Category Archives: Crawlspace Repair

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.
  • crawlspace repair for rotted woodInterior 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.

crawlspace piers for termite damageIf 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!

Is Crawlspace Encapsulation Really Worth The Cost?

Should You Invest in Crawlspace Encapsulation?

crawlspace encapsulation costCrawlspaces are a common occurrence in Alabama. If you have a crawlspace in your home, keep in mind that it is more than just a place to store your holiday decorations. The crawlspace is the portion of the foundation that supports the entire structure. That is why it is important to keep the crawlspace in good health. If excess moisture is allowed to collect in the crawlspace, it can cause mold growth and may also lead to wood rot or rust formation, weakening the supporting structures in your crawlspace. That is why it is important to protect your crawlspace with crawlspace encapsulation with a vapor barrier (a kind of plastic or foil sheeting designed to keep moisture out).

The main question is, is crawlspace encapsulation really worth the cost? Both having your crawlspace encapsulated with a vapor barrier and sealing off crawlspace vents will work in different ways to keep moisture out. While it may be more expensive, crawlspace encapsulation is the more effective of the two options.

Vapor Barrier Encapsulation Vs. Crawlspace Sealing

The most common method used to seal a crawlspace without the installation of a vapor barrier is simply to close the vents and have them sealed shut. One might also physically remove the vents and patch and seal the area where they were. Normally, this option is not very expensive. Other options to seal the crawlspace without vapor barriers include vapor retardant paint. This can be applied to the crawlspace interior rather affordably. However, vapor retardant paint is not nearly as effective as an actual vapor barrier. In addition, if the paint becomes damaged in any way, its ability to resist moisture seepage is compromised.

Closed crawlspaces offer a lot of advantages to open crawlspaces. They do not allow humid air to enter the crawlspace, they are more resistant to insect and pest infestations, and they save on heating and cooling costs for your home.

However, when it comes to whether or not merely sealing off your crawlspace is as good as installing a vapor barrier, the answer is no. While sealing your crawlspace reduces moisture entry, sealed crawlspaces still allow moisture to seep into them through the walls. This is because the walls and floor of crawlspaces are made of porous material. Water can seep through this porous concrete and end up inside your crawlspace. Vapor retardant paint reduces this occurrence, but will not eliminate it as well as a crawlspace vapor barrier. If you want to maximize the results of a closed crawlspace, you should invest in a dehumidifier as well, since this will help remove some of the moisture that seeps into the home. The effects will likely not be as effective as total crawlspace encapsulation, but they may be improved by a dehumidifier. We recommend Santa Fe Dehumidifiers.

Why Have a Vapor Barrier Installed?

There are a few drawbacks when considering whether or not to install a vapor barrier in your crawlspace. One drawback is the cost. Vapor barrier installation costs vary, depending on the condition of the crawlspace (preparatory work may need to be completed beforehand) and the size of your crawlspace. Prices may range anywhere from $2,000 to $14,000. Another disadvantage is that vapor barriers are not a do-it-yourself job. In order to ensure that your vapor barrier works correctly have it installed by a professional. The crawlspace encapsulation experts at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair will work with you to get the job done quickly and to your satisfaction, all while giving you the most affordable option possible.

Despite these downfalls, there are several advantages to installing a vapor barrier in your crawlspace. Some of these advantages include:

  • Increased Energy Efficiency:
    vapor barriers can act as a sort of insulation for your crawlspace, helping to regulate temperatures and lowering heating and cooling costs in your home and reduce your energy bill up to 20%.
  • Improved Air Quality: Because vapor barriers keep moisture out, they reduce the chances of mold growth in your home. This will keep mold spores from circulating through the air in your crawlspace to the rest of your home, improving the overall air quality.
  • vapor barrier costEliminated Condensation: Because vapor barriers are highly effective at preventing moisture seepage through the porous concrete that makes up your crawlspace walls, they can greatly reduce humidity levels in your crawlspace. This keeps condensation from forming on pipes in the crawlspace.
  • Keeps Floor Temperatures Constant: Not only does increased energy efficiency in the crawlspace lead to lower energy bills, but it can also help to keep the above floors warmer during the cold months.
  • Increase Home Value: Encapsulating your crawlspace will also improve the value of your home since it reduces moisture issues such as wood rot and mold in your crawlspace. This is a plus if you would ever need to consider selling your home.

