Solutions for Bowing Walls: Helical Wall Tie-Backs or Vertical Steel I-Beams?

Many of our customers with basements report seeing cracks and experiencing water seepage.

While it’s common for these things to happen in your basement, you need to stay on top of maintaining your foundation to avoid more serious issues down the road like a bowing basement wall.

USS can help you stay on top of crack repairs, and we can use Helical Wall Tie-Backs or Vertical Steel I-Beams to permanently secure a leaning wall.

Keep reading below to learn which of these repairs is a better option for your basement.

What Causes Bowing Walls?

A bowing basement wall is what happens when you ignore the signs of foundation damage for too long.

Here are some reasons for bowing basement walls:

  • Having too much water around your house due to poor drainage
  • Hydrostatic pressure applied to your foundation walls
  • Expansive clay soil putting too much pressure on basement walls
  • The soil around your house naturally shifting
  • Foundation concrete breaking down over time

Now, let’s take a look at your options.

Installing Helical Tie-Back Anchors

Your first option is to install Helical Tie-back Anchors. They are installed by coring a small-diameter hole approximately three feet below the top of the foundation wall.

Tie-backs need a small hole excavated on the outside to insert the end of the lead helical section into your basement. A certified installer will use a handheld drive unit to advance the helical screw into your yard from the interior of the basement.

It’s important that each of the helical tie-backs is installed to the proper torque to secure the bowing wall and attached to the transition wall plate.

At this point, the wall is permanently secured, and none of the interior obstacles had to be removed or disturbed. 

Vertical Steel I-Beam Installation

When installing vertical steel I-beams in your basement, on the other hand, any interior wall obstacles need to be removed. These could include electrical conduits, plumbing lines, gas lines, HVAC ducts, cables, or electric wires.

Any of these obstacles within three feet of the wall will need to be removed and replaced to properly install vertical steel I-beams. This could increase project labor and costs.

These beams run from the floor slab to the plywood decking of the first floor of your home. The engineered blocking detail includes three parallel floor joists to secure the top of the beam.

Once in place, the beams will take on part of the wall load.

What To Choose: Helical Wall Tie-Backs or Vertical Steel I-Beams?

Whether you choose helical wall tie-backs or vertical steel I-beams to repair your basement walls, we recommend contacting a professional to do the job right.

Here at USS, we complete both types of repairs for bowing foundation walls. We’re very confident in both types of repairs as a permanent fix to your bowing foundation.

When it comes to choosing which is the better solution, we recommend considering what items are in or around your home that may affect the project. Speaking with a professional foundation repair company is the best way to make this determination.

Repair Your Basement Walls

It’s time to call a professional if you’re noticing cracks in your basement wall, seeing water on the floor, or if your basement wall is starting to bow.

USS has the knowledge and experience to repair your basement wall before it threatens the structural integrity of your home.

Call us today at 847-382-2882 if you have any questions about basement foundation repair, or if you’d like to schedule a free consultation.