Category Archives: Crawlspace Repair

Hurricane Harvey Impacts and Storm Flooding in Alabama

hurricane harvey storm damageAlabama and other southern states have seen a lot of severe weather recently. Between hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the tornado that ripped through northwest Alabama at the end of August and beginning of September, there has been a lot of potential for damage in Alabama homes. One of the biggest recent concerns for many Alabama homeowners and business owners has been storm flooding. The rains brought on by Hurricane Harvey in Texas left many Alabama homes with water problems.

Three EF2 tornadoes that swept through the central Alabama area a few weeks ago caused several large trees to splinter and fall down, left houses without shingles and destroyed a mobile home completely.

There was also significant flooding in southwest Alabama. Areas near Mobile county and Orange Beach, AL received the most rain and suffered substantial flash flooding in some areas, central and northern Alabama still saw the effects of Harvey. Along with the tornadoes that devastated parts of central Alabama, there was some mild rain in the Birmingham area from August 30-31.

Huntsville also saw some rain, and parts of Tennessee and Kentucky suffered from storm flooding due to Hurricane Harvey rains as well.

Why Flooding is an Issue for Your Alabama Home or Business

flooding storm damage alabamaWet or damp basements already affect 60% of homes. That percentage only increases during heavy rains and severe weather conditions. This is a problem because wet and damp basements, crawlspaces, and structures are the perfect spots for a mold problem to develop. Mold growth is a dangerous issue as it can damage the structural integrity of your home or business and cause illness and health problems for you and your family.

Even a small amount of rain can be problematic if your home or commercial structure is not properly prepared. If you do not have an adequate system for surface drainage, water might be allowed to collect and pool right around your foundation. This water can then seep into your home or business through the porous concrete of your foundation, causing water issues inside.

Lack of exterior waterproofing to prevent groundwater from seeping inside can also cause even small amounts of rain to result in water seepage. If water does get inside your home, it is best to have an interior drainage system in place to reroute it and prevent it from causing issues like high humidity or mold growth. If you do not have a properly functioning interior waterproofing system, water will form puddles and may result in mold or mildew growth.

Why Tornado Damage is an Issue for Your Alabama Home or Business

tornado storm damage alabamaBeyond obvious damage like broken windows and missing shingles, tornadoes can cause serious structural problems for your home. If a tornado is strong enough and hits your home head-on, it might rip the entire home off of the foundation or tear one or more walls away from the home. Other times, the tornado damage in your home will be less severe.

However, it is important to thoroughly examine your home for signs of damage. Even shingles that have not been totally ripped off of your home can be damaged by winds, leaving your home susceptible to leakage. Walls might be slightly pulled away from the home, leaving gaps and spaces open. Brick and masonry, as well as other parts of the home, might be damaged by flying debris. If the siding is pulled away from your home due to a tornado, water might leak underneath and pool on the foundation, wearing away at the concrete. Foundations might even suffer cracks during tornadoes if steel poles set in them to support the structure twist and put stress on the concrete. Pier and beam foundations are especially likely to see damage during a tornado, as the structural frame and floor are less anchored and are more likely to shift off of the foundation.

Hurricane Harvey Damage Solutions from Affordable Foundation and Home Repair

Affordable Foundation and Home Repair offers solutions to repair damage from Hurricane Harvey and other storms in Alabama homes. These solutions can also help prevent damage to your structure in the event of future storms. Our options for storm damage repair and prevention include:

  • Surface Drainage: Our team prevents water from collecting around your home when it rains with surface drainage techniques.
  • Exterior Waterproofing: We can install a waterproof membrane with exterior waterproofing to keep groundwater from seeping into your home.
  • Interior Waterproofing: Our experts offer sump pump system installation to reroute water that makes its way into your basement.
  • Crawlspace Encapsulation: With this solution, we install a vapor barrier in the crawlspace to seal out moisture and prevent mold growth.
  • Mold Remediation: We get rid of dangerous mold spores by cleaning your crawlspace or basement with a method known as mold soda blasting.
  • Foundation Repair: We offer installation of helical piers as well as polyjacking to lift sinking foundations and fix foundation cracks.

