Earth or Plate Anchors For Leaning Walls

There is a great deal of pressure on your basement walls from the surrounding soil which usually is expansive clay based in Missouri.  This pressure varies based on the types of soil that are present, how much moisture is in the soil, and how far underground your foundation extends.

The pressure on your foundation walls can cause failures in the form of pushing them inward, or making them bulge or bow in the middle.  Cracks in the concrete or block basement wall are typical signs of foundation wall failure. Sections of the wall can actually start to buckle, bow, and lean inwards. If you have a finished basement you will notice walls getting racked sideways, door alignment issues and celing tile being pushed.  This failure never gets better and usually continues to get worse.

Earth or Plate Anchors

deadmen anchor plate anchorsMany foundation repair companies use a wall anchor system to straighten and/or stabilize bowing buckling walls. One such type is an earth or plate anchor.  This system uses two plates connected with a threaded rod.  While they can use them during a wall straightening process usually they are bid to straighten the wall over time.  We will explain more below.

The wall anchor installations are designed to install quickly and with minimal disruption to your home and landscaping. Many repairs can be finished in a single day.

After installation, wall anchors can often be tightened over time to further straighten your foundation walls and pull them back to their original position.

  1. Dig Holes For Earth Anchors - At the beginning of each earth anchor installation, sod is carefully removed from your lawn and placed aside for later. A sheet is laid down to help protect your lawn and landscaping, and an earth anchor hole is made using a power auger.
  2. Prep The Foundation Wall - Once the hole has been excavated, we will core a small hole 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.
  3. Connect 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.
  4. Mount the Wall Plate - 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.
  5. Straighten Wall - if bid this way and the outside was excavated they will at this point straighten the wall.
  6. Correct & Restore Landscape - 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.

If your system was bid to straighten the wall "over time" you will have to regularly monitor the tightness or torque of these anchors.  Usually during dry times when the outside soil shrinks and cracks appear in your yard, these nuts will be looser because the soil and pressure has pulled away from your foundation wall.  They expect you at that time to tighten those nuts on the wall plates up thereby over time pulling your wall back to original position.

Advantages of Earth Anchors

  • Less disturbance to your lawn and landscaping.
  • Year-Round Installation.
  • Usually less expensive than helical anchor systems.
  • Holes in Basement Walls usually smaller

Disadvantages of Earth Anchors

  • Subject to moving soils - plate isn't installed deep enough into good soil to hold.
  • You have to maintain on a regular basis
  • May never restore wall back to original position.

failed earth anchorWe have seen many earth anchors fail and dug up and replaced.  The picture on the right shows helical anchors being installed next to failed deadmen or earth plate anchors.

The question always was - what about your warranty?  Well it seems on some of those other systems - if you don't maintain the proper torque and check your anchors regularly they won't honor the warranty.  Sometimes they work fine, but many engineers would argue you aren't getting deep enough and far enough out of the active zone of soil to maintain support.