Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing in Youngstown
A basement is more than just a damp storage room. If you allow water to freely flow in your Youngstown home’s foundation, your concrete, wood, plumbing, and electrical can get damaged. Even humidity is a threat to the things in there because of mold growth, which eats away at organic materials and weakens their structure.
The same thing happens if your Youngstown home instead has a crawl space, which serves as your foundation and needs to be structurally sound in order to support your home. Water is erosive in all of its states, be it gas, liquid, or ice. In its liquid form, water can waterlog the wooden joist in a crawl space and soften it up. As water vapor, it can promote mold growth. As ice, it tears through concrete and causes it to crack.
If you’re a homeowner in Youngstown, OH, and you want to protect your basement or crawl space from water damage, you need to have different waterproofing solutions. Because basements and crawl spaces are located underground, humidity and flooding aren’t things that can just be fixed with a single solution. Products like our AquaStop CrawlSeal™ vapor barrier and dehumidifiers fight against humidity. One prevents water vapor from entering the space entirely while the other takes care of any existing humidity. Interior drainage systems and sump pumps, on the other hand, work together to collect leaking water and drain it away from the foundation.
Youngstown Foundation Repair
Have you noticed strange cracks along the walls of your Youngstown home lately? You might want to check your foundation for damage. Foundation problems can happen in every home. It’s not always indicative of the quality of the house itself, but rather an indication that either the soil under your Youngstown property is failing or there’s something wrong with the drainage system in your foundation.
Soil erosion causes foundation settling, which in turn causes things like wall cracks, uneven floors, and a tilting chimney. To repair a Youngstown home’s settling foundation, it needs to be given a stable support system. It can’t be filled in with more soil, since no matter what kind of soil that is used, there will be erosion and thus, settling.
Instead, steel support piers are used to support the foundation. For a terrain like the one in Youngstown, OH, which has soft soil, helical piers are a good fit. They are able to pass through the soil layers without a problem and reach the load-bearing soils that will support your house. If there is a lot of sedimentary rock around your foundation, then push piers might be required.
As for bowing walls—a result of hydrostatic pressure—these can be supported as well. Wall anchors can stabilize walls that are bowing more than two inches. The wall is permanently supported after installation and, over time, the wall anchor can straighten out the wall. For walls that are less than two inches, carbon fiber straps are recommended. They may look flimsy, but they are actually stronger than steel.
Concrete Lifting in Youngstown
Because of its humid continental climate, Youngstown sees consistent rain on a yearly basis. Because of the fine soil of the region, the soil gets washed out quickly when met with a stream of water. Soil erosion is the degradation of topsoil due to rushing water. The soil under your concrete is also capable of washing out. When this happens, the slab settles because of the gaps left on the topsoil.
Besides washout, soil gets displaced due to the freeze-thaw effect. When water turns into ice, it expands considerably. When the moisture in the soil turns into ice and begins expanding, it slowly pushes the soil apart. When the ice thaws, all that’s left is loose soil and gaps from her the ice was expanding. As you step on your Youngstown home’s slab and put weight on it, it slowly starts settling against the loose soil.
What starts out as a bit of wobble and some slight unevenness can turn into a broken slab that sits much lower than the rest. If you notice that any slabs on your Youngstown property are settling, you can contact Ohio Basement Systems for concrete lifting and stabilization. By using SettleStop PolyRenewal™, we’ll be able to lift your slab back into place and give it the support it needs.
SettleStop PolyRenewal™ is a concrete lifting method that raises the slab with the use of polyurethane foam. The foam is injected under the slab with a handheld machine, and it expands until filling out the void left by the soil. One of the reasons this method works so well is the foam’s ability to fill as much of the gap as possible. Other methods, like mudjacking, pump in a slurry of cement under the slab. Because the rough cement is “brute-forced” in there, it doesn’t always fill in the void completely.
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About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Youngstown
Concrete slabs that are used for residential purposes, such as driveway slabs and pool deck slabs, are only four inches tall and are not reinforced. A reinforced slab is one that has rebar in it. Concrete has poor tensile strength, meaning that it breaks easily under pressure. Rebar in concrete increases the tensile load that the slab can handle since the rebar itself absorbs most of the pressure. If your concrete slab is settling, you might wonder how much rebar could help.
