Bowing Walls

Perhaps nothing creates that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach faster than the sight of a bowing basement wall. After all, we understand from childhood that walls should be straight — and when they’re not, we instinctively know that something is wrong… very wrong.

Basement walls fail in different ways, depending on whether they’re of the poured or block variety, but they fail for the same reason: increased pressure from the soil surrounding your home’s foundation.


  • Horizontal Cracking – these cracks typically start out small and increase in size over time as the soil on the other side continues to exert pressure on the wall.
  • Stair-Step Cracking – as with horizontal cracks, stair-step cracks will get worse over time. These differ, however, in that they often start from a long horizontal crack and extend to the corners.
  • Top of Wall Leaning In – when the top of a basement block wall leans in, it means it has become disconnected to your home’s framing. This is a serious problem that needs to be stabilized as soon as possible.
  • Bottom of Wall Pushing In – This happens when the bottom row of blocks remains braced by your basement’s concrete floor, but the rest of the wall pushes inward. This is also known as “shearing.”

If your basement wall was constructed from poured concrete, wall failure symptoms can include:

  • Top of Wall Leaning In – poured foundation walls tend to be more rigid than block walls, so instead of cracking and bowing in at the middle, they more often tend to push in from the top. As mentioned above, this also indicates that the wall has lost its connection with your home’s framing.
  • Diagonal Cracking at the Corners – because a poured concrete wall will tend to remain supported by adjacent walls, cracks typically extend from the upper corners diagonally down towards the middle, away from that adjacent support.


So, you’re experiencing that sinking feeling because you’ve discovered that one of your basement walls is cracked and bowing inward. Now what do you do? Fortunately, though bowing walls are a serious issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, Foundation Recovery Systems offers several solutions that will permanently fix and protect bowing walls, including:

Our Certified Field Inspectors are trained to expertly diagnose foundation problems. They use highly specialized equipment that allows them to develop a solution tailored to your home’s unique needs. By the time the inspection is over, you’ll know exactly what caused the problem, exactly what it will take to fix it permanently and exactly how much it will cost to do so.

Once a solution has been customized for your home, we pick a date for the job. At that time, a highly trained production crew will install the solution, leaving your home fixed and protected for future generations — restoring its value, improving your family’s quality of life and giving you lasting peace of mind.

Contact us for a Free Inspection!