inward
Possibly the most obvious basement wall problem you might see is your walls bowing inward. What this means is that the top and bottom of the wall will stay attached at the original position, but somewhere in the middle, the wall will start to push inward. This can be very minor and barely noticeable or extremely obvious and serious.
If the wall’s bowing inward, it’s typically because the water in the ground outside has built up to such an extent that it’s pushing on the middle of the wall and causing it to move slowly. It could also occur if the soil outside the basement has absorbed lots of water and expanded dramatically. Regardless of the reason, this can eventually lead to basement wall failure if it continues.
- Horizontal or Stair-Step Cracking
Even if you’re not seeing any moving of your walls, at some point you might notice cracking along the wall. Not only can these cracks be aesthetically frustrating, but they can also have a severe impact on your basement’s health. Regardless of whether you see other signs, this typically also indicates that your basement wall has started to move.
Horizontal cracks typically indicate that there’s some bowing that’s occurring, even if it’s relatively difficult to see. Stair-step cracks may mean that one side of the wall is sinking at a faster rate than the other side; this can cause the wall to crack because one end is carrying more weight than the other end. Either way, these cracks indicate there’s something wrong.
- Walls Losing Waterproofing Ability
When your walls start to crack and move out of place, they’re also going to stop keeping water out of your basement. Water is incredible at moving anywhere there’s even the tiniest opening. In fact, even seemingly hairline cracks can be a big problem when they’re in your basement walls because they can let in the water from outside.
When you lose that waterproofing, you open yourself up to problems like basement condensation and other water-related concerns. Waterproofing is one of the most important things you can do for your basement, so it’s important that you’re able to get that waterproofing back as soon as possible, especially if you’re starting to see secondary concerns.
Several elements may determine whether wall anchors will work in your basement. Here are some things foundation repair experts will consider regarding your home’s condition and if wall anchors would be a good fit.
- The Issues to Consider
Wall anchors require some amount of space around your basement walls, typically six to 10 feet. They may also require that your basement walls have a specific thickness or height. The best thing to do is to talk to a Groundworks expert to request an inspection and ask whether wall anchors will work for you.
Of course, if wall anchors won’t work for you, that doesn’t mean you’re completely out of luck. There are plenty of basement repair solutions you can utilize for your basement, all of which may be great in different basements. You may be able to fix the problem for good, especially if you tackle it early on.
- An Expert’s Advice
Remember, even though there are potential problems that can arise with wall anchors, you shouldn’t just write off this option. Wall anchors are an exceedingly useful potential solution that can be extremely effective for many homeowners. It’s just about ensuring that you’re using the right fix for your unique basement problems.
Just because you don’t have a lot of space around your home doesn’t mean you have to put up with bowing basement walls. Talk to a Groundworks expert; if you reach out early, it’s much more likely that you’ll be able to fix the problem for good. An early fix will always be a more effective and less expensive fix.
A Groundworks Expert Is Beneficial in Helping You Fix Your Foundation Concerns
You can’t always avoid basement wall problems in the way the construction crew initially built your basement walls. There are plenty of reasons basement wall problems may pop up, including reasons you could and couldn’t have changed. However, you can have a foundation repair professional install wall anchors to alleviate those problems.
Wall anchors make it easier for you to maintain your home’s foundation structure, regardless of any outside forces that may arise. However, you need to make sure you have a foundation repair expert who can install them appropriately. If you’re looking for the best method of managing your basement walls, request a free estimate for wall anchors from a Groundworks expert today.