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Don't Let Your Walls Crumble

Don\'t Let Your Walls Crumble - Image 1


We have talked about the signs of wall problems and the stages of wall failure. Now we will talk about the worst-case scenario, the wall collapsing. We will go over how it happens and how to avoid it. 


How it happens 


Walls lean or bow due to uneven pressure. Often the soil outside the foundation expands for some reason (frost heave, tree roots, etc) and pushes against the foundation wall(s). Depending on where the pressure is exerted, the wall will lean in at the top or bow in the middle and develop cracks at the pressure point. 


How it progresses 


At this time, the weakened wall is taking pressure from two directions; downward from the house that the wall is supporting, and now inward, from the expanding soil. Because the wall is compromised, nothing is square from this point onward so the wall bears the house’s weight unevenly and is further stressed. 


How it collapses 


The longest phase in a wall collapse is the time it takes to get to that initial crack and bowing. After that, everything moves exponentially faster, like a boulder rolling down a hill. Even constant pressure has more of an effect as the wall gets progressively weaker. With every centimeter the wall bows, the pressure worsens until one day your wall crumbles. 


You could live in a house for 15 years before you ever see a wall crack, and then only 15 weeks before you have a total collapse on your hands.  


How to avoid it 


Time is of the essence. Just as bowing walls get worse exponentially, repair and stabilization get exponentially harder and more expensive the later the problem gets addressed. The first appearance of a new wall crack is the best time to call to schedule an inspection and find out what’s going on in your home. Our system design specialist will inspect the inside and outside of your home as well as measure wall deflection to determine the best option for your home. 


Wall cracks are scary, but they’re not a direct path to disaster. Take action early and stop worrying about what could happen. 

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