Waterproofing and Foundation Repair in Northern North Carolina
Floods, humidity, and structural problems can be solved with the efficient waterproofing and foundation repair solutions offered by Tar Heel Basement Systems.SCHEDULE FREE INSPECTION
Basement And Crawl Space Waterproofing in Northern North Carolina
Expansive soil and a humid subtropical climate make it so that basements and crawl spaces in Northern North Carolina have constant flooding and humidity problems. Even with a sump pump, basements and crawl spaces aren’t designed to ward off water vapor and direct all the humidity away. Dampness in these spaces means a slew of problems such as mold growth, water seepage, wood rot, and concrete deterioration.
To keep your Northern North Carolina home’s foundation healthy, Tar Heel Basement Systems has multiple waterproofing solutions. To steer any water that gets inside, an interior drainage system can be installed within the perimeter of the basement. This system is most effective when paired with a reliable sump pump system that also is protected by a backup battery. Vapor barriers are crucial, especially because the soil around the foundation is constantly saturated with water, so a barrier to deter water vapor from entering the space will keep things dry. This, and more, can be installed by our experts to keep your home safe and give you peace of mind.
Northern North Carolina Foundation Repair
Because of the Cecil soil found in Northern North Carolina, the soil that surrounds your foundation is saturated with water. The exposure to all this groundwater puts your foundation at risk due to settling and hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is when groundwater accumulates and rests against your foundation wall, which puts enough weight on it to make it bow inward. This kind of damage to a Northern North Carolina home’s foundation affects the entire house as the building begins to crumble from the bottom up.
The best foundation repair solutions are those that manage to support the structure without relying on the unstable soil around the foundation. To stabilize the foundation of your Northern North Carolina home after settling, foundation piers can be driven deep into the ground so that the house is supported by dense, load-bearing soil. These can be helical piers, slab piers, or push piers. Bowing walls can be stabilized with wall anchors or wall braces that stop the inward pressure and can even straighten the wall.
Concrete Lifting in Northern North Carolina
Have you noticed that your driveway, patio, pool deck, or any walkways around your Northern North Carolina home are uneven and sinking? If so, it means that the concrete is sinking. Concrete sinking occurs when the soil underneath the slab swells and shrinks as its moisture content changes. This is a big problem with expansive soils, which cover most of Northern North Carolina. The soil expands when wet and shrinks when dry, and this shrinking causes the soil to lose volume and leave a gap under the slab.
Because the concrete no longer has a base underneath, it sinks and settles on top of the hole left by the soil. Luckily, your Northern North Carolina property’s concrete does not need to be replaced if it is settling. With PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injections, we can lift your slab back into place. Small holes are drilled into the concrete and polyurethane foam is injected through them. The foam, which is made of dense, closed-cell polyurethane, expands and completely fills the gap until it lifts the sunken slab.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Northern North Carolina
A sump pump is a kind of drainage system that collects water into a pit and then pumps it out of and away from the foundation. It’s a perfect device for homeowners who have basement flooding problems and need to keep that part of the house as dry as possible. If you already have a sump pump in your basement, you should know that it may not be enough to have just one.
Living in Northern North Carolina means that your property probably sees a lot of water. It would be worth investing in a second or even a third pump for your sump pump in order to keep up with the incredible amounts of water that flows around your foundation. If your sump pump gets overworked because of all the water it has to continuously pump, it will have a shorter lifespan and malfunction sooner than it should. When this happens, your basement will quickly flood, and the structural damages as a result of that failure will cost more than a second pump. All of the sump pumps in our SafeDri™ series can all be installed with a backup battery system that will guarantee a dry basement at all times.
If you’re unsure if you need another pump, simply observe your sump pump during the summer. Summer is the rainiest season in North Carolina, so watching the sump pump when it’s at its most active will give you all the information you need. If the water is flowing into the pit at an excessive rate, you need to invest in another pump. Doing so will ensure that the device functions for years without failure.
In the past, it was believed that crawl space vents were necessary to help with airflow and prevent humidity. Now that we know that open crawl space vents actually increase crawl space humidity, homeowners are rushing to get vent covers. If you have a vent to your crawl space covered up but are still experiencing mold and humidity issues, you might be wondering if the vent cover is helping at all or if you were sold a false bill of goods. There’s a simple reason why there’s still mold in your crawl space despite the vent cover. While a vent cover does lower the humidity levels in a crawl space considerably, you need other waterproofing solutions for a crawl space because they are not built to withstand their naturally humid conditions.
If you live in a wet state like North Carolina, your crawl space is surrounded by saturated soil year-round. The water vapor is able to permeate through and humidify the space, which is what causes the mold. During the summer, when precipitation is high and crawl spaces are likely to get flooded, vent covers can’t stop the water from flowing in if there’s a separate opening or crack you’re not aware of. If the rainwater manages to stay in the crawl space and you don’t have any kind of sump pump to drain it out, no matter what kind of vent cover you have, there will always be mold in the crawl space. Speaking of the kind of vent cover you have, it’s also possible that the vent cover is ill-fitted or the material does not do a good job in stopping water from getting into the crawl space.
In order to truly stop the mold and dampness issues, you need better waterproofing solutions from your local foundation experts. Our Tar Heel Basement Systems crawl space vent covers can be custom-fitted to perfection so that it covers up the vents completely. The material is made of a sturdy, durable plastic that completely stops water from getting into the crawl space. Our reliable interior drainage system collects leaking water, our sump pump systems will automatically drain out any water that gets into the space, and our vapor barrier will help further block the intrusion of water and vapor. Finally, to make sure there is never enough moisture in the air for mold to grow, a dehumidifier can be installed to keep the air in the crawl space dry and fresh.
