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Foundation Problems to Watch Out for This Winter

Fortunately for the residents of Alabama, it is not a state well known for harsh winters – like Minnesota, Michigan, or Wisconsin. However, the milder winters that Alabama sees still pose several risks for concrete foundations. Even if parts of the state do not typically experience much ice or snow, rainfall usually increases from fall to winter, causing the soil to saturate. Learn about these winter foundation problems and how to take preventative action with the help of Affordable Foundation and Home Repair.

What are the Effects of Winter Weather on My Alabama Foundation?

  • Saturated Soil/Hydrostatic Pressure: The wetter that the soil is around your home, the more saturated with water it becomes. This is a problem because many parts of Alabama are rich in clay soil, also known as expansive soil. This soil expands as it absorbs water and shrinks when the water is released. Heavily saturated soil due to winter rain, snow, and ice melt will swell, increasing the hydrostatic pressure in the ground. This swollen soil will then push against your foundation walls, possibly even causing them to shift and crack.winter foundation problems alabama
  • Erosion: If your part of the state has recently experienced a lot of dry weather, the sudden winter wetness could be troublesome. This is because dry soil tends to shrink, leaving cracks and voids in the ground. As rain falls onto this dry ground, it will enter the cracks and voids and might wash away some of the dry soil. If the soil under and around your foundation is washed away, it will leave the home unevenly supported, causing it to sink and settle.
  • Foundation Leakage: If you have existing cracks in your foundation, water from winter rains or melting snow can seep through them and enter your home. This can cause deterioration of the concrete and other materials that support your home and might lead to mold growth. Mold growth will lower the air quality in your home, which is especially dangerous during the winter time since you spend a lot of time in your home and have it closed up, giving you a lot of time to breathe in mold-infected air. If your foundation does not have any cracks, the hydrostatic pressure and water damage from winter weather may cause cracks to form.

What Can I Do Protect My Foundation from Winter Weather?

There are, however, a couple of precautions that you can take to protect your home from winter weather problems.

  1. First, check your home for cracks and leaks. If you have existing cracks in your foundation, winter weather will worsen them. Get them repaired before the cold weather really hits to prevent a flooded basement or home in the springtime.
  2. Next, make sure you have an adequate waterproofing system. If you don’t have a French drain or waterproof membrane protecting your foundation from excess groundwater, the water might seep into the concrete, wearing it down and causing a wet basement.
  3. Do your part to waterproof your home. You can help water drain away from your home by attaching downspouts to your gutter to ensure water is expelled away from the foundation. Clean out your gutters as well – gutters full of debris and leaves will not be able to catch water and will cause it to form puddles near your home. Also, check the grading around your home. If the yard does not slope away from the home, puddles might collect ear your foundation, leading to leakage and crack formation.
  4. Keep snow away from your foundation by shoveling. Any snow that sits near your foundation might melt and soak through the concrete or contribute to excess groundwater and hydrostatic pressure around your foundation.

What if I Already Have Winter Foundation Problems?

Winter weather is unpredictable, and older homes are even more likely to develop a problem than most new homes. No matter how well you prepare, there is still a chance that you might have to deal with winter weather-related foundation problems. If you do notice foundation cracks or leakage, now or after winter, call Affordable Foundation and Home Repair. We offer the following solutions to help protect your home and fix any foundation problems you might see this winter:

  • Helical Piers: This is an underpinning method in which piers are installed under the home and is a great solution for foundation settlement or foundation cracks.
  • Polyjacking: If you have a slab foundation, we might level it using polyjacking, a minimally invasive technique that will reverse sinking and close cracks.
  • Crawlspace Encapsulation: If your home has a crawlspace, installing a vapor barrier through crawlspace encapsulation will keep out winter moisture.
  • Exterior Waterproofing: Protect your exterior foundation walls with the help of a waterproof membrane and other exterior waterproofing products.
  • Surface Drainage: Ensuring proper surface drainage will reduce the water that pools around your foundation to prevent winter water leakage.
  • Sump Pump Installation: We also install sump pumps and other kinds of interior waterproofing to remove water from basements during winter storms.
  • Mold Remediation: If you notice a musty odor after cleaning up winter flooding in your basement, mold remediation can remove harmful mold to keep you safe.

Don’t let winter weather foundation problems ruin your holidays – call us right away if you need help protecting your home from winter foundation problems. Otherwise, keep our number handy! We will be here to help all winter and after winter.

The Cost of Basement Water Damage

Water in your basement can destroy personal belongings and weaken the very structures that support the home above. Water leaks can cause mold to grow, soak all of your personal possessions, and cause wood rot in supportive structures in the basement. Clearly, it will not be cheap to fix the mess created by basement water. But what is the real cost of basement water damage?

What is the Cause of Basement Water Leakage?

Because they exist below the ground level and oftentimes, below the water table, all basements are prone to flooding. However, there are a few different circumstances that increase the chances of basement flooding.

basement water damageExcess Rain & Cracks
Long, heavy bouts of rain saturate the soil around your home. When the soil is saturated thoroughly, it can no longer absorb water. Where does the water go now? It travels on the surface of the ground or through crevices in the ground, flowing downward. This can lead to underground water pushing against your foundation or surface water pooling around the concrete. Both surface water and groundwater can seep into the basement through foundation cracks. Heavily saturated soil also swells as it soaks in more water, and this swelling can put pressure on the nearby foundation walls. If the pressure becomes great enough, cracks might even form in the foundation (1).

