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Crew installing interior drainage in basement

Basement Wall Failure

Basement walls can fail for numerous reasons and let water inside to cause further problems in your home. Learn about some of these problem signs to look out for.


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 pressure bowed basement walls
  • Hydrostatic Pressure

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.

melting snow with grass
  • 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.

Expansive soil closeup
  •  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.

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TarHeel Basement Systems Service Map

Our Service Areas

Greensboro Location

611 Summit Ave, Suite 5
Greensboro, NC 27405

Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Location

3333 Air Park Road
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526


1209 Culbreth Dr., Ste 205
Wilmington, NC 28405

Winston-Salem/High Point Location

2910 Griffith Rd
Winston-Salem, NC 27103