If it looks like your basement wall is bulging inward, it may not be your imagination. Foundation walls can bow, bulge, and twist. This movement leads to cracks in the foundation and other serious problems, so you want to get it fixed as soon as possible. Here's what you should know about repairing a damaged basement wall.
Get An Inspection
A wall that has moved out of alignment is a pretty serious problem. Even if the bulge is barely perceptible, it's a sign of trouble brewing with your foundation. You don't want to attempt repairs yourself. Hire a contractor to assess the situation and recommend a solution. To fix the problem, you'll need to have the wall restored to its normal position, and you'll also need to address the problem that caused it to shift in the first place.
Find The Cause
Foundation problems are usually caused by water that puts pressure on the foundation or causes the soil to shift. The water problem might be an unusual occurrence caused by a rare drought or rainy season. If that's the case, you may be able to proceed with repairs without worrying about future damage. However, if the water problem is caused by poor drainage, then you'll need to install a French drain around your home or take other measures that divert water away from your foundation. Then you won't have to worry about foundation damage happening after you make the repairs.
Fix The Wall
One way to fix a foundation wall that bulges inward is to attach anchors to the wall that gradually pull it back out. To do this, the contractor installs steel rods to the wall that attach to anchor plates that are sunk in the ground outside. The steel rods exert pressure on the wall that helps stabilize it and keeps it from bowing even more. Anchors can be installed fairly quickly and with little disruption to your property.
Another way to stabilize a bowed foundation wall is to have steel braces installed in your basement. To do this, the contractor places steel braces against the wall and attaches them to the floor and ceiling. This helps hold the wall upright and keeps it from bowing further.
While you might be able to make some types of foundation repairs yourself, such as sealing cracks, you should seek professional advice when entire walls are affected. These repairs need to be done right, or the problems could escalate and lead to very expensive damage.