We also offer a range of solutions to repair beams and posts in crawlspaces and fix cracks in concrete slabs or other areas of your structure. If you live in the central or northern Alabama areas and are worried about damage from Hurricane Harvey storm flooding, tornadoes, or any other storm, call us today.

 

 

Rotten Wood: The Causes and Best Solutions

Why do You have Rotten Wood in Your Crawlspace?

rotten wood repair companyIf you see rotting wood in any of the support beams and posts in your crawlspace, it most likely means that you have a moisture problem. Excess moisture in your crawlspace can be a major factor contributing to wood rot that leaves your crawlspace’s structural integrity compromised. Water seepage is common in crawlspaces, since they are located underneath the surface of the ground, often below or even with the water table. Water is just one of the main factors that causes crawlspace wood rot.

There are four main elements that need to be present in order for wood rot to occur:

  • Wood
  • Oxygen
  • Warmth
  • Moisture

When combined in your crawlspace, these conditions result in the growth of fungi, which is what causes your wood to rot. That is why mold and wood rot are problems that are often seen hand in hand in Alabama crawlspaces. Only once you get rid of the actual fungus can you stop wood rot from reoccurring. Removing moisture without actually getting rid of the already present fungus is not a permanent solution for rot.

Aside from removing all traces of the rot-causing fungus, the only one of the four essential conditions for rot that can be effectively controlled is moisture. That is why moisture control is the best way to get rid of rot in your crawlspace.

We Can Get Rid of Wood Rot in Your Crawlspace

crawlspace wood rotThe first step in fixing your crawlspace is to have a rotten wood repair company get rid of rotted wood to remove the fungus and make sure it does not spread. This can be done by removing rotted wooden crawlspace beams and support posts and replacing them with long-lasting solutions that will not result in more wood rot.

For this aspect of the repair process, we offer crawlspace piers, floor supports, and floor joist repair options. Crawlspace piers can replace rotted support post and are made of steel, ensuring that they will not suffer from wood rot. We use only high-quality floor supports to replace and repair crawlspace beams and to keep wood rot from coming back.

We also offer mold removal to take care of any mold or mildew that might have appeared in the crawlspace. Not only will this service, which utilizes a technique known as mold soda blasting, removes mold from surfaces in your crawlspace, it will also clean crawlspace surfaces to get rid of harmful organisms.

Moisture Control to Keep Wood Rot from Coming Back

The most important step in rotted wood repair is to make sure that it does not come back. This can be done by implementing moisture control systems around your home. We offer the following solutions for complete moisture control in your Alabama crawlspace:

  • Surface Drainage: surface drainage involves various techniques used to prevent water from pooling in your yard. Water that is left to pool in your yard can slowly seep through the concrete foundation and into the crawlspace – keeping this water from doing so protects your crawlspace from wood rot.
  • Exterior Waterproofing: exterior waterproofing options like French drains and waterproof foundation membranes keep water from seeping through foundation cracks or soaking into the porous concrete walls of your home’s foundation. This reduces the amount of water that can enter your home in the first place, lowering the chances of crawlspace moisture.
  • Interior Waterproofing: If water does get in through your foundation, it is important to remove it right away to prevent high humidity and moisture levels in the crawlspace. The interior waterproofing system removes basement and crawlspace water, primarily, with the use of a sump pump system.
  • Crawlspace Encapsulation: this is the most vital step in protecting your crawlspace from wood rot. In the encapsulation process, a plastic vapor barrier is installed all along interior crawlspace surfaces. This barrier prevents water from seeping through the crawlspace walls and keeps out water vapor to prevent moisture entry.

Because all of these solutions reduce the amount of moisture that is allowed to enter and remain in your crawlspace, they help prevent wood rot from occurring. Contact our professional waterproofing and crawlspace repair team today to get help repairing the rotten wood in your crawlspace and ensure that your home is structurally sound. We offer free estimates for crawlspace vapor barrier encapsulation, mold removal and more in the state of Alabama. We are your number one rotten wood repair company in nothern Alabama and southern Tennessee.