Sump Pump/Plumbing Failure
Another cause of wet basements is plumbing leaks or sump pump failures. If your plumbing system develops a leak, it can soak the basement in no time. Sump pumps, designed to carry water out of your foundation, can also develop issues that cause leaks to form. If the pipes in either of these systems freeze and expand, they might burst, allowing water to leak out. They might also suffer from cracks due to age (1).

What Does Basement Water Damage Repair Cost?

The cost to repair a flooded basement and basement water damage depends on the extent of the damage and the size of the property. On average, a minor flood of several inches might cost somewhere around $500, while a more severe flood could cost as $7,000-$10,000 or more to fully repair. That price might increase further based on the area of your basement and the extent of the damage. The national average, according to HomeAdvisor, for cleaning up and repairing basement water damage, is $2,447. However, installing new waterproofing systems can add further costs to this number (2).

Another factor that can influence pricing is the amount of time the area was flooded. The longer water sits in your basement, the greater the chance that mold will develop. This raises the repair price even more since any mold must be remediated.

What Can I Do to Lower the Cost?

There are a few steps that you can take to keep the repair costs down and to prevent basement water damage from worsening:

  1. basement water damage costThe first step is to dry out the basement as best you can. This may involve mopping up water, renting a wet vac to get rid of larger puddles, and running a dehumidifier.
  2. Remove organic items damaged by the flooding, such as towels, bedding, clothes, and upholstery. If they are not dry within 48 hours of the flood, they have probably developed mold. Throw them away.
  3. If you have a finished basement, check the construction. Wet drywall and insulation should be removed.
  4. If you have an unfinished basement, check any wooden support structures and look for rust on metal supports. Note any damage that you see.
  5. Call a basement waterproofing expert like those at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair immediately.

It is also important to note that the kind of flooding and water damage will influence the damage and the cost of repair. There are typically three kinds of basement water, each causing varying levels of damage and health risks:

  • Clean Water: This type of water usually enters the home from outside, likely due to heavy rains and foundation cracks. It can also come from taps accidentally left on. Clean water poses no health risks (3).
  • Grey Water: Grey water is usually made up of discharge from appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines. This water can contain chemical and biological pollutants and exposure may lead to illness (3).
  • Black Water: Black water is sewage water or water from major flooding that enters the home. This water can contain any number of chemical or biological pollution substances and is an extreme health risk (3).

No matter what type of water damage there is in your home, invest in a solution from Affordable Foundation and Home Repair Today

How We Can Repair Basement Water Damage

We know the cost of basement water damage and our team works hard to get you the best repairs for your basement. We offer a variety of waterproofing and cleanup techniques to ensure your home is safe and dry:

Call us today to learn more about how we can remove water and mold from your home and keep it from coming back. We offer free estimates for basement waterproofing!





Why Sump Pumps are Important in Decatur, AL

Necessity of Decatur, Alabama Sump Pumps in Wet Weather

So far this summer, Alabama has had its fair share of rainy days. The upcoming forecast for the Decatur, AL area appears to continue this trend. During long periods of wet, rainy weather, it is important to take the necessary measure to protect your home. Poor preparation could lead to a wet basement or crawlspace for Decatur homes this week. Fortunately, Affordable Foundation and Home Repair offers the perfect solution for heavy rains – sump pump installation and repair.

sump pump repair decatur, alHomeowners who already have a sump pump know how important they are – they protect your home from becoming flooded during heavy storms and extended rainy periods. Even a small leak can be a big problem when rainy conditions continue for days on end. The more saturated that the ground is, the more water will be forced through any small crack or gap in your foundation walls. If you have any existing cracks in your foundation, you may not be able to totally prevent water from entering your home.

That is where a sump pump comes in. Any water that enters your basement or crawlspace will be collected by the interior drainage system or will flow into a floor drain. This water will be emptied by the drain or the drainage channels into the sump pit, which houses the sump pump. From the sump pit, the sump pump forces any water out of the basement through another drainage pipe. This water is carried out of the home and far enough away from the foundation that it will not seep back into the concrete and cause issues. Our sump pumps are capable of pumping up to 5,000 gallons of water per hour, and have more than enough power to handle the upcoming rains in Decatur, Alabama.

Sump Pump Installation and Repair for Decatur, AL Residents

Here at Affordable Foundation and Home Repair, we offer both sump pump repair for any issues with existing sump pumps, and sump pump installation for homes without a sump pump. We will replace old sump pumps or install new sump pumps for residents who do not currently have one.

Here is some additional information on the different kinds of sump pumps and pits that we offer for your Decatur, AL home:

  • Pedestal Sump Pumps: This kind of pump has an open motor optimal for cooling and uses an impeller is used to pump water. Although they are noisier, they are a more affordable option and they install above the slab, making them more accessible to maintain and repair.
  • Submersible Sump Pumps: The motor in this sump pump is submerged with oil for lifetime lubrication, making it a quieter option than pedestal pumps. Because it is quieter, it is a popular option for homeowners. Submersible pumps also run cooler, making them less likely to overheat, and are sealed to prevent moisture or dust entry.
  • Battery Backup Sump Pumps: Battery backup sump pumps ensure that your basement stays water-free even when the power goes out. It is wise to invest in battery backup sump pumps so that you have a safeguard for outages and for extreme storms when your primary sump pump simply cannot keep up.

Prevent water damage and flooding in your Decatur, AL home over the next few weeks with a sump pump from Affordable Foundation and Home Repair. We can help you protect your home during upcoming rainy conditions in Decatur. Call today to learn more!

About Our Company

Affordable Foundation & Home Repair is a family owned and operated company. We have been proudly serving Alabama and southern Tennessee for over 20 years. Our service area includes the cities of Decatur, Huntsville, Gadsden, Birmingham and the surrounding area.

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