Shearing Wall

Signs of Foundation Failure

If soil is poorly back-filled against your foundation, or excess water and clay cause soils to expand, pressure will begin to press your foundation walls inward. Shearing is one of the more dramatic--and urgent--signs of foundation failure on concrete brick foundation walls.

Are your concrete brick foundation walls shearing?

Whether it's "just a little" or a few inches, shearing is urgent. Often, there will be stair step cracking and visible water damage around the holes shearing creates in the foundation.

Common Signs

You may notice the block wall "shearing" near the bottom because the concrete floor in the basement is holding the bottom row of blocks in place as the rest of the wall slides inward.

How did this happen?

External pressure

The soil around your home puts a lot of pressure on your foundation walls. The amount of pressure varies depending on the type of soil near the home, the amount of moisture in the soil, and how deep the foundation is under the ground. There is nothing on the inside of the basement walls pushing back, to counter this pressure.

Hydrostatic pressure

When the soil around your house becomes saturated with water from heavy rains or water leaks, the water exerts additional pressure against the walls.


In areas with cold winter climates, frost can put pressure on a wall and cause it to fail, especially if the basement is unheated. Frost forces can be extremely powerful and can even lift shallow foundations up out of the ground, causing significant damage to the home.

Expansive clay soil

Clay is a common soil type in many areas. It expands and contracts as the amount of moisture in the ground increases or decreases. When you see dirt with cracks at the surface during a dry spell, this is what you're actually seeing - clay soil shrinks when it gets dry. When it rains and the clay soil gets wet it expands. This increase in size puts a lot of pressure on your basement walls. When the pressure is more than the wall can handle, the wall begins to push inward.

The Real Estate Seller Disclosure Act requires foundation repair needs to be disclosed to potential home buyers. Realtors tell us they are forced to discount homes with foundation structural defects 10-20% to make a sale. What is your home worth in today's market? Imagine losing that much money from your home's value by not permanently fixing your foundation!

Foundation & concrete problems don't get better with time, they get better with us.

Find a foundation repair or concrete company near you to fix them, so you can breathe easy and sleep well tonight. Our specialists will deliver the most precise and competitive foundation repair estimate available.

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