Termite Repair: Fixing Damage in Crawlspaces

termite damage in crawlspaceDo you ever see bugs in your home? Ants, spiders, flies, etc. It is not uncommon to find these creepy-crawlers hanging out in your home, especially during the warmest months of the year when they are thickest outside and easily make their way inside. However, there is one particularly harmful kind of pest that you might not see – termites. These insects live and travel in groups, meaning that where there is one, there is more. While you might not notice the bugs themselves, especially if the infestation is in its early stage, you will probably be able to see the results of the infestation, likely once it is too late. Because termites have a hefty appetite for wood, as in the wood that makes up the supportive structures in your home, they can cause extensive damage to your crawlspace.

If you find signs of a termite problem in your home, call an exterminator to get rid of the bugs immediately, before they take over your entire home. Then call Affordable Foundation and Home Repair to fix termite damage in your crawlspace and ensure that your home is properly supported.

What are Termites and Why are They so Dangerous?

Termites are social insects. This means that they live in colonies which require a large amount of food. When the colony of termites becomes too big for one nest, they will divide to form multiple colonies in the same area, spreading the damage further and further. Termites have a gradual and methodical method for consuming lumber that makes up the framing and supportive structures in houses, meaning that the damage may not be evident until it is quite severe. The National Pest Management Association estimates that termites cost Americans about $5 billion dollars in damage each year.

The main source of food for termites is wood. That is why they are considered the top threat for US homes. Another unfortunate fact about termites is that they are present in nearly every US state, though less common in some northern and western regions.

Normally, drywood termites infest US homes since dampwood termites require a lot more moisture. However, the crawlspace is known to be a damp area in homes and may be more likely to develop a dampwood termite problem.

Termite damage is commonly found in ceiling supports, subfloors, wall studs, and the floor supports in the crawlspace. Termites that cause damage in the crawlspace are particularly dangerous, as the crawlspace structures support the entire home.

Signs of Termite Damage in Alabama Homes

Because termite damage may not be evident without close inspection, it is important to carefully check your crawlspace and other areas of your home for other damage regularly or to have a professional inspect your home if you are concerned. In addition to the damage being difficult to spot, termites themselves can be hard to identify. Often, flocks of termites are mistaken for flying ants.

Look for these signs of termite damage in your home:

  • Buckling or sagging floors
  • Hardwood floor slats popping up
  • Bubbles or sagging in laminate floors
  • Damaged or crumbling wood
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped

If your home has termite damage, it will likely look the same as any other house on the outside. Termite nests might be hidden in the walls or the crawlspace of your home for years without being detected. If you notice any of these symptoms, call an expert immediately – the longer you wait, the worse the damage will become.

We Can Repair Termite Damage in Your Home

Once you have taken care of the termites themselves, the damaged wood must be repaired and replaced. Fortunately, Affordable Foundation and Home Repair offers several services to help repair termite-damaged wood in your crawlspace.

If termites have been chowing down on the supporting posts in your crawlspace, invest in our crawlspace piers. These steel piers offer permanent support without the risk of further termite damage and are adjustable. We will transfer the weight of the home from the damaged posts to the crawlspace piers, adjusting them until the foundation is properly leveled and stabilized.

floor supports for termite damageWe also offer floor supports and floor joist repair for any crawlspace joists that might have been affected by termites. This repair solution involves installing several high-quality floor supports from Samson to ensure that the home above is well-supported and protected from sagging and sinking.

 

 

crawlspace encapsulation for termite preventionIt may also be beneficial for you to invest in crawlspace encapsulation to keep excess moisture out of your crawlspace. This will prevent infestation of dampwood termites as well as other pests. With crawlspace encapsulation, we install a vapor barrier along the crawlspace interior to seal out water seepage and water vapor.

 

 

Call our team today to learn more about the solutions that we offer for termite damage in cralwspaces. We provide service throughout northern Alabama and southern Tennessee.

