Philadelphia Foundation, Crawl Space & Basement Services
If you’re a homeowner in Philadelphia, you’re all too familiar with year-round rain. Although we can’t control the weather, we can ensure your home is safe from the storm with our proven foundation and basement repair solutions.
Philadelphia Foundation Repair, Basement Waterproofing, Crawl Space Encapsulation and Concrete Lifting
Philadelphia, located in the southeast corner of Pennsylvania, is situated on the ‘Fall Zone,’ where the Atlantic coastal plain and Piedmont meet. The surrounding areas explains Philadelphia’s sandy loam soil that is mostly well-drained. Although the topsoil is sandy loam, beneath, in many surrounding areas there is clay soil which is not well-draining and can cause foundation issues. Philadelphia’s humid subtropical climate and above-average annual rainfall does nothing to help the soil conditions. This can lead to homeowner’s experiencing several types of foundation and water management problem signs. It’s important to act fast when signs like soil erosion, sinking concrete, foundation gaps, and mold or mildew are noticed.
Solutions offered in Philadelphia, PA
When problems with your home’s foundation arise, it can bring a variety of other issues along with it. Here’s how our specialized solutions can repair your home’s foundation to it’s original stability.
Waterproofing your basement is key to having a healthy environment in your home, as well as preventing problems in the future. Learn more about the benefits of waterproofing your basement.
Crawl Space Repair
When it comes to the health of your home’s crawl space, there are many factors and problem signs at work. Knowing what the signs are could help you indicate that it’s time for repairs.
The stability and consistency of the concrete around your home is an important factor to it’s overall aesthetic and wellbeing. Here’s what you should know about the concrete lifting options for your home.
Floor and Wall Gaps
If you’ve noticed gaps between your floors and your wall, it may be cause for concern when it comes to your foundation. Most likely, these early onset warning signs of foundation failure can be easy to miss if you are unaware of what to look for. Some of the secondary signs may include basement wall cracks, bouncy floor joists, cracks in drywall, and bowed walls.
Dry Wall Nail Pops
Nail pops occur when the head of a nail gets too close to the drywall and pushes through, resulting in a crack. Nails popping out of your drywall is an indicator of foundational and structural damage. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to have yearly inspections to make sure your home’s foundation isn’t experiencing sinking or settling into the soil underneath.
Ever notice when you walk across your floors that they slope or are uneven? You may be dealing with a sinking foundation. When the soil beneath your home begins to shift or erode, your foundation slabs will begin to sink into the ground causing a long list of problems within your home.
If you’ve spotted white patches that resemble salt on your concrete or brick walls in your basement, you may be dealing with a natural occurrence called Efflorescence. Although it isn’t harmful to your home’s structural stability, it is an indicator that you’re experiencing some sort of water damage within the area it was found.
If your basement walls were finished with drywall and you’ve noticed them becoming saturated, you could be dealing with serious water damage somewhere in your home. Since drywall is not as durable as concrete, stone, or wood, water is easily able to seep through it, causing structural problems and leading to mold and mildew growth.
Basement Wall & Floor Cracks
Spotting cracks along your basement’s wall or floor can be concerning for any homeowner. Since cracks act as an open entry to the elements, water is easily able to seep into your home and cause severe damage. This can result in foundation damage, mold and mildew growth, elevated humidity, and wood root.
Crawl Space Repair
Crawl Space Mold
Many people know that mold anywhere in their homes can be a serious problem, but some don’t know the implications it has on the structural stability of it. When you’re dealing with mold in your crawl space, you might also be experiencing higher than normal humidity, bouncy floors, condensation, and mold spreading throughout your entire home.
Ineffective Vapor Barrier
If the contractors that initially built your home installed a low-quality vapor barrier in your crawl space, you may be dealing with the issues that come along with it. Having an ineffective vapor barrier can lead to a multitude of problems in your crawl space, such as mold, high energy bills, unwanted pests, and elevated indoor humidity.
Crawl Space Vents/Doors
If the vents or door leading to your crawl space isn’t sealed properly, this could lead to a slew of problems for your home. It was once thought that crawl space vents were good because they let the air from outside circulate underneath your home. Unfortunately, it was later found that open vents caused more harm then good. Making sure these vents and doors are properly sealed and airtight can prevent your home from dealing with unwanted critters, high energy bills, and mold growth.
