Basement Wall Failure

Monday, June 12th, 2017 by Jaimie Hooker


The soil around your home places a lot of pressure on your foundation walls. The amount of pressure changes depending on the type of soil, whether the soil is wet or dry and how deep the foundation is underground. Unfortunately, there is nothing on the inside of your basement pushing back against the pressure. Learn more about common causes of basement wall failure.

  • Hydrostatic Pressurehydrostatic pressure bowed basement walls

Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure exerted by a fluid due to the force of gravity. Simply put, as water saturates the soils around your home’s foundation, the water exerts pressure against the wall.

  • Frost

This is especially common for areas with cold winters. Frost can put pressure on foundation walls and cause it to fail, especially for basements that may be unfinished and unheated. Frost forces can be extremely powerful and can even lift shallow foundations up out of the ground, causing significant damage to the home.

  •  Expanding Clay Soils

Clay soils are found throughout most of North Carolina and the Tar Heel Basement Systems service area. Clay expands and contracts to depend on the amount of moisture is in the ground. When it rains, clay soils become wet and expands. As clay soils expand, more pressure is put on your home’s basement walls. When the pressure becomes more than the wall can handle, the wall will be to push inward.

Your home is one of your biggest investments and signs of basement wall failure should never be ignored. Always having a trained professional to look at the concerns is important. For more information, check out our, Ask the Expert Videos!

About the author
Jaimie Hooker is the Assistant Marketing Director at Tar Heel Basement Systems; authoring case studies, technical papers, creating and captioning photo albums and managing website content. She also oversees the organization of video testimonials, shows and events, Jaimie lives in the small town of Madison, NC with her husband, Paul, and 3 year old son, Franklin.