Causes of Basement Wall Bowing           

Water: Water pressure is one of the most common factors that causes concrete basement wall bowing. In cold climates,when water in the soil freezes, it expands, therefore, exerting excess inward pressure on the basement walls causing them to crack and bow. In addition, hydrostatic pressure will push up on basement foundations, which over time can result in bowed walls as well.

  • Tree Roots: Tree roots can grow too close to a house and exert excess pressure on your foundation. This can lead to cracking of concrete and overtime create bowed walls.
  • Poor Building Process: There are a number of things that may be done wrong when building a foundation, which can result in problems later on. One example is using the wrong size sill plate on the wall, which will create a lateral pressure and can result in bowed walls as time goes on.
  • Age and Deterioration: Over time, structures often need repair simply because of the age of the structure itself. It is normal for the foundation of older homes to deteriorate as years go by and eventually, walls will begin to crack or bow.
  • Settling: Settling, arguably the most talked about cause for basement wall cracks and other types of foundation problems, occurs as the soil around a foundation begins to compact. This can create increased and unevenly distributed amounts of pressure causing bowing of basement walls. In addition, if soil is washed away from a foundation, the structure will shift and concrete basement walls will bow.
  • Shrinkage: Shrinkage of concrete as it dries can create uneven pressures, which causes bowed basement walls.


At Advanced Systems of NE Kansas, we specialize in fixing foundation issues, including bowed walls. We offer a free inspection where we will determine the “root cause” of the issue and then sit down with you to explain your options.

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