Bowing Walls

Bowing & Buckling Foundation Walls Near Lexington, Richmond, Georgetown

Diagram of a repaired foundation wall

Wall anchors can repair many bowing wall problems. Soil anchors are placed in the ground outside the home.

Steel rods attached to soil anchors extend through the foundation wall and wall plates.

Wall plates distribute clamping pressure. Tightening nuts on the threaded ends of the rods stabilize the wall for a permanent solution.

The Problem:

Your foundation walls are bowing, buckling or are showing signs of inward movement.

Telltale Signs:

  • Horizontal or stair-step cracking along the foundation walls
  • Diagonal cracking at corners of poured concrete foundation walls
  • Inward bowing or bulging along the walls
  • Walls sliding inwards on the bottom
  • Walls leaning in at the top
  • Wet, clay soils around the home coupled with damaged walls
  • Expansive clay soils present around the structure

How to Fix It:

Use Foundation Supportworks' Geo-Lock™ Wall Anchors to stabilize and restore your foundation walls.  This system is installed along bowing walls and will efficiently fix any bowing foundation walls.

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We highly recommend installing the PowerBrace™ Wall System if there is a space constraint that prohibits wall anchor installation.

Our solutions can straighten any buckling or bowing foundation wall that your home may be experiencing.  Call us today for a free foundation wall repair quote; most of our solutions can be installed in only a day!  We serve Richmond, Lexington, Georgetown and many nearby areas in Kentucky.

Signs of bowing foundation walls

Expansive soils and hydrostatic pressure on the walls from outside are the primary causes of inwardly slanted foundation walls. However, foundation settlement and many other issues also contribute to the shifting and cracking of foundation walls. In order to completely understand what type of issue is causing problems with your foundation, it is essential that you contact a professional foundation specialist.

Below are images of several foundations that are showing damage from hydrostatic pressure and expansive soils outside the structure.

(Click each photo to enlarge.)

A cracked foundation wall near a window in a Monticello home Foundation wall separating from the floor in Cynthiana home A buckling foundation wall in a Wilmore home. Rusted, corroded i-beams found with a failing foundation in a Mc Kee home.
A diagonal stair-step crack found along a foundation wall in a Mount Sterling home A diagonal stair step crack along the foundation wall of a London home A foundation showing severe inward buckling along the windows in a Harrodsburg home. Severe foundation damage from a long crack in a bucking wall of a Versailles home.

What Causes Cracked & Bowing Foundation Walls?

wet and dry clay soil samples, with the dry one shrunken and cracked

How Does Moisture Affect Clay Soils?

These two clay samples started out exactly the same in size, weight and composition. The sample on the right was allowed to dry out, while the one on the left we kept moist.

If a small sample of clay can gain this much volume when it gets wet, just imagine how dramatic the changes are in the soil around your home!

The soils around your home can put enormous pressure on foundation walls. The amount of pressure they exert depends on four factors:

  1. How far underground the foundation is
  2. The type of soil around the foundation
  3. The temperature conditions
  4. The amount of moisture in the soil

The reason foundation walls fail is because there is constant pressure from the outside, but there is nothing on the inside to push back!  Your foundation walls can't handle the hydrostatic pressure from expansive clay soil and frost that create stress on the walls causing them to push inwards or even collapse!

Large volumes of water from gutters and downspouts collect in the soil around your foundation and greatly contribute to the foundation problems your home is experiencing.

In addition to these, roof runoff is also a major concern if it is not directed away from your foundation.  If all of this water is settling around the foundation it will cause the soil to become heavy and more expansive.

Call or e-mail us today if you would like a free foundation wall repair quote for your home!

Installing Foundation Wall Anchors

Whenever possible, we recommend the Geo-Lock™ Wall Anchor System to correctly stabilize failing foundation walls.  Our trained specialists at The Basement Doctor of Central Kentucky follow these six steps when installing our wall anchor system:

Auguring a hole in the earth for a foundation repair in Lawrenceburg

Digging Holes For the Earth Anchors

To maximize the effectiveness of your wall anchor system, our trained foundation contractors will determine the location of each earth anchor in the yard outside your home.  This is essential because it allows for proper preparedness before actually installing the earth anchors.

At the beginning of each earth anchor installation, sod is carefully removed from your lawn and placed aside for later. A sheet is laid down to help protect your lawn and landscaping and an earth anchor hole is made using a power auger.

Coring a one inch hole in a foundation wall to allow for the earth anchor rod to pass through.

Preparing The Foundation Wall

After the hole for the earth anchor is excavated, a small hole will be drilled through your foundation wall - only 1" in diameter.  This makes our wall anchor system superior to other methods of stabilizing foundation walls. Removing a large hole or section of concrete block during installation may be required in other methods, but not ours!

Once this small hole is drilled, a steel anchor rod will be driven through the wall and soil, extending through a hole in the center of the earth anchor.

Steel earth anchor assembly installation in Campbellsville.

Attaching The Earth Anchor

Following the securing of each anchor rod to its earth anchor, the specialists at The Basement Doctor of Central Kentucky will bury the system in the ground using the soil previously removed. 

To prevent common corrosion damage, our earth anchor system is specially designed with galvanized steel

Mounting a foundation wall plate for an earth anchor installation in Somerset.

Mounting The Wall Plate

Once the earth anchors have been installed, our foundation repair experts will mount a wall plate over each anchor rod end that protrudes from the basement wall. Screwing a large nut to the threaded end of the anchor rod secures each wall plate and stabilizes the wall as the nut is tightened.

If your wall anchors are being installed in a finished basement, be sure to ask us about our Hide-A-Way® Wall Anchor Covers, which will help you conveniently conceal your wall anchor access points.

