Bowed basement wall

Discussion in 'Home Improvement, DIY and Repair' started by CJay, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. CJay

    CJay In Flower

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    So. I was in the basement yesterday and noticed something that hadnt been there last time. The northern wall had a very difinitive bow in it.

    I had a inspector check the place out when I bought it about a year ago and neither of us saw any obvious cracks before we bought it and I dont remember seeing anything last time I was down there. From what I understand a bow like this is supposed to happen over time. Not something that happens all at once over the course of a few months. Has anyone else seen or heard of this happening so fast?

    Also. I'm a pretty handy gal. And fixing it shouldnt be overly difficult. From reading into it basement specialists will typically excavate the exterior wall and set up a special type of high strength channel iron then fix a (or several) I-beam to the floor joist and footer then over time crank it back into position. And then set anchors. I've found the anchors online for a hundred or so bucks a piece. But cant seem to find the jacks or channel iron anywhere.

    Lots of links to businesses that will charge me anywhere from two thousand to fifteen thousand to do the job. But there is precious little information on where to acquire the tools to do it myself.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
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  3. Ronni

    Ronni Young Pine

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    I have no clue how to do any of what you're outlining. But I do live in the south, and compromises in basements are a very common thing, usually because of inferior drainage around outside foundational walls.

    Have you actually had this inspected to determine what the specific problem is? Obviously I don't mean paying thousands of dollars for repairs, just a consult to diagnose the problem. My concern for you is that you'll go to the time and trouble and expense of fixing this, but all you're doing is solving a symptom not getting to the actual cause. So you'll just have to do it again, maybe even to another section of wall. Because if it is a water issue, the water isn't going to stop, it's just going to find another path. Y'know?
     
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  4. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Cjay, is there a contractors' supply near you? We have found that such a supplier is willing to sell small batches (although they aren't thrilled) if you pick it up and haul it yourself.
     
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  5. CJay

    CJay In Flower

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    There are a few places like that. I haven't looked into them much yet. But will thanks

    Ronni. Youre right. I'll likely have the soil looked at. But I think its a compilation of things. There is an impermiable layer of clay about 4 feet down in this area. But from reading, that generally isn't an issue when the foundation is built properly. But this house was built during a housing boom in the early 1900s. That was a time when it wasnt required to use rebar. And instead of a concrete foundation its brick and mortar. So couple wet soil and what I believe to be substandard construction.

    What concerns me is the suddenness of the problem. I do know the previous owners family sealed the basement. I wonder if they didn't straighten the wall and then seal it without reinforcing it.

    Yeah. Think I'll have someone look at the soil anyway.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017



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  6. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    That sounds like something you need to have a professional take care of. Basement walls are typically also holding up the walls of the house and when it goes so does the house to some degree.
    It may be a drainage problem that wasn't taken care of in the construction of the house. During that building boom many contractors around the country were not willing to take the time needed to properly build homes since that took away time that they could spend on building more homes.
    And just because an inspector didn't find a problem doesn't mean one didn't exist.
     
  7. CJay

    CJay In Flower

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    I dont dosagree with you. But money is a factor now. We will see whar inspectors and contractors have to say. When my friends basement wal partially collapsed it cost him 2500 to repair it properly himself. So,,,
     
  8. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    At least have it looked at by a contractor or two or three and get estimates. Then you can make plans for how to repair it yourself.
    Also, what does your homeowners insurance policy cover? We do not have basements here so I am not familiar with that but maybe there would be some help there.
     
  9. CJay

    CJay In Flower

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    If it were to collapse it would be called flood damage and not covered by my normal policy so its either fix it out of pocket. Repair it out of pocket when it does fail. Or buy flood insurance.
     
  10. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    What is the length of the wall that is leaning ? If not too long a span might be better/less expensive/quicker to replace it with concrete block. But like was said,, need to find out what is causing the problem.
     
  11. CJay

    CJay In Flower

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    About 25 feet of the 40 foot wall seems to be affected.
     
  12. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    cjay, I have not much to tell you other than I think this is a huge fix. Kevin helped someone do this years ago and it was a difficult job. get some of those adjust aposts and put them under the beams in your basement if this is a bearing wall until you can start on the project. you don't want structural damage caused by the wall collapsing either.
     
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