Drywall Bowing (Causes & Fixes!)
Your house depends on the strength of the building’s foundation to hold its shape. So, if you notice cracks on the drywall, it indicates an underlying problem.
The cracks on the wall are the first signs of bowing drywall. Other causes can be water leaks because of unstable soil. Your drywall bowing can also result from poor installation, making it lack the necessary support. It could also be because of excess moisture around the wall resulting from flooding or high humidity.
If your drywall is bowing, you need to look for the root cause and solve it before doing repairs. This article will help you understand the dangers of bowing drywall and how to correct it.
How To Fix Bowing Drywall?
If your drywall is bowing, you need to look for the root cause and fix it to prevent your house from collapsing. Remember, the cracks or moisture buildup can look harmless, but with time,e the effects will be immense and costly. To avoid this, you need to check the damage’s extent and then choose the best way to solve the issue.
You can use the below methods to fix bowing drywall;
Introduce Wall Anchors
If the cracks on your bowed drywall are more than 2 inches, the best fix is using steel anchors. However, you need to be ready to do more work when fixing the wall anchors, as they must be on the basement’s interior and exterior.
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You also need to excavate about 10 feet out of the affected area to create space to fix the anchors and for safety. The steel shaft will help hold the steel plate inside the building’s basement and the one outside on the ground.
The interior of the anchor will pull together with the wall towards the outer plate when you tighten the rods. The force resulting from this will help lock the gap in the right place. You should place the anchors 5 feet away from each other along the bowed wall.
Using Fiber Straps and Staples
If you want to reinforce the bowed drywall, consider using carbon fiber straps or staples. The carbon fiber will help you solve the issue faster and is ideal when minimal damage is. It will not cost you much but have the problem over.
But ensure you fill the gaps on the wall with an epoxy injection or polyurethane. What’s good about using the carbon straps is that they are stronger and capable of holding the walls together, preventing further cracks.
Attach the carbon fiber straps to the foundation of the basement and the sill plate on top. This will help offer even support on the bowed wall from top to bottom.
Go For Helical Tiebacks
Another method you can use to fix your bowing drywall is using helical tiebacks. You should opt for this method if the cracks are over 2 inches. But be ready to dig deeper into your pockets as they are more expensive than the other options.
You should drive a screw-like steel shaft from inside the basement wall to the other end at an angle. The shaft will connect the bigger vertical channel fixed to the floor and extends upwards. Doing this will help bring back the necessary support to the wall without excavating.
Tips To Prevent Bowing Drywall
Before you repair the bowing drywall with any of the above methods, ensure you solve the root cause of the problem. Look for the best way to avoid the high moisture level around the wall. You can waterproof the basement and maintain it dry throughout. Also, consider installing dehumidifiers and building French drains to help keep your house dry.
You can replace expansive soil near the basement with quick draining sand. Don’t forget to install gutters or downspouts to help drain the rainwater away from the building’s basement. When your home is dry, you’ll experience fewer problems like wall warping or wood rotting. Additionally, you will not experience water-related damages saving your maintenance money.
When the damage is extensive, it’s best to repair the foundation to clear the mess and prevent recurring issues. You can work with a trusted service provider to improve the foundation and prevent it from collapsing.
Is Bowed Wall Dangerous?
Yes, the bowed wall is unsafe as it increases the chances of your building collapsing. The bowed wall cracks also allow in moisture, which can lead to mold growth on the walls. Mold in your house results in breathing problems, unending headaches, and eye irritation. Wet walls will also affect the health of your family members, and they will have frequent colds and flues.
Working with a professional to repair your bowing wall is advisable to avoid the dangers of poor fixing.
How Do You Check the Extent of The Bowing Wall?
Before you start repairing a bowing wall, check the extent of deflation. It will help you have a rough estimate of how much it will cost you to fix it. You can achieve this using a ruler and weighted string.
- First, hold the weighted string at the bottom against your basement ceiling.
- Keep pushing the string towards the wall until it reaches the deeper end of the bowed wall.
- Let someone help you measure the distance between the deep end of the wall and the string with a ruler. That will be the deflection distance.
Bowing drywalls are in-waiting hazards as they can collapse anytime if you don’t take quick action. To avoid all these, you should know the root cause of the problem and solve it amicably. It could be wet walls because of a waterlogged basement, poor installation process, or unstable soil. You can fix this using a steel anchor, fiber straps and staples, or helical tiebacks.