Category Archives: Crawlspace Repair

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.

Droughts Can Cause Water Leakage?

Drought-Related Foundation Problems Can Lead to Spring Water Issues

Even though much of Alabama remains in a drought, it is important to prepare your home and foundation for the rainy days that often accompany springtime. It may seem contradictory to prepare for rain and moisture in the midst of a drought. However, several drought-related foundation problems could have made your foundation and home more susceptible to water leakage.

drought-related foundation leaksThe continuing drought in areas of Alabama has caused several issues for homeowners, business owners, and farmers – increased forest fires, interruption of winter planting cycles, stressed plants, lack of water, etc. However, another problem that may have occurred due to the drought is foundation damage.

When the soil becomes extremely dry, it will shrink. This shrinkage causes the soil to settle and shift. If the soil under your foundation settles, the above home will settle as well. This can cause cracks to form in your walls or ceiling and gaps to appear between the walls and the floor. Soil shifting that results in voids forming under your foundation can cause the slab to settle unevenly or to shift to one side. This movement can also lead to exterior foundation cracks, interior cracks, or gaps and spaces opening in your home. If any of these problems occur in your home, you may see

The more cracks and gaps that form in your home, the more susceptible your home is to water entry. This is just one of the problems that can affect your home if sudden spring rains occur during a drought. Erosion can also become an issue if significant precipitation occurs, as sudden rains will wash away dry soil instead of soaking into the ground gradually. This water can leak into your home or put pressure on your foundation.

Protect Your Home from Water Seepage Caused by Drought-Related Foundation Damage

Here at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair, there are a number of things that we can do to reduce the chances of moisture damage in your home. A few solutions that we offer to repair drought-related foundation damage and protect your home from water entry:

  • Repair Foundation Problems: The first step in protecting your home is to fix the foundation problems that are making your home susceptible to water leaks. This means repairing foundation cracks and leveling settled foundations. We offer several underpinning solutions to complete these tasks efficiently and affordably.
  • Ensure Proper Exterior Waterproofing: The next step is making sure that you have adequate exterior waterproofing to reduce the surface water that collects near your home when it rains. This involves gutters, drainage wells, and various surface drainage techniques to keep water from pooling near your home.
  • Invest in Interior Waterproofing: Investing in an interior drainage system composed of drainage pipes and channels that connect to a sump pump system may be wise. This system will catch any water that seeps inside through cracks and remove it from the home to prevent water damage and mold growth.
  • Encapsulate Your Crawlspace: Make sure that your crawlspace is protected from water seepage by installing a vapor barrier. Our crawlspace encapsulation with premium vapor barriers helps to keep water outside the area to prevent mold growth and other issues.

If you see cracks or other signs of foundation damage that may have resulted from the recent drought conditions in your home, call us now. Our team will work to repair your foundation and ensure it is equipped to handle rain and water seepage.

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