Why do basement walls bow in Wisconsin?

Why do basement walls bow in Wisconsin?

Most Wisconsin homes have basement walls below grade. Over time, the settling of ground, clay swelling, the plugging of drain tile, extensive rains, and plumbing leaks can cause a basement wall to bow, tilt inwards, and crack. To repair a bowed wall, the first step is to eliminate the problem by excavating and removing the earth pressure against the wall. In most cases, highly expansive clay is the main cause of the foundation bowing.

The second step to repair a bowed basement wall, is to install beams or helical piers. Both systems are designed to straighten and reinforce the bowed walls.

Beams have become the preferred method of repair, because the installation does not involve going through the weakened wall. Beams are an effective way to repair basement walls that have bowed less than 1″.

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Helical Pier Diagram

Why do walls bow?