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STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS & DEFECTS
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AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
BEST CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES GUIDE
BRICK FOUNDATIONS & WALLS
BRICK STRUCTURAL WALL Loose Bulged
BRICK WALL THERMAL EXPANSION CRACKS
BRICK VENEER WALL Loose, Bulged
BRICK WALL DRAINAGE WEEP HOLES
BUCKLED FOUNDATIONS due to INSULATION?
BUILDING DAMAGE ASSESSMENT & REPAIR
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COLD POUR JOINTS, CONCRETE
COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS
CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS, PRE-CAST
CONNECTORS, FASTENERS, TIES
Cracks, Checking or Splitting Beams & Log Homes
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
DECK COLLAPSE Case Study
DEFINITIONS of Mobile Home, Doublewide, Modular, Panelized
DEFINITIONS of ENGINEERED WOOD OSB LVL etc
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT GUIDE
DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOOR, ENGINEERED WOOD & LAMINATES
FLOOR FRAMING & SUBFLOOR for TILE
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOOTINGS EXPOSED, Repair Methods
FOUNDATION CONSTRUCTION TYPES
FOUNDATION CONTRACTORS, ENGINEERS
FOUNDATION CRACK EVALUATION
FOUNDATION FAILURES by MOVEMENT TYPE
FOUNDATION INSPECTION METHODS
FOUNDATION INSULATION OPTIONS
FOUNDATION MATERIALS, Age, Types
FOUNDATION REPAIR METHODS
FRAMING DAMAGE, INSPECTION, REPAIR S
FRAMING CONNECTORS & JOIST HANGERS
FRAMING MATERIALS, Age, Types
FRAMING SIZE & Spacing, Age, Types
FRAMING TABLES, SPANS for DECKS
FROST HEAVES, FOUNDATION, SLAB
GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK
GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS
HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS
I-JOISTS, Wood Roof Floor
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
LOG HOME GUIDE
LVL Laminated Veneer Lumber, Beams
MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS
MODULAR HOME CONSTRUCTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OSB - Oriented Strand Board
PLYWOOD Roof, Wall, Floor Decks & Sheathing
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
PRE-CUT & KIT HOMES
Preservative-Treated Framing Lumber
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
RETAINING WALL GUARD RAILINGS
ROT, FUNGUS, INSECT DAMAGE
SEARS KIT HOUSES
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SLAB CRACK EVALUATION
SLAB CRACK REPAIR
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STONE VENEER WALLS
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE PROBING
STRUCTURAL WOOD ASSESSMENT
SUMP PUMPS GUIDE
TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS
Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
TIMBER FRAMING, ROT
TRUSS UPLIFT, ROOF
TRUSSES, Floor & Roof
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
WOOD STRUCTURE ASSESSMENT
Foundation damage evaluation: how to distiguish foundation bulging vs. leaning movement by type & location of cracks & bends in foundation components. We distinguish among vertical movement, horizontal movement, leaning, tipping, bending, differential and uniform settlement, earthquake and storm damage, and other foundation damage patterns.
This article series describes how to recognize and diagnose various types of foundation failure or damage, such as foundation cracks, masonry foundation crack patterns, and moving, leaning, bulging, or bowing building foundation walls.
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How to distinguish between a "bulged" foundation wall and a "leaning" foundation wall, and why we care
We care about the distinction between leaning and bulging because understanding the location and pattern of foundation wall cracking or movement may help us diagnose its cause and thus may help us understand what actions are needed to stop further foundation movement or perhaps to decide on a course of repair or reinforcement of the wall.
For example, recognizing that a foundation wall has bulged inwards at about the depth of the frost line at a building may tell us that the root cause of that particular foundation movement was frost pressure from spillage of roof runoff too close to and along the building wall.
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Watch out: To be used properly, this information must be combined with specific on-site observations at the particular building in order to form a reliable opinion about the condition of that building's foundation.
Anyone having concern regarding the structural stability, safety, or damage of a building, foundation or other components, should consult a qualified expert.
The same forces produce different effects on poured concrete walls compared with masonry block, brick, or stone walls
Even a concrete wall which is bulged is likely to be cracked horizontally, though perhaps not in such a straight line. But a bulged reinforced concrete wall would be very rare unless perhaps the concrete wall bulged, or its forms bulged, during the time that the concrete was being poured and was still wet.
It's more likely that a reinforced concrete wall will be caused to lean or to shift horizontally while a masonry unit wall or stone wall is likely to be bulged and cracked by the same external forces.
If our measurements anywhere between the floor and the top of the wall is greater than the distance measured (wall to string) at the floor bottom and at the wall top then the wall is "bulged" inwards at that point.
If the wall is masonry block in construction we'd expect to see horizontal cracks in one or mortar joints in the bulged area, with the widest horizontal crack at or close to the point of greatest inward bulge.
For details of a simple foundation bulge or lean measurement procedure using just string and a ruler, see FOUNDATION BULGE or LEAN MEASUREMENTS
Watch out: in some cases a foundation wall may not lean in the direction you expect.
For example a reinforced masonry block wall or poured concrete wall which has been pushed inwards by earth loading might move inwards at the bottom of the wall rather than at the top.
The bottom of the wall will have been pushed in to the building basement or crawl space and the top may actually begin to lean out and may even become visible outside, protruding out past the building framed wall.
Also see FOUNDATION CRACK EVALUATION for a discussion of the diagnosis of specific crack patterns in masonry foundations, and see FOUNDATION BULGE or LEAN MEASUREMENTS which explains a simple method for determining how much bulge or lean is present in a foundation or wall, then see FOUNDATION MOVEMENT ACTIVE vs. STATIC which helps determine if the foundation movement is ongoing, and see FOUNDATION DAMAGE SEVERITY for a discussion of just how much foundation movement is likely to be a concern.
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