A Dry Crawlspace is a Clean Space

dry crawlspace, clean spaceIf you have a crawlspace in your home, you know that it is an area of the home that has a tendency to become damp and humid. Water seeps in through the porous concrete that makes up the crawlspace walls or through cracks in the foundation. Vented crawlspaces might even have moisture problems related to outside humidity since the vents allow the humid outside air to get inside. If you notice condensation on the walls or pipes, damp or soft spots in the walls or floor, visible mold or mildew, rust or wood rot, musty odors, or wet crawlspace insulation, you may have a moisture issue in your crawlspace.

You might wonder if this is really a big deal – after all, you probably don’t spend a lot of time in your crawlspace. But even if you don’t spend time there, damp and humid conditions in the crawlspace can lead to several serious moisture-related issues. Fortunately, Affordable Foundation and Home Repair offers a range of crawlspace solutions to turn your wet crawlspace into a dry crawlspace.

Why is a Dry Crawlspace Important?

Excess moisture can lead to water damage, rot, and rust, which will damage anything that you might be storing in your crawlspace and can even cause structural damage. can cause damage to your property, structural damage, and can negatively affect the health of you and your family. Too much moisture can also cause mold growth, which lessens the quality of air throughout your home and can lead to health issues for you and your family.

Following are some of the problems that result when your crawlspace is not dry and clean:

  • Wood Rot: Moist atmospheres can promote wood rot, damaging wooden items stored in the crawlspace and possibly resulting in structural damage to beams and posts in the crawlspace.
  • Metal Rust: Sitting water and condensation can also result in rusty metal, damaging metal items stored in the crawlspace and causing structural damage to metal support structures.
  • Mold Growth: Damp, humid crawlspaces are prone to developing a mold problem. Mold can ruin personal possessions in the crawlspace. In addition, mold spores in the crawlspace air circulate throughout the home, causing health issues for you and your family.
  • Pest Infestation: Moist environments attract all kinds of pests, from spiders, beetles, and other insects to mice and other kinds of rodents. These pests might chew on possessions stored in the crawlspace and could carry diseases.
  • Water Damage: Sitting water and puddles can also cause water stains and water damage to crawlspace surfaces or to things stored in the crawlspace.

This is why having a dry crawlspace is important. Keeping your crawlspace dry ensures a much cleaner and healthier space for storage and other purposes.

Crawlspace Plastic for a Dry Crawlspace and a Clean Space

Once you have your crawlspace fully waterproofed, it is much easier to keep the space clean. Getting your crawlspace dry and clean, however, usually involves a couple of different steps and systems. It may be necessary to remove any items being stored in the crawlspace before installing a vapor barrier or other long-term moisture solutions. This may include removing crawlspace insulation and stripping the whole area down.

Crawlspace Drainage
Ensuring that the ground around your crawlspace provides proper drainage is an important step in keeping the space clean and dry. We install exterior drainage and surface drainage systems to reroute water from the surface of the ground away from the crawlspace and to keep groundwater from seeping through the crawlspace walls. Surface drainage includes the gutters, downspouts, and grading of the landscaping around the house as well as catch basins/grates, French drains, and pop-up emitters.

Crawlspace Encapsulation
crawlspace encapsulation, crawlspace plasticThe key to keeping your crawlspace totally dry is to have a vapor barrier installed. The vapor barrier is a kind of plastic liner, much like a swimming pool liner, that covers the walls, floors, and any pipes or beams in the space. The process of installing the barrier is known as crawlspace encapsulation, as the barrier covers the interior surface of the crawlspace. This vapor barrier is moisture resistant and prevents water vapor from seeping into the crawlspace through the crawlspace walls and floors. Not only will a vapor barrier prevent water from seeping inside, but it will also increase the home’s value by lowering energy bills and improving indoor air quality.

In addition to these services, we also offer services to remove mold from your crawlspace and fix any structural damage that might have resulted from water problems. For mold remediation, we use a technique called mold soda blasting. In this technique, highly pressurized baking soda is blasted at crawlspace surfaces to gently remove mold and clean the space. For structural repair, we offer crawlspace piers, floor joist repair, floor supports, and various kinds of foundation underpinning.

Whatever type of moisture problem your crawlspace is suffering from, call Affordable Foundation and Home Repair right away – we will make sure your crawlspace is properly waterproofed – a dry crawlspace is a clean space!

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