Uneven Concrete Driveway
If you’ve found it difficult to access your driveway due to uneven concrete slabs or cracks that cause voids within it, you’re not alone. Concrete slabs can become uneven because of weight problems, soil erosion, or poor initial pouring of the concrete. All these factors can cause loads of damage to your driveway and create tripping hazards for your loved ones.
Slab Foundation Cracks
Cracks in your foundation slabs can happen for a variety of reasons. From your house settling into place, to expansive soils beneath it, excess water, and weight bearing issues. These cracks can become an entrance for water to come into your home, cause structural problems, and create an excess of humidity coming up from the ground.
Pool Deck Repair
If cracks and uneven concrete slabs are affecting your home’s pool deck, it may be time for repairs. Cracking can happen for a multitude of reasons, from concrete and foundation shifting, to hydrostatic pressure, as well as water from your pool seeping into the slabs. It’s imperative to make sure that there are no leaks from your pool or other repairs that need to be done before you restore your pool deck.
Common Solutions in Philadelphia, PA
Mold in Crawl Space
Mold can be a huge problem in a crawl space. If you have mold in your crawl space, how can you make the situation better for your home?
Basement Sump Pump
Water leaking into your basement can be a real pain to deal with. What is the most effective solution for keeping your basement clean and dry?
Preserve indoor air quality and prevent mold and wood rot with our basement air systems.
Wall anchors can help strengthen your foundation so it doesn’t fail. What can you get out of wall anchors in your home overall?
Protecting your home the right way, the first time around.
At BQ Basements & Concrete, we know that your home is your sanctuary and that’s why we’re committed to providing you with the best foundation & basement repair solutions on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions
Moisture can get in your Philadelphia basement in a variety of ways. Leaks are probably the most obvious way, though even these can vary in how they form. Water from outside your home might start to press up against your basement walls, leaking through if the pressure becomes dense enough. These leaks can eventually expand wider and cause your basement to flood if you simply ignore them for too long. Leaks can also spring from other sources as well. If your plumbing breaks, for instance, then the water and sewage from those pipes can build up behind your walls and eventually leak into your basement as well. You might even notice a musty smell that only seems to linger around your basement because of this.
Any cracks you see around your basement will also allow moisture to seep through. This does not just include any cracks along your walls but from your floor, too. Groundwater can well up and begin to flood your basement at any given time, too, so you should not underestimate even the smaller cracks found along your basement floor. This constant flooding can also bring about other issues such as mold and mildew growth and pest infestations.
It is easy for moisture to negatively impact your foundation, more so than the average Philadelphia homeowner might think. For instance, all the water from heavy rain and melted snow will all absorb into the surrounding soil. However, the soil is only capable of holding so much water weight before it either washes away or grows extremely heavy. This then can create an immense pressure against your foundation, causing it to shift away from this weight or even crack altogether.
This phenomenon is commonly referred to as hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure can also take another form as well. Water can easily become trapped in the concrete foundation’s pores. When winter comes and that trapped water freezes, the expanding ice then can lead to the foundation cracking apart from within.
You will also need to deal with a common construction mistake known as the clay bowl effect creating settling issues as well. Basically, contractors will dig a large hole where they plan to lay down the foundation (and either a basement or crawl space) when they first build a home. Once these components are installed, there is typically a little space left around the perimeter that the contractors will then backfill in with the soil they dug up. Of course, it is now much looser than it once was, and Philadelphia’s sandy-loam soil is already quite loose. The soil creates a bowl of sorts around the foundation that can be easily washed out during a huge storm or when the snow begins to melt in the spring. Without this crucial support, your foundation will start to shift or settle into the remaining soil and may even crack apart. BQ Basements & Concrete can waterproof your foundation to ensure that this does not happen.
Your concrete may be hard to break apart, but if it does not have strong, compact soil supporting its weight, it is susceptible to settling or cracking issues. You will want to set up an appointment with our concrete experts as soon as you can to repair these cracks and uneven slabs.
