DIY Wall repair bowing retaining wall

Old 07-03-14, 06:19 AM
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DIY Wall repair bowing retaining wall

I have a cinderblock wall that is 8’ high by 30’ long. The wall was installed after the house was built to support the front porch roof (which was also built after the house), so this is not an interior basement wall and it does not hold anything up but the front porch deck and roof. It is constructed of 10x10x16 two core blocks. It is bowed in the middle about 1.75 inches and the bow is Vertical (not horizontal like most). There is only 3’ of grade in front of the wall. Good drainage, no water makes it through the wall. This movement has happened gradually over the last 20 years because the area behind the wall is not insulated and freezes in the winter which creates some vertical movement and allows the 3’ of dirt to push the wall in a little at a time. Also a factor is that there is not much weight on top of the wall which is why it is bowing vertically and not horizontally. Additionally the bottom course has sheared away equal to the bow (1.75). I have had some foundation specialists look at it and the good ones have all said that I shouldn’t worry about fixing the bow. Instead I should go with a ROD and GROUT solution where reinforcing rods are inserted into the hollow cores of the blocks and then filled with concrete or grout and the top course will be re-enforced with beams that connect to the house wall every 4’ to keep the top from falling inward after they have arrested the movement with the rod and grout. Quotes range from $3000 - $6000 for this procedure. Additionally, I need to seal off the ends and put some insulation under the deck floor to make sure that the area stays above freezing which i plan to do after i implement the repair.

My problem is that I am a bit obsessive and I know if I don’t fix the bow, it will bother me till I die. I would rather pay to replace the wall so that it is straight. But before I do that, I would like to try and straighten the existing wall. So I was going to dig out the 3’ of backfill and anchor an adjustable floor jack to the concrete floor (on an angle) and brace it against the inside of the bowing wall at the apex of the bow to see if I can get some of the bow out very slowly while keeping a close eye on the results. I would do this over months cranking just a hair at a time. I figure the worst thing that could happen is that i start to make matters worse and I need to pay to have it removed and replaced, which I was probably going to do anyway. I don’t really see a downside to making this attempt. The wall is pretty stable, and I don’t want to move more than a hair at a time and assess the results each time. So I would like your thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
Old 07-03-14, 08:10 PM
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My father had that happen to the basement wall of our house 55 years ago. He had a contractor come in and remove the backfill on the outside to the footer. On the inside he placed good railroad ties against the basement wall and used a railroad jack to push against a hole in the floor and the railroad tie. I would put one click on the jack every other day until the wall was plumb. He knocked out an inside face of a block at the top of the wall and was able to feed short pieces of rebar down the space, tie3d the pieces and then filled the block with concrete. He used a solid block to cover up the inside of the concrete block. He backfilled the outside wall with course gravel to within 1 foot of the surface after the concrete had hardened. The wall never moved and the basement is still plumb!
Old 07-04-14, 01:50 PM
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go shoot yourself now so it won't bother you that much longer sounds like a good idea to me,,, maybe every 6th cell, you could install rebar encased in conc - we call those thingies ' wall pins ' & they're common to the bsmt waterproofing trade

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