This problem is often a warning sign of a serious structural issue which could eventually lead to total wall failure if it isn't taken care of properly. This type of situation can effect all types of foundations, including: brick, block, stone, or poured. If you have masonry surfaces with mortar between the joints, it is especially important for you to be sure that these walls are in good condition so that they don't fail and let seepage into the basement of the home.
What Causes the Problem?
The main cause of the cracking is poor drainage and grading of the soil around the base of the home. When water isn't properly drained away, it will saturate the ground around the walls, causing the earth to expand. When this happens, it puts a lot of pressure on the walls' surface, eventually causing them to crack or bow under the pressure. This is particularly a problem in expansive soils, such as clay.
- Cracks are wider at the top then at the bottom
- Walls do not appear to be level
- Doors, cabinets, and windows are difficult to open or close
- A dime can be fit into the opening in the wall
Wall Anchors and Piers
After a thorough inspection of the base of the home, the structural evaluator will talk you through the repair process. In most cases, the wall will not need to be replaced unless it is beyond repair. Instead, anchors can be installed to take care of bowing, leaning basement walls. Piers can be installed to keep the home level and stabilized if it is experiencing problems with settlement. Additionally, the cracks will need to be filled in and sealed so that moisture isn't able to get under your home and cause even more damage.
Can I Fix it Myself?
It is not recommended for the average homeowner to attempt to take care of this structural issue on their own. Only a trained professional will be able to pinpoint the cause of the problem and recommend the best course of action for getting it properly taken care of so that it doesn't happen again in the future.
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