Rebar in concrete would not help concrete with settling. This is because slab settling has nothing to do with the strength of the concrete itself and everything to do with the soil underneath. When the soil erodes, the rebar won’t stop the concrete from sinking into the gap. What the rebar can help with is preventing the slab from cracking after settling since the tensile strength has been increased. Unfortunately, most residential slabs don’t have rebar, so when faced with a settling slab, you need to be careful not to break it until it gets repaired.
If you have plans for a patio or pool deck on your Youngstwon property and you want to add rebar, you should know that it’s not very cost-effective. It won’t stop settling from occurring and you’ll be spending more money for reinforcement you won’t really need. In order for a concrete slab to break after settling, a large amount of weight needs to be placed on it. Driveway slabs are the ones most likely to break after settling because they need to support the weight of the cars. For any new slabs you want to place around your home, just be vigilant and at the first sign of settling, contact your local experts.
AquaStop BasementGutter™ is a perimeter drainage system that is placed inside basements. It’s a step up from traditional French drains that are installed outside and can easily get clogged. AquaStop BasementGutter™ is a high-quality product that is ingenious in its design and very effective. Because of this, many homeowners looking to get their basement waterproofed will ask if their basement can get by on AquaStop BasementGutter™ alone.
An interior perimeter drain should not be the only system in place. AquaStop BasementGutter™ was designed to drain the groundwater that surrounds the foundation, not the actual water inside the basement. If you’re having flooding issues and hydrostatic pressure is destroying your wall, you need to get both an interior perimeter drainage system and a sump pump. These two systems work together to keep the inside of your foundation dry. The perimeter drain connects to the sump pump so that all the water it collects gets pumped out of the basement and away from your Youngstown home.
There are multiple ways in which water can get into your basement, so if you truly want your foundation to stay dry you need to be willing to implement the right waterproofing systems. Some of them seemingly overlap in terms of function, but once you understand how foundations get wet, you’ll know why they are all used. If you aren’t able to do them all at once, you can speak to the local experts at Ohio Basement Systems to see which is the most pressing issue your basement is facing. You can slowly work your way into a fully waterproof basement once you have an idea of everything you will need.
The common signs of poor crawl space insulation can be felt even when you don’t go inside your crawl space. Your crawl space does more than house your Youngstown home’s pipes and ductwork: it can actively change the temperature and air quality in the rest of your house. When the air outside makes it inside your crawl space, it rises into your home, leading your HVAC system to work overtime in order to keep the temperature stable. If your home feels hot during the summer and cold in the winter despite constantly blasting the AC or furnace, then you likely have a crawl space insulation problem.
Another way to tell would be with any existing insulation in your crawl space. Crawl spaces are usually insulated with fiberglass, an absorbent material made of fine glass. It takes in the moisture in the air and absorbs it, but if it takes in too much, the weight of the moisture causes the material to sag and break apart. If you go into your crawl space and touch the insulation material and it’s soaked, you’ll know why you’ve been having thermal control problems in your home. Soggy, old insulation material cannot do its job right, so you will have to replace it.
If you have an insulation material that isn’t fiberglass, another problem sign would be mold. Other insulation types are made of organic materials, so mold prefers to occupy those kinds of products. The spores from the mold growth in your crawl space make their way into your home because there’s no proper insulation blocking the airways, so the moment you see mold, you need to replace your insulation for the health of your crawl space and those living in your home.
Mold is known for being soft to the touch and incredibly mushy. That texture is what homeowners look for when determining if their wooden crawl space joist is rotting. However, not all fungi break down the wood in that way, so not all joists infected with wood rot are soft. Some fungi are so unassuming that it takes a while for homeowners to realize their wood is rotting, even when actively looking for wood rot. What many typically think of when it comes to wood rot is “soft rot”, which does cause that spongy texture everyone is familiar with.
Brown rot is one of the fungi that can be difficult to spot due to the way it affects the wood. Brown rot was traditionally called “dry rot” because it does not soften wood—instead, it makes it crack. Before being called brown rot, it was called dry rot, because it can take in moisture from afar. So, even when the humidity levels seem decent, brown rot can still persist. Brown rot does cause a layer of red spores to line the wood, which is the most common way of identifying it.
