Basement & Crawl Space Waterproofing in Moberly
If you want to do something about your basement humidity, you’re going to need multiple waterproofing solutions. Many homeowners believe that moisture only enters a basement through the window, which is why they are so surprised to see that their basement can still flood despite the installation of a window well. There are many ways in which a basement can experience wetness and humidity, so you’ll need more than just a window well to combat dampness. The same can be said about crawl spaces and vent covers.
Past 36 inches, the soil in Moberly, MO contains a lot of clay. Clay soils retain water well, meaning that your foundation is constantly surrounded by groundwater. The water vapor from the groundwater can easily seep through the concrete walls and raise the humidity levels of your basement. Homeowners often try to prevent the intrusion of water vapor with the use of waterproof paints, but that is not a reliable solution.
The only thing that has been proven to stop water vapor successfully is an interior drain system.Simple, yet incredibly effective, it collects groundwater around your home and funnels it far away. A vapor barrier. like WallSeal™, is also a good addition. It’s made of thick layers of polyethylene. In basements, they are applied to the walls. In crawl spaces, vapor barriers are used for encapsulation.
Moberly Foundation Repair
Moberly, MO sees freezing temperatures in the winter. Because of frost heave, the soil under your foundation gets displaced by the expanding ice, eventually causing foundation settling. When your foundation settles, it is sinking either straight down (uniform settling) or to the side (tilting settling). Regardless of how it’s settling, the rest of your home will feel the effects of this problem. Foundation leaks, sagging floors, cracked tiles and walls, warped windows, and jammed floors are some of the things you can experience when dealing with foundation issues.
Despite all the damage, foundations can still be repaired. Traditionally, concrete piers are used to provide settling foundations with support, but concrete piers are short-lived and offer very poor support. Concrete has very poor tensile strength, so it cannot withstand the weight of the entire house. Not to mention, the freeze-thaw effect slowly chips away at the pier’s strength, causing it to crumble in a few short years.
Helical piers or push piers are preferred for this reason. They are rods made of galvanized steel, so they aren’t affected by the freeze-thaw effect. Helical piers are driven into the ground while push piers are hydraulically pushed in. Both transfer the weight of the house to the load-bearing soils deep underground that are below the frost line and do not erode very easily.
Concrete Lifting in Moberly
Before the concrete on your property was poured, contractors made sure that the soil the concrete would rest on was even and dense. This ensured that the concrete would be well-supported and capable of withstanding human weight without wobbling or buckling. Unfortunately, soil doesn’t stay that way forever.
Because of the shrink-swell process so commonly attributed to the clay soils in Moberly, MO, the soil under your slab erodes easily. During the winter, moisture can permeate through the concrete and over to the soil. When the moisture freezes over, the ice expands and displaces the soil too. There are many different materials used for concrete lifting that suffer from the same fate: they either wash away with time, erode when met with moisture, rust, or deteriorate due to freeze-thaw. This is why methods like mudjacking aren’t recommended for homeowners who wish to permanently solve their settling issue.
The only material safe enough to be used for residential repairs that has been proven to be a permanent solution is polyurethane. Polyurethane is used in repair methods like PolyRenewal™, which is a permanent solution for settling concrete. Polyurethane is a synthetic plastic that is impermeable. Because it’s a waterproof material, it does not erode or get affected by the freeze-thaw cycle.
About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Moberly
The freeze-thaw effect refers to the cycle that liquid goes through when it freezes and then thaws. The reason you should worry about the freeze-thaw effect as a homeowner is because of what it can do to your crawl space, basement, and concrete slabs. When liquid freezes into ice, it expands by about 9%. It may not seem like it, but expanding ice has the ability to tear through concrete and displace soil.
During the winter, as the snow falls and melts throughout the days, the soil under your concrete gets saturated with water. When it’s time for that moisture to freeze, the expanding ice displaces the soil only to leave gaps once it melts. These gaps loosen up the soil and cause concrete settling, which is why you might notice that your concrete feels a bit wobbly after a long winter. It doesn’t help that the freeze-thaw cycle also creates micro-tears in the concrete, thus making it more porous and allowing more moisture to reach the soil. If you’re not careful, the freeze-thaw effect can debilitate your concrete to the point where it cracks under the slightest hint of weight.
That soil displacement also happens around your foundation. The soil right around it is already incredibly porous due to the way it was filled in when the foundation was built, but with the freeze-thaw cycle, the clay bowl effect will only be amplified. By the time spring comes around and all the moisture from the soil melts, the hydrostatic pressure will be in full effect. A proper foundation drainage solution is the only way to minimize the damage caused by the freeze-thaw effect. The less groundwater surrounding the foundation, the less water damage will take place.
Getting rid of the groundwater around your foundation is impossible without waterproofing solutions. After all, you aren’t able to see what’s going on below your yard. There are two things that Foundation Recovery Systems recommends for homeowners that wish to drain groundwater from their foundation. One is a sump pump and the other is a perimeter drain.
