Akron-Canton Metro Area
Ohio Basement Systems has push piers and wall anchors are engineered to make your foundation stable once more after it has experienced structural damage.Schedule Free Inspection
Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing in Akron-Canton
Flooding in northern Ohio is pretty common, as are severe thunderstorms in the spring. To protect your Akron-Canton home’s foundation, you need waterproofing solutions that can get rid of the water and humidity in your crawl space or basement.
Foundation waterproofing is more than just wanting to make sure that your basement or crawl space doesn’t get filled with water. Waterproofing saves your foundation from heavy structural damage, such as wood rot, cracked walls, the freeze-thaw effect, and mold. These are the side effects of a wet foundation, and they can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs. The health of your foundation will determine the health of the rest of your home. Even if you don’t feel the effects, eventually, the problems in your foundation will creep up towards the upper portions of your Akron-Canton home.
With the right waterproofing solutions, it can be avoided. A sump pump will make sure that any flooding in your basement or crawl space is taken care of. We have multiple sump pumps in our AquaStop series. They offer different advantages and come with much-needed perks that conventional sump pumps don’t offer.
For humidity, a dehumidifier is a must. Dehumidifiers take in the moisture in the air. Humid air is a lot warmer than dry air, so you’ll be making the air feel cooler and fresher with a dehumidifier. If you’re planning on finishing your Akron-Canton home’s basement and turning it into a nice resting area, you will definitely need to cool it down a bit.
Akron-Canton Foundation Repair
The Akron-Canton area has grainy soils and a high water table. This is a recipe for disaster on any property with a basement foundation, especially in the Akron-Canton area, which has very cold winters. The large amount of groundwater that surrounds the foundation causes various foundation problems. The majority of these issues can be fixed if proper foundation drainage solutions are implemented, but if not, repairs will have to be made.
The groundwater surrounding the foundation puts a lot of pressure on the walls of your Akron-Canton home’s basement, leading to bowing walls. Before the hydrostatic pressure causes the wall to collapse, it needs to be stabilized, which can be done with wall anchors. Wall anchors are a popular and effective wall repair solution that pushes back against hydrostatic pressure in order to stabilize the wall. Anchors are placed outside and connected to the bowing wall via steel rods. An interior bolt is tightened to create the pressure needed to secure the wall and stop the bowing.
Another foundation problem that’s caused by groundwater is settling. Settling is caused by the erosion of soil under the foundation. In northern climates, foundation soil erosion can be caused by frost heave just as much as regular groundwater. The house sinks to the side against the uneven soil layer and the foundation begins to break off. This breakage can be seen throughout the home in the form of foundation wall cracks, uneven floors, and drywall cracks and nail pops.
While this problem seems overwhelming, the foundation can be stabilized with foundation supports such as push piers. Push piers are hydraulically driven into the ground until they reach soil that is capable of supporting the foundation itself.
Concrete Lifting in Akron-Canton
Akron-Canton’s soil is grainy and lacks organic matter. Soils with grainy textures are susceptible to soil washout because of their loose particles. Add to the fact that it rains consistently in this area, and you’ve got a lot of concrete settling. When the soil underneath the slab is so washed out that gaps form, the slab settles against said gaps.
As long as the concrete in and around your Akron-Canton property isn’t terribly broken up, it can be lifted and stabilized using SettleStop PolyRenewal™. Contractors drill holes into the concrete and inject polyurethane foam under the slab. The foam expands, and as it does, it fills out the gap left by the soil. The holes are patched back up and the polyurethane is left to cure, which takes no more than 30 minutes. Once the polyurethane hardens, it will serve as a reliable base for the slab.
Unlike the soil that caused the settling in the first place, polyurethane does not wash out. As a matter of fact, it’s completely impermeable. Having a material that does not crumble or wash away is what makes SettleStop PolyRenewal™ a permanent solution for any settling concrete around your Akron-Canton property.
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About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in the Akron-Canton Metro Area
The only thing worse than mold itself in an Akron-Canton home’s basement or crawl space is wood rot. When wood gets infected with fungi, it begins to deteriorate as the fungus eats it to grow. Wood rot is worse than mold alone because it compromises your health and destroys your wood at the same time. The wood in your basement or crawl space does not have bark, which is what protects trees outdoors from getting wood rot. Because the wood in your foundation is so susceptible to wood rot, you should know the signs so that you can act before the wood is too far gone to replace.
The first signs of wood rot you might see are visual. The fungal growth itself will stain the wood with the color green, white, black, yellow, or gray, depending on the type of fungus it is. Fungi like brown rot will leave red dust along the surface of the wood, which you should be careful not to spread around, since it is the fungus’ spores. There might also be a spongy looking substance on the surface of the wood or a growth that looks like a mushroom.
Next, you can touch the wood to test its strength and texture. Wood rot debilitates wood, so it will be soft to the touch if the wood rot is advanced. Try not to touch the rot with your finger; instead, use a pencil and try to stab it through the wood to see how soft it is. There are some forms of wood rot that don’t soften the wood, but instead make it really brittle or shrink it with time. Try to compare the damaged wood with one that’s healthy to see if you can spot differences in texture, size, and color.
The freeze-thaw cycle is the cycle water goes through as it freezes and thaws during the winter. When water turns into ice, it expands considerably. If your Akron-Canton home has a wet crawl space, the structure, as well as the things inside, are at risk of getting damaged due to freeze-thaw. Anything that is over the frost will freeze over. The damage might not be apparent at the start, but over time, the structure will be so weak, you’ll have to take notice.
