Soils in the Hope, Kan., area where I live and work are tough on foundations. While the expansive clay soils aren't as bad as in some parts of the country, they still cause bulges and cracks in many foundations. In the 35-plus years I've been a contractor, I've worked on more than a dozen of these damaged foundations. Every job is different, so we use several techniques, depending on the situation.

One of the most effective methods I know is to tie a bulging wall to a mass of reinforced concrete outside the foundation. Rods are run through the foundation wall and embedded in some form of concrete deadman placed below the frost line and outside the building. The deadman's weight and surface area work like a boat anchor to counteract the...

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