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Cracked or Bowing Walls

Repairing Cracked or Bowing Walls with Wall Anchors or Helical Tiebacks

Wall Anchors

Wall anchors are a good repair method used if the wall is bowing more than 2 inches, but only if you have the necessary space available on your property.

To install a wall anchor, the contractor needs at least 10 feet of usable and accessible ground outside the basement. Anchor installation requires a certain amount of excavation, and how much impact this has will depend on what is outside the damaged wall.

You may have expensive or valuable items that need to be removed or relocated to give access to the needed space, like decking, porches, sidewalks, a garage, etc.

How Do Wall Anchors Work?

Steel plates are installed; one end is buried 10-15 feet away from the house, and the other is attached to the bowing wall.

The two plates are then connected by a steel shaft. This steel rod is gradually tightened, which pulls the plate tightly against the wall.

The plate in the yard acts as an anchor, holding the wall in place. Unlike carbon fiber straps, anchors can’t be as easily covered. The only way to conceal anchors or tiebacks is to cover the wall itself.

Helical Tiebacks: The Alternative to Wall Anchors

Tiebacks are the most expensive repair method for a bowing wall, but sometimes they are the best fit.

It just depends on what is located 10 feet-15 away from the damaged foundation wall. If that is your inground swimming pool, or your neighbor’s septic system, you’re better off paying more for the tiebacks.

How Are Tiebacks Installed?

A large steel plate is anchored into the floor of your basement, and it extends up the wall, towards the ceiling. Then a steel shaft with helical (screw-like) plates is attached to the plate.

The contractor then twists the tieback shaft into the earth outside your foundation, until it meets a specific torque rating. This torque is the force needed to ‘grip’ or hold firm. Generally, tiebacks are 14-21 feet long. In rare cases, a longer tieback is needed for good soil resistance.

You may be thinking that this sounds awfully similar to the installation process for anchors, and you're right.  The difference is that anchors require excavation whereas tiebacks don't.

The anchor plate has to be installed in the yard several feet down, and 10-15 feet away from the foundation. Tiebacks do not require excavation.  Instead, the installation is done from inside the basement. The tieback is drilled deep into the earth at an angle that allows it to avoid items customarily placed in a residential area.

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