Category Archives: Foundation Repair

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.

What a Drought Can Do to Your Foundation

Drought Conditions and Foundation Damage

drought foundation problemsRecently, Alabama has been experiencing some severe drought conditions. Earlier this year, around November 21, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) predicted that the state would likely remain in drought throughout February of 2017. Even with the small amounts of rain parts of the state have received in the past few weeks, it is not enough to consider the state free of drought. Extensive dry periods like this can lead to various dangers – forest fires, lack of water available, poor growing conditions, etc. However, did you know that drought can also affect your foundation?

However, did you know that drought can also affect your foundation?

Dry conditions like those going on now in the state of Alabama can be the source of major foundation issues. These issues occur when the drying soil beneath your home shrinks and settles or leaves voids in the ground. The movement of soil will cause movement in your foundation, which can cause problems such as cracks or gaps, sloped floors, and issues with foundation walls. Voids due to soil shrinkage can also cause problems such as settlement and foundation cracks.

Among all of the other issues that droughts can cause for you, do not let foundation problems become a serious issue. The faster that you have issues fixed, the less likely they will be to cause serious structural damage in your home.

Solutions to Fix Drought-Related Problems in Alabama

Drought-related foundation problems can range from settlement, to foundation cracks, to leaning, bowing, or rotating walls. If you see these problems in your home, it may be time to call Affordable Foundation and Home Repair. We offer pier installation and other foundation repair options to lift, level, and stabilize your foundation. Some of our solutions that can help with drought-related foundation problems in your home include:

  • Helical Piers: These devices resemble large screws that are installed beneath your foundation and screwed in to provide maximum support. Because of the way that they are installed, helical piers offer a bit of extra stability and lifting power for settling foundations, which helps correct settlement and sinking due to shifting soil and underground voids caused by drought.
  • Slab Push Piers: This kind of pier works much like a helical pier but is not screwed into the ground. Because these piers do not require skin friction for support, they are relatively quick to install, require minimal amounts of set-up time, and offer reliable support for sinking slab foundations. Lifting a slab foundation that has shifted or sunk due to drought using slab piers can help stabilize the home and close foundation cracks that may have opened.
  • Helical Tiebacks: If the foundation of your home has shifted due to soil drying and movement during the recent drought conditions, helical tiebacks may be the best solution. These devices are a lot like helical piers that are installed horizontally underground through the foundation walls. They are anchored in place to help pull the foundation wall back into position and ensure the home is secured.
  • Plate Anchors: Another repair solution that we offer for shifted, bowing, or cracked foundation walls due to drought is plate anchor installation. Plate anchors consist of a plate attached to the interior foundation wall and a yard anchor installed in the ground adjacent to the affected foundation wall. The plate and the anchor are connected with a rod that can be tightened to pull the foundation wall back into place and close cracks while stabilizing the home above.

Contact us for solutions to drought-related foundation problems today. In the meantime, keep conserving water and checking the forecast!

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