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Pete Westera is the owner of Basement Systems USA and one of the leading authorities on basement waterproofing, crawl space, and foundation repair in the Baltimore, MD area, also serving Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE.
In this episode, Pete talks about bowing cinderblock basement walls, and possible solutions for the problem.
The soil around a home's foundation is like a sponge. It soaks up a lot of water, causing hydrostatic pressure to build up. Also, especially in the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Wilmington areas where clay soils are quite prevalent, the soil will expand considerably when wet, exerting tons of pressure against the basement wall.
Cinderblock foundations aren't usually strong enough to withstand this constant pressure and usually start to bow or lean inwards. One of the first signs of this problem is horizontal or stair-step cracks on the foundation wall. If not treated right away, the problem will always increase, ultimately compromising the structural integrity of the wall.
If caught in early stages, most bowing basement wall problems can be easily and quickly solved with carbon fiber-reinforced strips. These strong strips can safely and effectively stabilize and reinforce bowing walls, stopping the problem on its tracks. The wall reinforcement system can also be installed with much less disruption and for a fraction of the cost than other repair methods such as a complete wall replacement.
Basement Systems USA offers many other options for fixing bowing wall problems that can't be solved with carbon fiber-reinforced strips, including wall braces and wall anchors.