Restoring the landscaping by replacing removed sod on the ground for a Middlesboro home.

Restoring The Landscaping

To complete the job, we make sure that there is no damage to the existing landscape.  Our goal is to leave the job neat and clean all around. We do this by filling holes completely with dirt saved earlier and tamp filled areas to ensure that depressed areas will not be created as the soils settle over time.

By carefully grooming and replacing all sod to help it blend in with the surrounding grass, our team will leave your landscape looking beautiful and just as it was discovered.

Attempting to straighten a bowed foundation wall by straightening a wall anchor system in a Berea home.

Tightening Wall Anchors

Over time our Geo-Lock™ Wall Anchors will accomplish more than just stopping the inward movement of your foundation walls. By providing your foundation walls with this kind of support, they have the opportunity to eventually straighten up.

Your home's value will be restored and will return it to looking stable, solid and attractive for both you and for prospective home buyers. 

When Foundation Wall Anchors Won't Work

If the yard outside your home isn't accessible, our wall anchor system cannot be used to repair a bowing wall.  In the case that this is the condition of your home, we at The Basement Doctor of Central Kentucky recommend that you install our PowerBrace™ Foundation Wall System.


Graphic render of an installed i-beam system home.

Saving a wall with the PowerBrace™ system. This innovative system stabilizes bowing walls and can even straighten walls over time.

The PowerBrace™ System

When there is no access to the yard outside of your home, but your home is experiencing buckling and bowing walls, our patented PowerBrace™ foundation wall repair systems is the perfect fix.

If effectively stabilizes failing basement walls and even allows for potential straightening over time.  The PowerBrace™ is composed of I-beams that have many advantages over other traditional systems.

These I-beams are specially designed with a rust-resistant zinc-coating that makes it possible for this system to last for many years to come. 

Installation of a PowerBrace™ will not disrupt your lawn, gardens, foliage or other landscaping and is a quick fix for those bowing and buckling foundation walls.

More about The Powerbrace™ System.

What NOT To Do

A foundation repair is a big job -- something you definitely only want to do once! When you're repairing your foundation, beware of expensive options that will not actually fix your problem -- and watch out for quick solutions that just don't work. Here are two "fixes" that we at The Basement Doctor of Central Kentucky will NOT recommend:

diagram and illustration of a total foundation replacement, showing the jacked up home and the excavated earth.

Wasting time and money with total foundation replacement.

This extreme repair option damages the yard and requires the house to be placed on temporary supports. It's also expensive and time-consuming.

Total Foundation Replacement:

To replace your entire foundation is a HUGE job - often one that people rush into too quickly when there are other less expensive, less disruptive and less time-consuming options. 

A job like this calls for the excavation of all shrubbery, sidewalks and any other landscaping around your entire foundation.

Once the perimeter is clear, the house must be jacked up and the floor slab and foundation walls removed. Next, the foundation is rebuilt, the house is repositioned and the soil is replaced.

This entire process takes a toll on your home that may not have been the solution in the first place.  Addressing the true problem, the soil around your foundation, is essential.  If it is not addressed, the soil will continue to put pressure on these new foundation walls just like the old ones. 

We have the solution for any cracking, buckling, or bowing your foundation walls may be experiencing.


Graphic of a carbon fiber foundation wall repair.

Installing carbon fiber straps is a solution with significant limitations.

Unlike foundation anchors, carbon fiber straps cannot straighten a wall.

Carbon Fiber Straps:

If you have limited access to the inside of the basement or to the exterior of your home, carbon fiber straps may be the solution for you.  This very high-tensile-strength material is nearly impossible to stretch and can be "glued" to concrete walls (or concrete block walls) to prevent inward movement.

This method is not the solution for sliding at the bottom, or leaning along the top of the wall, but is an excellent option if the foundation wall is bowing in the middle. 

Since the strips are glued to the wall and are not anchored to the ceiling, floor, or anything else, they cannot stop leaning in at the top or sliding in at the bottom of the foundation wall.

In cases where the carbon fiber strap is attached to the top of the wall, it can lead to damage to the upper floor framing.

Looking For Foundation Wall Repair Experts In Kentucky?

At The Basement Doctor of Central Kentucky, we're proud to provide solutions that will permanently solve issues with bowing, buckling foundation walls.

We provide free, no-obligation foundation wall repair estimates to homeowners throughout our Kentucky service area. Each estimate is made in person, on-site and is presented in writing.

Our service area includes Georgetown, Richmond, Lexington, and nearby areas such as Covington, Richmond, Ft Mitchell, Florence, Newport, London, Elizabethtown. Call or e-mail us today!

our service area

We serve the following areas

  • Allen
  • Auxier
  • Banner
  • Beaver
  • Betsy Layne
  • Bevinsville
  • Blue River
  • Boons Camp
  • Burdine
  • Bypro
  • Dana
  • Drift
  • Dwale
  • East Point
  • Eastern
  • Flatgap
  • Grethel
  • Hagerhill
  • Harold
  • Hi Hat
  • Isonville
  • Ivel
  • Jenkins
  • Keaton
  • Lackey
  • Langley
  • Martin
  • Mc Dowell
  • Meally
  • Melvin
  • Minnie
  • Oil Springs
  • Paintsville
  • Prestonsburg
  • Printer
  • River
  • Sitka
  • Staffordsville
  • Stambaugh
  • Stanville
  • Teaberry
  • Thelma
  • Tram
  • Tutor Key
  • Van Lear
  • Weeksbury
  • West Van Lear
  • Wheelwright
  • Williamsport
  • Wittensville
Our Locations:

The Basement Doctor of Central Kentucky
22 Reilly Rd
Frankfort, KY 40601