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What Can Cause a Foundation Wall to Fail?

Learn more about how heavy rain can cause your foundation walls to fail. Download our free Heavy Rains Guide or call us for a free inspection today.


Are Your Basement Walls About to Fail?

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Don’t ignore inward movement of your basement foundation wall!

How do you know if your foundation wall is leaning, bowed or bulging? 

  • Cracks in your walls more than 1/8 inch wide 
  • Angled cracks from corners of the wall or across the center 
  • Walls that are sliding inward at the bottom/leaning in at the top
  • Unleveled flooring
  • Water seepage 

Not all foundation damage is the same. Let’s distinguish different types of inward movement!

Bulging Walls

Bulging walls often consist of horizontal cracks. These cracks are formed when the pressure is closer to the center of the wall. Eventually, it will cause it to fold in from the center. 


  • You can measure for a bugled wall by using a plumb string attached to the ceiling 
  • Measure the distance of the wall from bottom to top 
  • If the measure reads longer than the plumb line, it indicates a failing wall that is likely to be bulging

Leaning Walls

Leaning walls will angle slightly. 


  • Make sure to look for both, inward movement from the top and the bottom of your walls.

What Can Cause a Foundation Wall to Fail?

Saturated soil

Saturated soil creates pressure on your foundation walls. 

Although the rainfall has stopped, the water is not gone. In most cases the water has been absorbed by the soil surrounding your home.

Heavy Rain

Water is heavy, weighing at approximately 8.34 pounds per gallon. Just imagine thousands of gallons of rainwater filling every microscopic nook and cranny in the soil around your home. 

That’s thousands of pounds of lateral earth pressure! 

While that pressure exerts force against your foundation, nothing but the air on the other side of your basement walls are present for support. 

Stabilize & protect your foundation walls before it’s too late! 


  • You might not see a tiny crack, but pressure exerted by saturated soil could be stressing your foundation walls.
  • Carbon fiber straps and galvanized steel braces are options that can give you a peace of mind that comes with permanent protection.
  • The only way to determine the health of your home’s foundation walls is to have them inspected by a train expert.

Don’t wait for foundation failure. Give us a call for a free inspection today! Dry Pro services the Charlotte, NC, area and its surrounding cities.

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