Bowing & Buckling Foundation Walls In Greater Toronto

Diagram of a repaired foundation wall

Many bowing wall problems can be solved with wall anchors. These anchors are placed in the ground outside the home.

Next, steel rods attach to the soil anchors and extend through the foundation wall and wall plates.

These wall plates distribute clamping pressure. By tightening a nut on the threaded end of the rod the wall will begin to stabilize for a permanent solution.

The Problem:

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

Telltale Signs:

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

How to Fix It:

Install Supportworks' Geo-Lock™ Wall Anchors along the bowing walls, and use the system's clamping pressure to stabilize and restore the wall.

When space issues prohibit wall anchor installation, we recommend installing the PowerBrace™ Wall System.

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At Clarke Basement Systems, we can straighten your bowing, buckling foundation walls! Our solutions are warrantied, and most can be done in a day!

Call us for a free foundation wall repair quote today! We serve Toronto, Mississauga, Markham, and many nearby areas in Ontario.

Signs of bowing foundation walls

Hydrostatic pressure on the walls from outside and expansive soils are usually the root of your foundation wall problem. Foundation walls may also crack from foundation settlement, as well as from several other issues so it is always best for a professional consultation. A professional can accurately identify what kind of foundation issue is causing the problem in your home.

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 Port Hope home Foundation wall separating from the floor in Georgina home A buckling foundation wall in a Bolton home. Rusted, corroded i-beams found with a failing foundation in a Whitchurch-Stouffville home.
A diagonal stair-step crack found along a foundation wall in a Aurora home A diagonal stair step crack along the foundation wall of a Clarington home A foundation showing severe inward buckling along the windows in a Ajax home. Severe foundation damage from a long crack in a bucking wall of a Pickering home.

What Causes Cracked & Bowing Foundation Walls in Ontario?

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

How Much 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 was kept moist.

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

The soils around your home can put enormous pressure on foundation walls, and with nothing pushing back this is a recipe for disaster. The amount of pressure they exert depends on four factors:

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

When the exerted pressure from outside is more than the foundation walls can handle, the walls will begin to fail.

Hydrostatic pressure, expansive clay soil and frost can create sufficient stress on walls to push them inwards -- and if not handled in a timely matter, even collapse.

Gutters and downspouts can also contribute significantly to foundation problems by allowing large volumes of water to collect in the soil around your structure.

This water will cause the soil around the foundation to become heavier and more expansive. It is very important to make sure that your roof runoff is directed away from your foundation to avoid foundation problems.

If you would like a free foundation wall repair quote for your home, call or e-mail us today!

Installing Foundation Wall Anchors

At Clarke Basement Systems, we recommend the Geo-Lock™ Wall Anchor System, to stabilize failing foundation walls. Our contractors follow these six steps when installing our warrantied wall anchor system:

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

Digging Holes For the Earth Anchors

Before the installation, earth anchor locations will be determined to maximize system effectiveness. When the foundation contractors arrive, their proposal will show the location of each earth anchor in the yard outside your house.

At the beginning of each earth anchor installation, sod is carefully removed from your lawn and placed aside for to be replaced 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

Once the hole has been excavated, we will core a small hole (only about 1" in diameter) through your basement wall. Then, 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 Caledon.

Attaching The Earth Anchor

After securing the end of each anchor rod to its earth anchor, these assemblies are buried in the ground, using soil removed earlier. To resist corrosion damage, each of our earth anchor systems is designed with galvanized steel.

Each of the Geo-Lock™ Earth Anchors we install includes a 25-year warranty against manufacturing defects, as well as our own in-house quality and performance warranty.


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

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 Newmarket home.

Restoring The Landscaping

At Clarke Basement Systems, we take pride in leaving each job clean, neat, and free of damage to existing landscaping. As part of our cleanup process, we fill 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.

We will also replace all sod, carefully grooming it with a rake to help it to blend in with surrounding grass for a seamless landscaping restoration.
Attempting to straighten a bowed foundation wall by straightening a wall anchor system in a Peterborough home.

Tightening Wall Anchors

Geo-Lock™ Wall Anchors do more than just stop the inward movement of your foundation walls -- they also provide the opportunity to straighten your walls over time.

Eventually, your walls can be significantly repaired, or even returned completely to their original position. This is a powerful way to restore value to your home and return your home to looking solid, stable, and attractive -- both for you and for prospective home buyers.

When Foundation Wall Anchors Won't Work

In some cases, a wall anchor system can't be used to repair a bowing wall because the yard outside the house isn't accessible. When we, at Clarke Basement Systems, encounter this kind of problem, we suggest that you install our PowerBrace™ Foundation Wall System.

Graphic render of an installed i-beam system home.

The PowerBrace™ system stabilizes bowing walls, and can even straighten walls, over time.

The PowerBrace™ System

The PowerBrace™ is a patented foundation wall repair system designed to stabilize failing basement walls and allow for potential straightening over time.

This system is a great option when walls are bowing, buckling but access to the yard outside of the home is not possible.

The PowerBrace™ is an I-beam system that has a rust-resistant zinc coating and a design that makes it possible not only to stabilize bowing walls but also to straighten these walls over a period of time.

Installation of a PowerBrace™ system can be conducted quickly in your home, with no disruption to your lawn, gardens, foliage, or other landscaping.

What NOT To Do

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.

Total foundation replacement is an extreme repair method that damages the yard and requires the house to be placed on temporary supports. It is very expensive, time-consuming, and also does not address the original problem.

Total Foundation Replacement:

Foundation repair is a job you definitely only want to do once! When you're repairing your foundation, beware of expensive options that do not target the source of the problem -- and watch out for quick solutions that just don't work.

When going the total foundation repair route you will need to excavate the entire perimeter of your foundation. This includes gardens, shrubbery, sidewalks, and other landscaping.

Next, the house is jacked up, and the floor slab and foundation walls are removed. Finally, the foundation is rebuilt, the house is repositioned and the soil is replaced.

Your foundation was not the original problem, the soil was.  So when you're done building that brand new foundation, you can count on the soil to press just as hard on the new walls. This will cause them to be damaged -- just like it did to the ones that preceded them.

If you're going to invest money in repairing your foundation, choose the solution that is not disruptive and will be warrantied for 25 years.

Looking For Foundation Wall Repair Experts In Ontario?

At Clarke Basement Systems, we're proud to provide warrantied solutions that will permanently solve issues with bowing, buckling foundation walls.

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

Our service area includes Mississauga, Toronto, Markham, and nearby areas such as Brampton, Vaughan, Barrie, Peterborough, Richmond Hill, Oshawa. Call or e-mail us today!

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our service area

We serve Ashburn and the nearby area