Other fungi might make the wood crack in a way that makes it look like it’s termite damage. These deceiving types of rot are difficult to spot, so don’t think you’re safe just because you don’t spot any in your crawl space. It’s always advised that you call an expert that is able to identify these things for you. Not only do they save you time by looking at the problem themselves, they can also provide you with the best solutions to get rid of wood rot and take care of your Youngstown home.
One common misconception about trees on a Youngstown property is that the tree roots will damage your foundation. The truth is, it isn’t really the tree roots themselves that cause the problem, but the soil. When tree roots grow to an extent to find moisture, they push the soil around and displace it. Displaced soil will be a lot looser on your property, allowing for easier soil erosion. Properties with loose soil tend to have more foundation and concrete settling problems.
If you have a tree that is close to your home, you might want to consider getting a root barrier to discourage root growth. If you aren’t able to get one, you might have to cut the tree and replant another one farther from your foundation. Trees should be 15 to 20 feet away from the house. You can also look up smaller trees that have roots that don’t extend as much as others. These trees are ideal for planting on a property if you want one but you’re worried about foundation damage.
If you’re worried about how your property will look, remember that your foundation’s health is important too, not just the way your house looks. Beautiful trees can always be replanted, but continuously paying for repairs is not ideal. If you’re unsure about whether your tree is causing foundation damage, give us a call for a free inspection.
Foundation settling often gets detected after the house is falling apart. If you’ve spotted the problem signs and have determined that your foundation is failing, you need to act fast. Settling only gets worse with time, which means that what you are seeing will become more of a problem later on. If allowed to go on for too long, the house may even become too structurally unsound to live in. Before that happens, call your local foundation experts for repairs.
Foundation problems are not something you can just DIY, like a paint job or hanging a painting. For the job to be done right, professional solutions are required. At Ohio Basement Systems, we provide the best foundation repair options for the homeowners of Youngstown, OH, such as helical piers and push piers. These pier support systems will permanently stabilize your foundation and completely stop the settling. The piers even have the potential to lift your home and even it out again.
After repairs are done, you can go about repairing any damage created by the foundation settling. If any door and window frames are warped, get them replaced. If any walls have cracks, get those patched up. It’s not worthwhile to repair your home when it’s settling, since anything that isn’t a support pier will not stop the damage caused by settling. If you haven’t already, also consider waterproofing your foundation, since some problem with the foundation drainage may have caused the settling.
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Berlin Center, OH
Ohio Basement Systems has been performing basement waterproofing and crawl space repair since 1999, providing foundation and basement solutions and waterproofing systems for homeowners in Berlin Center, OH.
Ohio Basement Systems has been performing basement waterproofing and crawl space repair since 1999, providing foundation and basement solutions and waterproofing systems for homeowners in Bristolville, OH.
Ohio Basement Systems has been performing basement waterproofing and crawl space repair since 1999, providing foundation and basement solutions and waterproofing systems for homeowners in Canfield, OH.
Columbiana County, OH
Ohio Basement Systems has been performing basement waterproofing and crawl space repair since 1999, providing foundation and basement solutions and waterproofing systems for homeowners in Columbiana County, OH.
Ohio Basement Systems has been performing basement waterproofing and crawl space repair since 1999, providing foundation and basement solutions and waterproofing systems for homeowners in Columbiana, OH.
East Palestine, OH
Ohio Basement Systems has been performing basement waterproofing and crawl space repair since 1999, providing foundation and basement solutions and waterproofing systems for homeowners in East Palestine, OH.
Ohio Basement Systems has been performing basement waterproofing and crawl space repair since 1999, providing foundation and basement solutions and waterproofing systems for homeowners in Girard, OH.
Ohio Basement Systems has been performing basement waterproofing and crawl space repair since 1999, providing foundation and basement solutions and waterproofing systems for homeowners in Kinsman, OH.
Mahoning County, OH
Ohio Basement Systems has been performing basement waterproofing and crawl space repair since 1999, providing foundation and basement solutions and waterproofing systems for homeowners in Mahoning County, OH.
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