The sump pump is placed inside the foundation and it is capable of collecting water that flows into the basement as well as the surrounding groundwater. Whenever enough water gets collected into the sump pit, the unit will pump out the water away from the foundation, so it’s not something that will run constantly. The only time you can hear it running constantly is after a big storm when the sump pump has a lot of water to drain. Moberly, MO gets many storms in the spring, so we suggest getting a sump pump with a battery back-up that can be used if the primary one fails, which is what happens to many sump pumps that overwork themselves after a storm.
A perimeter drainage system is also installed inside the basement. A shallow trench is excavated around the edge of the basement and gravel is poured in. The drain itself is placed on top of the gravel and then the trench is covered up. Placing the perimeter drain right at the wall-floor joint is deliberate, as this is where there’s groundwater seepage when there’s hydrostatic pressure. Besides waterproofing solutions, you may also want to consider re-grading your yard so that water flows away from the foundation whenever it rains.
A sagging floor is one of the many signs of foundation problems. There are multiple foundation issues that cause sagging floors, so carefully inspect your foundation to clear any doubts and start planning for repairs. The first problem could be wood rot on the floor joists. When a foundation is wet, the humidity opens the door for all sorts of fungal growth, including rotting wooden joists. The fungus eats the wood to survive and as a result, the wood either softens up or breaks apart.
On a related note, in crawl spaces that are frequently flooded with water, it is often the case that the wooden posts are waterlogged. Wood is an absorbent material capable of taking in a lot of water at a time. As the water gets absorbed, the wood’s cells change to accommodate the moisture, expands, and becomes softer. Even if your crawl space is no longer flooded with water, once wood has softened up, it can never go back to its previous firmness and strength. This, of course, affects the way the wood supports your floorboards.
Another reason why your floor is sagging has to do with foundation settling. When a foundation settles, the house begins to shift to one side, and this can have a major effect on the way the floor joists or posts hold up the floorboards. You would need to look for other signs of foundation settling in your foundation and around your home as well to determine if this is what is causing your floor to sag. If it is, the problem can be fixed with the use of helical or push piers. For dirt crawl spaces, sometimes what’s needed is a crawl space support jack to aid the joists.
Concrete slabs settle because of soil erosion, so the best way to prevent settling is to limit the soil’s exposure to water. This is easier said than done, however, and there’s no way to completely stop soil erosion. However, it is still possible to minimize the damage and prolong the soil erosion process for as long as possible. To do this, you need to first think about which concrete slabs you are able to cover. By blocking out the rain and snow, you can prevent the moisture from seeping past the concrete and reaching the soil.
Realistically, it would be best to get a driveway cover to deter driveway settling. Slabs that are bound to get wet no matter what (pool deck slabs or slabs near a garden you water) should not be covered in case they get moldy. You can also plant small trees or some sort of foliage capable of providing some shade for your walkway slabs. During winter, make sure that you shovel the snow off of the slab as much as you can. Other than that, there is nothing else you can do to prevent concrete settling besides watching out for problem signs.
The initial stages of settling takes a long time, but afterwards, it doesn’t take long for the slab to experience significant damage. If the soil underneath the slab is loose, all it takes is for someone to drive their car over the slab to either cause it to settle more or break it. A broken concrete slab is a lot more difficult to repair than one that is intact, so if you want to save money, you need to prevent cracks as well as settling. To prevent severe settling and breakage, keeping an eye out for problem signs and then getting repairs done is paramount.
PolyRenewal™ is one of the most innovative concrete lifting solutions on the market. If you are interested in PolyRenewal™ for the concrete slabs on your property, you can call Foundation Recovery Systems so that our local contractors can lift your concrete. PolyRenewal™ is not available commercially, so you won’t be able to find it elsewhere. This method of concrete lifting is pretty straightforward and simple, which tricks many into believing they can replicate the results of PolyRenewal™ on their own. However, we strongly advise that you contact professionals for slab lifting repairs.
There are many different DIY tutorials that claim that concrete can be lifted with successful results by the average homeowner. However, the materials used in those tutorials are much like the cement used in mudjacking. They erode, wash away with time, and are heavy enough to displace the soil. These DIY solutions simply aren’t made to be long-term solutions, so you’ll be dealing with the same problem later on. Many homeowners wish to save some money by repairing things themselves, but by having to repair things twice, they are losing money.
It is also difficult to replicate the exact results of PolyRenewal™. Polyurethane foam is a synthetic material that can be bought, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll have the right tools or knowledge to inject it under the slab properly. You’ll need to know just how much polyurethane foam to inject under the slab. Inject too much, and your slab will stay uneven, but if you inject too little, you’ll risk breaking the slab because of the unevenly distributed polyurethane. Most settled concrete slabs are structurally weak, so drilling has the potential to break the slab, and once that happens, you might need to look towards replacements and not repairs.
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Foundation Recovery Systems
Moberly, MO 65270
Phone: (660) 202-8662
Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday: 6 am – 8 pm
Friday: 6 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 7 am – 1 pm