What is a wing-wall?
As shown above, a wing-wall is an extension of the front brick veneer wall. These walls were popular in the 50s and 60s. When viewed from the street, they make the house appear larger than it really is.
Wing-walls and expansive soils
Many wing-walls today are in poor shape. They simply do not do well in expansive soil areas.
Early wing-walls versus later wing-walls
Originally wing-walls were supported by footings connected to the slab foundation. These quickly created problems. The footings began to move around as the soil moisture went through the normal seasonal cycles. The footings were intended to move with the foundation. Unfortunately, they frequently moved differentially. This resulted in stress being transferred into the main slab. It soon became apparent that the only solution was for the footing and the wing wall to be separate from the slab foundation.
The separation didn’t work very well either. Yes, neither the footing nor the wing-wall can transfer any stress to the main foundation, but the main foundation cannot act to make the wing-wall more stable. The most common problem is that the footing rotates making the wing-wall lean over. In extreme cases, the wing-wall can become unsafe, especially if children climb on it or play around it,
How to get rid of a wing-wall
If a wing-wall is creating a problem the best solution is to simply take the wall down and then remove the supporting footing.