Because your crawl space is over the frost line, during the winter, all of the moisture it has freezes over. Even if you don’t have any standing water in the crawl space, if there were any dew drops along the surface of the pipes or if there was any saturated wood or concrete, they would freeze. A bit of ice doesn’t seem that strong, but it’s actually capable of tearing through concrete. Over the years, the micro-tears will debilitate the inside of your crawl space to the point where wood and concrete will break apart. The more cracks the interior of the foundation has, the more water will leak in and cause damage.
Similarly, frost heave can damage the outside of your foundation by having ice lenses expand in the soil. The upwards pressure caused by the ice expansion displaces the soil around the crawl space posts, which are probably already deteriorated from freeze-thaw damage. The posts begin to settle against the loose soil and suddenly, your home will no longer be supported. You can tell when this occurs when your floor becomes uneven, since the posts are so integral to the support of the floorboards. Luckily, they can be repaired with SettleStop IntelliJack™, which are crawl space support jacks.
Push piers are foundation supports that go under a home’s foundation. To the uninitiated, push piers seem to be too thin to be able to support an entire foundation, even with many of them installed. Many Akron-Canton homeowners wonder what happens if the push pier were to bend under the home. However, not only is the pier itself super reliable, we have a special design that helps it support weight so that it doesn’t bend.
Push piers are made of steel, one of the strongest construction materials in the world. While it is true that steel gets weaker when it’s rusting, you don’t have to worry about that happening to the push piers under your foundation. The piers are coated in zinc, so they are rust-resistant, protected, and don’t deteriorate in the face of other erosive elements, like freeze-thaw. They were designed to be a permanent solution to foundation settling, so we’ve taken every precaution to make sure they are as durable as possible.
Push piers are able to support a lot of weight, so much so that push piers are commonly used for commercial structures more than residential ones. It takes a lot for them to bend in any sort of way. Still, at Ohio Basement Systems, we like to be safe rather than sorry, especially because foundations are so important. Our push piers have a special external sleeve just under the bracket. This sleeve prevents buckling and ensures that the piers stay pin-straight at all times.
Foundation settling affects the entire house, and the damage can show up in multiple places. Because of this, some Akron-Canton homeowners confuse foundation problems for isolated issues. They go on to repair their home without considering their basement or crawl space, which is what’s causing the damage in the first place. Recognizing the signs of foundation settling will save you from having to spend money on repairs that won’t solve anything until the foundation has been stabilized. If the problem is caught early on, it will also save your home from experiencing extreme structural damage.
The first problem sign you might notice is jammed doors. When a foundation is settling, the house shifts to one side. Some of the structures of your home, which rely on evenness and symmetry, will warp and bend as the house settles. The same goes for your columns and walls, which either crack or bow as the weight of the house is loaded on to one side. The floors will also be affected and become uneven, which you can confirm if you look at the joint between your walls and the floor: if there’s a gap, the floor is uneven.
Outside, you might notice that your chimney is tilting as well, and that the mortar bricks have stair-step cracks. Depending on how advanced the settling is, the handrails on your porch may have warped and are now uneven. If you have an attached deck, the deck posts will look bent as well. You can also visually see that your home is uneven, but it might be difficult to see up close. Take a step back and look at the front or back of your house and see if you notice that it’s sinking.
The Akron-Canton area is mostly known for its bitterly cold winter season. Unlike some parts in the south of the country, flooding isn’t very severe in the area. Still, this doesn’t mean it never happens. There are multiple ways for a basement to get flooded, so it’s important to have waterproofing measures available to avoid a water-damaged foundation. A flooded basement is a problem even after the water is all gone because of the mold, so if you find standing water in your basement, you need to act fast.
The first thing you have to do is drain the water out as quickly as possible. If there’s a lot, grab a bucket and start collecting the water, but if it’s only a few inches, use a wet vacuum and some towels. After all the water has been cleared from the basement, turn on a dehumidifier, point some fans towards the concrete, and wait for a few days while you continuously observe the basement. Check for any mold stains and try to find the source of the flood. If you aren’t sure where the water came from, contact an expert.
If the water didn’t come from anything inside the basement (pipes, washing machine), then you need to contact a foundation specialist. Even if you managed to successfully clear the water from your basement the first time, there’s no guarantee that it won’t happen again. There’s also no guarantee that the next time it happens, there won’t be any mold growth. Instead of risking it, you could waterproof your foundation with the right tools to get rid of standing water while also preventing mold. Obtaining a sump pump and dehumidifier should be your first priority.
After your concrete slab has been lifted with polyurethane foam injections, you won’t have to worry about slab settling again. Concrete lifting methods such as SettleStop PolyRenewal™ are permanent solutions to the slab settling problem. The material used may be called a “foam,” but once it’s under the slab, it expands and completely hardens in under 30 minutes. Once that polyurethane is in place, nothing can move it away, which is why you won’t have to do a thing after the repairs.
This idea that the filling used to lift settled concrete may have started with DIYers. Some DIY methods lift up the slab only to fill the void with more soil. It may not be the original soil type that caused the settling in the first place, but it’s still soil that is fully capable of washing out. If filling the concrete with soil the way it’s done, then the soil will have to be refilled every few years. It’s completely impractical and a waste of time to do it this way.
Polyurethane foam does not wash out and does not erode once it’s under the slab. It’s made of a synthetic plastic material, so it’s also impermeable. This is important to note in the Akron-Canton area, since the soil is fine-grained and easily washes out with water. The polyurethane essentially acts as a shield that protects the soil from moisture and prevents further settling. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why polyurethane foam injections are considered to be a permanent solution for concrete lifting.
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Akron-Canton Metro Area
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Ohio Basement Systems
7950 Bavaria Rd.
Twinsburg, OH 44087
Phone: (330) 235-1229
Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 2pm