A number of structural issues can cause a bowed basement wall. Some repairs are inexpensive, while others require replacing and enforcing the basement's surrounding foundation. The average cost for repairs varies greatly, depending on the work involved. Receive estimates and suggestions from at least three contractors who specialize in basement repairs.
Humidity in the basement is a major cause of a bowed wall. Because the basement isn't commonly exposed to air or sun, humidity is contained and can cause problems with fixtures. Mold can accumulate in the walls and cause further damage.
Do some of the labor yourself, depending on why the wall is bowed and the type of wall. Many basements are built using concrete blocks as a foundation. If drywall or paneling is installed over the foundation, remove the bowed wall's covering and expose the concrete. Cleaning the foundation can with a solution of 1 part bleach and 100 parts water removes mold. Let the foundation dry before replacing the wall.
Building or repairing a basement's retaining wall costs is $75 to $200 per square foot. Repairing the concrete behind the bowed wall can cost more than $400 per square foot. The price increases depending on the amount of repairs needed. If the wall is bowed, support polls or steel beams may be required at an approximate cost of $20 per linear foot. These estimated costs are as of December 2011 and may change with time and location.
Test the humidity in the basement using a humidity meter. If the humidity is high, above 65 percent, use a dehumidifier in the basement. Dehumidifying the basement reduces the chance of damage to the basements interior and fixtures, and reduces mold and other potential allergens in the home.