Basement & Crawl Space Waterproofing in Des Moines
Without proper waterproofing solutions in place, homeowners in Des Moines, IA can expect frequent basement and crawl space flooding. Afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon during the summer, so if your foundation is filling up with water year after year, you can’t expect the problem to go away on its own.
When a foundation has flooding problems, it always has humidity problems as well. Dampness promotes mold growth, which is very dangerous for those living in the house. If there is mold, there is most likely going to be wood rot, since the wooden joists holding up your floorboards don’t have a layer of bark to protect it. Without strong wooden joists, your floor will begin to sag, and if significant time has passed, the floorboards might break as well.
Preventing these problems are easy with the right waterproofing solutions. A proper waterproofing system for any foundation requires drainage for water in and around the foundation, which can be done with a sump pump and an interior perimeter drain. It should also prevent humidity and be able to eliminate it if the humidity levels in the space somehow rise. For prevention, a vapor barrier like WallSeal™ can be applied to basement walls while the same can be used to completely encapsulate a crawl space. To keep the humidity levels adequate, a Foundation Recovery Systems dehumidifier, which can be connected to the sump pump, is needed to complete the set.
Des Moines Foundation Repair
The layer of soil your foundation relies on to keep the house upright doesn’t stay even forever. Because of soil erosion due to the consistent rain in Des Moines, IA, the grainy, fine soils shift around and the soil layer becomes uneven. Without an even soil layer, the foundation settles. Depending on the way the foundation settles, some serious structural problems can befall your home.
Homes with settling foundations experience more basement leaks and flooding. If the settling is advanced, the wall cracks will allow air to flow in and out of the foundation, causing cold drafts and temperature problems throughout the home. If there’s differential settling and part of the foundation is tearing itself away from the house, the upper portions of the home will sink as well. As you can imagine, this puts a major strain on the walls, ceiling, chimney, and the floor.
Any unevenness in your home, cracks along tiles, walls, and ceiling should be taken seriously, as they are signs of foundation settling. Once you notice the signs, you should call your local foundation experts at Foundation Recovery Systems for repairs.
We use proven helical and push piers that are stronger than concrete piers and are able to successfully transfer the weight of the foundation to the load-bearing soils below. They are the best way to make sure you only have to repair your settling foundation once.
Concrete Lifting in Des Moines
Even when underneath a concrete slab, soil can still erode. Soil erosion can occur for a number of reasons, but when it comes to the soil under your slab, it happens because of water and pressure. The soil in Des Moines, IA is loose enough as it is, but when moved around by water, it becomes displaced by pressure too. When you drive your car on your driveway, the weight of the car and the slab causes the soil underneath to shift around further. The same thing happens with your garage concrete and your concrete steps.
Once settled, concrete tends to crack because it’s not capable of handling pressure when on an uneven surface. Concrete has poor tensile strength, so too much tension on one specific area will cause it to break apart. Concrete lifting methods like PolyRenewal™ are able to lift cracked slabs, but if it’s too broken up, you just might need to get it replaced instead. Replacing a concrete slab is a lot more expensive than repairing one, so as soon as you spot the signs of concrete settling, contact us at Foundation Recovery Systems for concrete lifting repairs.
About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Des Moines
Have you ever looked at mold and wonder why it gives you such an icky feeling? It’s probably because our body knows that it’s harmful. You may not know this, but mold poses a serious threat to our health. Short-term exposure to mold causes irritation in the eyes, skin, throat, and nose. These symptoms can be much more severe if you have a weak immune system.
Long-term exposure to mold can lead to permanent damage to the respiratory system. Mold causes this much harm because mold is a microorganism that survives on organic matter. Human beings are completely organic, so mold has no problem making us itch as it feasts upon our skin. If you have a basement or crawl space that doesn’t have any waterproofing solutions put into place, there’s a good chance that there is mold down there. Even if you don’t see it or you don’t head into your foundation very much doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect you.
Because of the stack effect, 50% of the air in your home comes from your basement or crawl space. The mold spores in the foundation get brought up and the members of the household breathe it in. To protect yourself and your loved ones, waterproofing the foundation is crucial. Without keeping the humidity levels under control, mold could grow at any time and silently make its way into your respiratory system. The best tool for the job would be our Foundation Recovery Systems dehumidifier, which is capable of taking in 100 pints of water a day.
Wood rot in a crawl space is a result of moisture and humidity problems. The wood gets infected with fungi that eats away at it and weakens the structure to the point that it can no longer support the floorboards. When the floor joists in your crawl space are rotting, there is a brief window in which you can save the wood and conserve it instead of getting brand new floorboards, but you have to act fast. Before the wood rot advances too much, you need to do something about it. Diagnosis always precedes treatment, so learning the signs will allow you to protect your floor joists and spend less money on repairs.