The soil that supports your concrete is just as important as the concrete slabs themselves. Philadelphia’s silt soils are quite loose and prone to washing out even during milder rainstorms. Combine this with the fact that Philadelphia already has plenty of snow and rain, and that soil is as good as washed away. Settled, uneven concrete slabs also create dangerous tripping hazards and can spread that damage down to the foundation, so it is not a good idea to ignore any of this damage for very long.
The crawl space is one of the most important spaces in your Philadelphia home. Its main purpose is to store your home’s vital systems, including but not limited to your electrical wiring, plumbing, insulation, HVAC system, floor’s support beams, and the foundation itself. Your home relies on all these systems to run efficiently and smoothly. None of these systems will function very well if they are wet, much less if they are forced to operate within a flood. You need to seal off the crawl space to ensure that this does not happen.
BQ Basements & Concrete can completely encapsulate your crawl space so that no moisture, mold and mildew spores, or pests will infiltrate this space ever again. This process consists of four main components: waterproofing with an interior drainage system and a sump pump, vapor barrier, vent covers, and a dehumidifier. The sump pump itself is the heart of our thorough drainage system, which we will also install around the perimeter of the crawl space. Once enough water has entered its system, the pump will then work to redirect this water away from your home. The vapor barrier covers your entire crawl space and makes it extremely difficult for no mold, mildew, or pests to break through. It also ensures that no groundwater can well up to flood the crawl space from below.
The vent covers will seal up any open vents around your crawl space. This ensures that the crawl space will remain dry no matter how harsh the outside weather is. Before we completely seal this space, however, our experts will then install a dehumidifier inside the crawl space. Should any humidity manage to slip through our other solutions, the dehumidifier will filter it out and circulate clean air around this space.
BQ Basements & Concrete can offer your Philadelphia home different piers systems: helical piers and push piers. These piers systems are used to repair shifted, settled, and cracked foundations, permanently stabilizing them, potentially restoring them to their original position, and bracing your home against any future moisture issues or other damage. These galvanized steel piers are installed directly below your foundation, using the strength of the more compact layers of soil below. These layers are too deep into the earth for any rain or melted snow to wash out, so you will not have to worry about any settling or shifting issues with these piers installed. Of course, you may want to know how these two pier systems differ and why you might need one solution over the other.
The main difference between these two pier systems is how they are installed. Both pier systems perform the same function and will provide the same support to your foundation. Helical piers have spiral-like attachments on the ends of each pier, which make them easier for our experts to hydraulically drill into the tougher layers of soil far below your house.
Push piers, on the other hand, are manually pushed through the dirt and work best with already loose soils. Both piers are attached via a heavy brace to the underside of your foundation. You might worry that these piers will ruin the aesthetic of your home from the outside. Fortunately, these piers will not be visible at all, so you can enjoy a completely reinforced foundation without them interfering with your curb appeal or anything else.
Additionally, slab piers are installed in a similar way and are specific to settling slab foundations.
Any and all concrete cracks can pose a threat to the surrounding concrete as well as to your foundation given enough time. However, not every homeowner will have the time to treat every crack or sign of damage they might come across around their home. This is where knowing which cracks can be ignored for a short period of time and which cracks must be treated as soon as possible. Any cracks that measure less than 1/8 inch wide are known as hairline cracks and will not pose any immediate threat to the surrounding concrete, nor will they spread down to the foundation right away. The same can be said for any cracks that measure anywhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inches wide.
Of course, these cracks can also expand at any time, so it is important that you do not leave these cracks alone for too long. Any cracks that measure wider than 1/4 inch must be repaired as soon as possible. Not only can they spread damage out to the surrounding slabs, but they can easily creep down to the foundation, too. You need a concrete lifting solution that will prevent this damage from spreading as well as protect your concrete from being damaged again in the future.
The SettleStop PolyRenewal™ injection foam repair solution will do just that and more. It can stabilize both the supporting soil below and the concrete slabs themselves, filling in any cracks and other damage along the way. The foam is made up of eco-friendly materials as well. If it mixes with water, then it will not ruin your lawn or landscaping. It is a non-disruptive repair solution that will not require any heavy equipment or loud construction to install and will cure in minutes!