While there are some drawbacks to investing in crawlspace encapsulation, they are far outweighed by the benefits. If you have a damp or moldy crawlspace, call Affordable Foundation and Home Repair today. We can clean your crawlspace with mold soda blasting and install a vapor barrier to keep moisture out. Get in touch today for a free estimate.


Don’t Know How to Repair a Floor Joist?

Should You Try to Repair Your Floor Joists on Your Own?

how to repair a floor joist in alabamaIf you have wooden floor joists in your home, they may become rotted and weakened over time due to moisture or pests. This can cause the floor joists to bow or sag, leading to an uneven floor above. Many Alabama homeowners will attempt to solve this issue themselves. If the damage to the floor joist is minimal, this is a relatively simple solution. However, floor joist repair can be complicated when homeowners do not know how to repair a floor joist. The most common floor joist repair option for homeowners is sistering the floor joist. In this process, a fresh piece of lumber is attached to the failing floor joist to provide additional support without having to replace the entire thing.

If your floor joist damage is not too severe, you may be able to get away with a DIY floor joist repair. However, it is best to have the damage examined by a professional to ensure that you do not worsen the problem or waste money on a repair only to have the issue reoccur. The team at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair provides free quotes for foundation and crawlspace repair for residents in the Northern Alabama area.

Problems with DIY Floor Joist Repair for Alabama Homeowners

The most common floor joist repair option for homeowners is sistering the floor joist. In this process, a new piece of lumber is attached to the failing floor joist to provide additional support without having to replace the entire thing. First, the old floor joists should be properly treated so that no further damage will occur, as this will only result in the need for total replacement. Next, the new lumber is securely attached to the old floor joist in order to add stability to the joist itself and to the above floor. While sistering can work for some levels of floor joist damage, here are some common mistakes that prevent it from being an adequate solution:

  • Over Notching Floor Joists: If the new lumber is over notched even a little, it can compromise the structural integrity of the board, and the new lumber will not support the damaged joist.
  • Not Properly Jacking the Floor: Failing to jack the damaged floor joist up in order to install the new lumber can result in a poor fit.
  • Failing to Level the Sistering Board: The new lumber needs to be completely leveled from end to end for the repair to hold.
  • Inadequate Securing Method: If you only use glue and/or nails to attach the new lumber, and not carriage bolts, the new lumber will not be able to support the floor joist or the above floor.
  • Not Overlapping Lumber Enough: Failing to overlap the new lumber a decent amount on the floor joist may prevent the pieces from securing together properly.
  • Failing to Support New Lumber: If your new lumber is in the center of the floor joist and you do not support it properly, the problem may only become worse than it was before.

While it may be possible to fix your floor joist yourself, it is often a job that is best left to professionals. Another issue is that many homeowners fix the floor joist, but do not fix the underlying issue, leaving the other floor joists in their home at risk of developing the same damage. Our team provides crawlspace encapsulation and various kinds of foundation repair that can prevent floor joist and crawlspace issues in your Alabama home. If you are not comfortable with your own experience or ability to handle home repairs, or if you have one or more floor joists with extensive damage, call the team at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair today.

Affordable Foundation and Home Repair Floor Joist Repair Solution

diy floor joist repair alIf you do find yourself in need of professional floor joist repair, we can help. Our crew knows how to repair a floor joist in order to restore structural stability to your crawlspace and home. We use Samson floor joists to repair any damaged joists and level the floors in your home. Our team can repair the floor joist using steel sistering joists or can provide floor joist replacement for severely damaged floor joists.

Our team also offers other solutions that can benefit damaged floor joists in your crawlspace. If your floor joists rotted due to exposure to moisture, we can use our crawlspace encapsulation services to install a vapor barrier that will seal out water vapor and moisture. We also offer floor supports and crawlspace piers to lift the floor of your home when your crawlspace beams start to fail.

If you would like to learn more about floor joist repair from Affordable Foundation and Home Repair, contact us today. We offer floor joist and crawlspace repair for residents of Huntsville, Birmingham, Decatur, and other cities in Northern Alabama or Southern Tennessee.

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