The best way to spot early problem signs is to head down into your crawl space and look for visual cues. Take a look at the floor joist and see if you can spot any discoloration on the wood. White, green, black, and gray stains are all common signs of fungal infection. Some forms of wood rot, like dry rot, will leave a layer of spores along the surface, so any red or green dust particles you see could just be spores. Other forms of wood rot don’t discolor the wood at all and instead create a pattern along the wood that resembles termite damage.
With a pencil, stab a piece of the wood, and if it’s soft, it is infected with wood rot. Other forms of wood rot might not make the joist soft and will instead deteriorate to the point where it is extremely brittle. Outside of the crawl space, you can tell when something is wrong with your floor joists if your floor is bouncy or uneven. This does indicate that the wood rot has advanced significantly, but the wood can still be saved up to this point. Even the joist does not need to be replaced, it can always be assisted by IntelliJack™, a crawl space support jack.
Interior perimeter drainage is one of the most important parts of a waterproof foundation. Many homeowners focus on just getting rid of standing water in their basement, but a lot more than that is needed to keep a foundation healthy. An excess amount of groundwater surrounding your foundation can lead to hydrostatic pressure, foundation settling, and excess amounts of moisture in a basement. While a sump pump can drain the groundwater that surrounds a foundation, it can’t cover every single side. An interior drainage system that runs along the perimeter of the foundation needs to be placed in order to handle the groundwater the sump pump is not in position to deal with.
At Foundation Recovery Systems, we offer the homeowners of Des Moines, IA BasementGutter™, a reliable interior drainage solution. The BasementGutter™ drain pipe is placed inside a trench that runs along the perimeter of the basement. After installation, the trench is covered up and the floor is left looking completely untampered with. The reason the drain pipe is placed there is because it’s the best position for the drain to collect groundwater that flows into the basement. The wall-floor joist is one of the most vulnerable parts of a basement, which is why many homeowners have flooding problems with water that comes from this specific area.
From this position, the drain is also capable of collecting moisture that runs along the wall, a useful feature if you have problems with a leaky window or water vapor. It also works incredibly well with a vapor barrier, since the plastic sheet can help guide the water down to the interior drain. BasementGutter™ can connect to the basement’s sump pump so that all the water collected gets drained out properly. An interior perimeter drain is more affordable than traditional exterior drains because it doesn’t require excavation. All in all, there’s no reason not to get an interior perimeter drain given all the benefits it provides.
Concrete slab settling cannot be completely avoided in the same way you avoid breaking other things in your home. No matter how much you take care of your slab, there will always be some sort of settling going on. This is because soil will always get displaced in one way or another, whether we want it to or not. Still, there are certain measures that can be taken in order to slow down concrete settling and prolong the lifespan of the concrete. The trick is to prevent exposure to water and snow as much as possible.
For certain areas of the house, this might be difficult. If you have a pool deck, it will be nearly impossible to keep the area dry unless you simply don’t use the pool at all. Driveways, on the other hand, can be protected with a driveway cover. If you can’t have it up the entire year, try to use it during the winter. Winter can be extremely harsh on concrete and the soil underneath it, because of all the moisture and the damage from the freeze-thaw effect.
Soil erosion is a slow process, but it can actually happen pretty quickly in certain areas of the home, like near slabs that are right next to the soil in your garden. Planting foliage right next to the concrete slab’s edge will provide the soil with enough cover to slow down the soil erosion process. Last but not least, the best way to avoid severe settling is by recognizing the signs and getting repairs done early.
PolyRenewal™ is a repair method that is used to lift settling concrete. The concrete in question settled because the soil underneath it eroded and shifted, causing the concrete structure to become uneven. So, PolyRenewal™ looks to fix that problem by injecting polyurethane foam underneath the slab. The foam expands and fills the gaps left behind by the soil until there is also enough foam to lift the structure back into place. Once cured, the polyurethane becomes the support the concrete needs to stay even.
Polyurethane foam is usually associated with softer materials since it’s the material used to make sponges. However, the closed-cell polyurethane used for concrete lifting is different from the open-cell polyurethane. Closed-cell polyurethane is dense, firm, and impermeable once it has cured. It has a compression strength of 7,200 psf, and despite its density, it only weighs 4 to 6 pounds per cubic meter. Being a lightweight substance has its advantages when it comes to avoiding further disruption of the soil.
The entire process can be done in a few short hours, depending on the size of the job, and in the end, your concrete looks newly poured. PolyRenewal™ can be used on any concrete slabs or concrete steps on your property. Because the device used to inject the foam is small, PolyRenewal™ can repair concrete just about anywhere. PolyRenewal™ can even lift slabs that have cracked, but it can’t repair structures with multiple broken pieces.
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He did a thorough inspection, he identified and explained the issues he could see and the likely causes. 5/5View Travis Brown's Review
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Des Moines, IA
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