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Concrete basement walls are designed to do two main jobs. One job is supporting the house; the other is holding back the pressure of soil against the side of the basement. Considering the nature of concrete, holding up the weight of the house is the lesser worry. Concrete’s compressive strength is much greater than it needs to be to support a house. As long as the soil under the footing has adequate bearing capacity, the ability of a concrete wall to carry the load is not a question. Soil pressure against the basement walls, on the other hand, can sometimes be a problem. A sideways force against a basement wall puts one face of the wall in tension (see