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Old 03-07-2019, 06:31 PM   #1
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Concrete block wall bowing (house built into hill)


Hi everyone. I am seeking help with the various options I may have to resolve my problem with bowing walls in my home that's built into a hillside. Should I consider excavation of the ground behind the home? I know that a French drain will help but I feel that no matter what I do, I will always have soil pressure on the home from outside. Any ideas?
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: Concrete block wall bowing (house built into hill)


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Hi everyone. I am seeking help with the various options I may have to resolve my problem with bowing walls in my home that's built into a hillside. Should I consider excavation of the ground behind the home? I know that a French drain will help but I feel that no matter what I do, I will always have soil pressure on the home from outside. Any ideas?
The problem is a foundation is not a retaining wall, if you have a pressure on the wall it will give, sometimes drainage can solve a problem but if the hill is less that stable you need more.



We here can talk about how to do things but you really need to have a geo tech engineer looking at it.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:50 PM   #3
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Re: Concrete block wall bowing (house built into hill)


Only recommendation is to call a structural and or geo tech
engineer so he can assess the situation and design an appropriate repair.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:57 PM   #4
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Re: Concrete block wall bowing (house built into hill)


I've worked on a number of houses that had foundation repairs of block basement walls that were bowing. Basic procedure is to dig it up, push the wall into place with jacks, and then add rebar and corefill the block wall. You'll want to waterproof and add drainage while you're at it. It's a bit beyond the average DIYer.
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:10 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the responses. Marson, are we talking about a $20,000+ job here?
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:11 PM   #6
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Re: Concrete block wall bowing (house built into hill)


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I've worked on a number of houses that had foundation repairs of block basement walls that were bowing. Basic procedure is to dig it up, push the wall into place with jacks, and then add rebar and corefill the block wall. You'll want to waterproof and add drainage while you're at it. It's a bit beyond the average DIYer.

That all changes when you say hill.Our foundations are concrete with more than some rebar in them and we have had to dig them out and put a retaining wall beside them.
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:23 PM   #7
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Re: Concrete block wall bowing (house built into hill)


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Thank you all for the responses. Marson, are we talking about a $20,000+ job here?

It's going to depend a lot on your local conditions and if there are even contractors around you doing the work. But where I was working (Duluth MN) the job went between 5 and 10 K. Probably closer to 10.



Duluth has a lot of old houses with block basements, failed drain tiles, wet clay soils, and deep frost, so foundation repair is common.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:08 AM   #8
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Re: Concrete block wall bowing (house built into hill)


problem caused by settling soil from original backfill,,, rather than backfill in compacted 'lifts', bldrs overfill thinking natural settling of disturbed soil will result in eventual compaction & positive grading,,, bood thinking but that never happens
as the loose backfill settles, it applies increasing lateral pressure,,, the original soil density can resist but not the cmu wall,,, cmu wall strength is compressive (hold up loads [house]), not flexural so they begin to implode (bow inward)
full-depth excavation is suggested as the best repair (down to the foundation, straighten the wall using jacks & beams bolted to the bsmnt floor, construct steel reinforced invisible wall pins,, waterproof the wall, & install proper drainage relief
'basement systems' is now selling their 'deadman' version - will probably delay problem long enough to sell w/o lawsuit if leaving soon
an alternative is steel i-beams in the bsmnt
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:19 PM   #9
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Re: Concrete block wall bowing (house built into hill)


Anything you want to know about foundation failure, repair and water management watch this guys videos, Google, Hydro Armar

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Last edited by Nealtw; 03-18-2019 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:06 AM   #10
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Re: Concrete block wall bowing (house built into hill)


did an eval yesterday for a buyer who'd already had his pe inspect prior to making offer,,, lateral crk about 2' below grade in 8' cmu wall,,, pe spec'd carbon fiber straps 3' o/c,,, wall displacement is 1/4" on 4' level so its a good call for strengthening wall,,, bad call imo - over $9K,,, IF we were to install integral steel reinforced 12,000psi grouted wall pins, about 1/2,,, then again, i'm not a pe - only a contractor
i remember danny o'connor from yrs back in nj
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