Foundation Wall Damage: 

How to Spot It and the Foundation Wall Repair Solutions You’ll Need to Fix It. 

Foundation wall failure isn’t just concerning for your home’s real estate value—it can also create functional and aesthetic nuisances throughout your home and lead to severe structural damage if not attended to promptly. At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, our Atlanta foundation wall repair contractors provide a basement and foundation wall repair solution called AquaGuard™—a wall anchor system guaranteed to stabilize your foundation walls and eventually straighten over time.

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Foundation Wall Repair Contractors in Atlanta, Georgia

Looking for a hero to save your cracking, bowing foundation walls? We at AquaGuard Foundation Solutions are here to help! Our in-house, certified foundation professionals have warrantied solutions for every foundation issue, including foundation wall repair. 

Foundation issues will only get worse over time, meaning that the best time to repair and straighten a foundation wall is now. We provide free, no-obligation foundation wall straightening quotes throughout our Georgia service area. If you live in Atlanta, Marietta, Athens, Rome, or the surrounding areas, call or email us today to schedule an appointment! In the meantime, let’s discuss what causes cracked or bowing foundation walls and how they’re repaired. 

How to Spot Foundation Wall Damage: Signs that You Need Foundation Wall Repair

Horizontal cracks are commonly the first sign of foundation wall failure. As your foundation continues to crack under pressure, sections of the wall can start to buckle, bow, and tilt inwards. If excessive moisture, extreme weather, expansive soil, or backfill soil is the cause of your foundation’s failure, you’ll be able to tell by the following signs: 

  • Horizontal or stair-step cracks in the masonry
  • Diagonal cracks coming from the corners of concrete foundation walls
  • Bowing, bulging, or tilting walls

Can I Wait to Address these Concerns? 

Unfortunately, time won’t heal these foundation wounds. The longer your foundation wall goes unchecked, the more damage it can accumulate, leading up to your foundation eventually collapsing. The good news is that this foundation damage is repairable using proven, long-lasting techniques. Not only that, but foundation wall repair can be done at a fraction of the cost of foundation wall replacement.

bowing wall- side view

Bowing, buckling, and tilting basement walls should be addressed before you finish your basement. Our foundation repair experts can talk you through your options to quickly restore your foundation walls to their original, straight alignment so you can enjoy your new space in no time.

Cracking Under Pressure: What Causes Foundation Wall Damage?

Before we get into foundation wall repair solutions, let’s take a look at the reason why foundation walls fail in the first place. You’ve likely heard the term “cracking under pressure.” Well, turns out this isn’t just for professional athletes in championship games or students taking standardized tests.

The soil around your home places a lot of pressure on your foundation walls and can increase depending on moisture, extreme weather, soil type, and depth of your foundation. When the soil puts more pressure on your foundation walls than they are built to handle, your foundation walls will eventually crack and cave in.

dry and wet clay soil

This photo illustrates the difference that moisture can have on clay soil's volume. As oversaturated clay expands, it can put extreme pressure on your foundation. As dry clay shrinks, it can leave gaps between your foundation wall and the soil, causing your foundation to settle. 

Excessive Moisture

Just like a towel becomes heavier when it’s soaked, so does soil. When soils become excessively moist, it puts something called hydrostatic pressure on your foundation walls. Hydrostatic pressure, in short, is the pressure exerted by water due to gravity. As water causes the soil to become heavier, so it places greater pressure on your foundation wall.

Extreme Weather

From torrential downpours to droughts to frost heaving, extreme weather can be damaging to your foundation walls. We’ve already discussed how excessive moisture from heavy rains can be cause for foundation repair needs, but what about frost can damage your foundation? Freezing can increase water’s volume by 9%, meaning that it becomes heavier and places more pressure on your foundation. Frost heaving can apply thousands of pounds of force to your foundation walls, causing them to crack and bow.

Expansive Soil

More than likely, your Georgia home is built on a type of soil coined Georgia red clay. Georgia red clay is an expansive soil, meaning that it expands when it is wet and shrinks when it’s dry. Because this soil can absorb so much water, during wet weather, it can place enormous pressure on foundation walls.

Backfill Soil

When your home is being built, contractors dig out a hole in the ground to make room for your foundation. This excavation process disturbs your property’s hard-packed soil, breaking it up and making it loose. After your foundation is poured, the empty space left between the walls and the earth is backfilled with the soil that was removed to make room for your foundation. Because this soil was broken up in the excavation process, it’s more permeable and water-absorbent than the undisturbed compacted soil deep beneath your foundation.

Our Foundation Wall Repair Solution

At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we recommend the SettleStop™ wall anchor system for foundation wall repair. This foundation wall system is used by foundation contractors throughout the United States. SettleStop™ is a warrantied solution that is as effective as it is popular. It permanently repairs failing foundation walls and can help straighten them back to their original position.

How do Wall Anchors Work for Bowed Basement Wall Repair?

SetteStop™ Wall Anchors works by anchoring your wall to more stable soil out past your foundation using steel anchors with long, galvanized rods. When the anchors are tightened, they stabilize the wall, meaning that it will no longer give in to the soil’s pressure and will eventually straighten over time.

The Foundation Wall Repair Process

Carefully Remove Sod and Soil

Sod is carefully and temporarily pulled back to excavate the soil at each earth anchor location. The earth anchors are placed in stable soil away from your foundation.

Place the Earth Anchor into Position

After digging the holes, each earth anchor is placed in position. Each anchor is made of galvanized steel, meaning that it will resist corrosion, and includes a 25-year warranty against manufacturing defects. Not only that, but each anchor also includes our in-house quality and performance warranty. Each earth anchor has a hole at its center to attach the anchor rod installed in the next step.

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Drive the Anchor Rod Out Into the Soil

After we position the earth anchors, we drill a small hole in your foundation wall. We then drive the steel anchor rod through the soil until it reaches the earth anchor.

The diameter of the wall we drill into your foundation is one reason our anchor system is superior to other methods. The hole is just 1” in diameter, while other methods require large holes or an entire section of concrete block to be removed.

Mount Wall Plates

Once we attach the anchor rod to the earth anchor, we’ll mount a steel wall plate to the anchor rod on the inside of your foundation wall. This is the step that permanently halts the inward movement of your foundation walls. The wall anchors can then be tightened to straighten and support your foundation wall.

Clean Up & Prepare For Basement Finishing

Finally, all of the holes created for the anchor installation will be filled with excavated soil and compressed. We will carefully replace your sod and blend it with the surrounding landscaping. On the inside of your home, we will cover the wall plates with attractive anchor covers to help them blend with your basement finishing.

Contact AquaGuard For Foundation Wall Repair In Georgia!

At AquaGuard Foundation Solutions, we take pride in providing a clean, warrantied solution for homeowners in need of foundation wall repair. To help you decide if we’re the Atlanta foundation wall repair contractors for you, we offer free written basement wall repair quotes for property owners throughout our GA service area.

We serve all of Greater Atlanta and North Georgia, including Marietta, Cartersville, Rome, Carrollton, Peachtree City, Stockbridge, Conyers, Athens, Gainesville, Cumming, Blue Ridge, and everywhere in between. To schedule an evaluation, call or email us today!