When basement walls are bowing due to hydrostatic pressure, it is considered to be severe structural failure. This failure affects the entire house and should be repaired as soon as possible before other issues arise throughout the home. To fix bowing walls, one of the best solutions is to stabilize them with wall anchors. Wall anchors are strong, steel plates that are attached to the inside of the bowing wall. Steel rods connect the other plates, which are placed outside the home in stable soil that will not budge.
The idea is to tighten the rod until it applies enough pressure to the wall to stabilize it, and because the outer anchors are in stable soil, no matter how much the soil around the foundation shifts, your wall will not be affected. However, this method does require excavation and the rods need to be placed at least 10 feet away from the foundation wall itself. If you and your neighbor’s property line is too close or the bowing wall in question is facing an area outside that cannot be excavated, what can be done to fix the bowing wall? Luckily, Tar Heel Basement Systems has the solution to any problem. The answer is The IntelliBrace™ Wall Repair System.
Our IntelliBrace™ Wall Repair System is a bracing solution for bowing walls that does not require exterior excavation. Steel I-beams are secured to the joists above the wall with brackets, and as the beams are tightened, they apply enough pressure to stabilize the basement wall and prevent further bowing. IntelliBrace™ is a great solution for those that don’t have the yard space for a wall anchor system and need a non-invasive solution to their foundation problems. Installation can usually be done in a single day, and after some time, the braces actually straighten out the walls.
For decades, civil engineers have been trying to perfect the concrete lifting process by mixing different materials with cement and pumping that mixture under the slab. Even though these various mixtures have different advantages and disadvantages, the result is always the same: A short-term solution for a sinking slab that can sometimes make the situation worse. Luckily, we live in a time where we have the tools and the materials capable of providing homeowners with a long-term solution. That solution would be PolyRenewal™, our polyurethane foam injection procedure that permanently repairs sinking slabs. It’s a contemporary concrete lifting method that doesn’t disappoint, not only because of the results, but also because of its convenience.
What makes PolyRenewal™ so great is that it doesn’t have any of the downsides that makes mudjacking such a problematic method. The cement slurry in mudjacking eventually erodes with time as the particles get displaced due to water and expanding ice. The crack formed from this displacement makes it so that water permeates past the concrete and reaches the soil, which causes settling down the line. The polyurethane foam we use is impermeable, meaning that it doesn’t erode nor does it allow moisture to seep through and saturate the soil. The same amount of polyurethane foam that is injected under the slab will stay there for decades.
Polyurethane foam is also lightweight, perfect for the soft soil in Northern North Carolina, which shifts easily under too much weight. Cement is rough and heavy, so a mudjacking job does nothing but displace the soil further. Closed-cell polyurethane foam is dense enough to support heavy loads without disrupting the soil underneath. All in all, PolyRenewal™ is the superior concrete lifting option because it does what soil and cement cannot do: Provide the slab with a foundation that will not shift or wash away.
Foundation settling is something that affects the entire household. There are many signs that point towards this issue, and they are very easy to spot, especially if the settling has been going on for a while. The tricky thing about detecting foundation settling is that the problem signs are often treated like isolated incidents. Homeowners look at the many structural issues caused by settling and try to fix them without being able to fix the root of the problem. By knowing what to look for and understanding how it all ties in with foundation failure, you’ll be able to identify and subsequently get the necessary repairs.
The first thing you want to look for is damage to the walls and ceiling. Because part of the house is sinking, the other half is carrying a tremendous weight that is causing the walls and ceilings to crack. Doors and windows become jammed frequently since the settling is warping and breaking the frames. In your basement or crawl space, the joists and supports begin to sink along with the rest of the foundation, causing uneven floors. If you have any interior columns, these will also begin to break and tilt, and you can measure this with a level ruler.
Damage to the actual foundation is also easy to see if you have a basement. The basement walls can bow inwards and crack as it bears the pressure of a settling home. The cracks along the walls and floor of the basement will also make it easier for groundwater to get in, so if your basement gets flooded frequently and you see structural damage, it’s most likely because of foundation settling. Structural damage can be seen outside the home as well, usually around the bottom half. One sure-fire indicator of foundation settling is stair-step cracks along mortar walls.
Soil erosion is described as the displacement of topsoil due to disruptive elements. Anything that displaces the soil particles or causes it to shift can cause soil erosion, including water, wind, ice, snow, animals, and humans. The reason soil erosion is so disruptive is because even the soil underneath your home and concrete can erode. Moisture can reach the soil under the concrete and cause expansion and shrinkage. During the winter, that moisture freezes, expands, and pushes the soil particles apart.
Your home and the concrete slabs that make up your patio, driveway, and walkways, are supported by a dense layer of soil. Over the years, thanks to the air pockets caused by soil erosion, that layer becomes loose and unstable. When your concrete doesn’t have a stable foundation, it settles. Both slab and foundation settling can be fixed, but the way they disrupt a homeowner’s day-to-day life cannot be ignored. Slab and foundation settling begin to affect other parts of the home, so it’s best to get those issues settled once you notice them.
Unfortunately, soil erosion cannot be avoided completely, especially in a rainy state like North Carolina. There are things homeowners can do to mitigate the damage done by soil erosion but, ultimately, it’s not completely avoidable. The best thing homeowners can do is improve the drainage systems in and around their home so that the soil stays as dry as possible. During the winter, you should be careful not to let snow fall on or near your slabs and foundation to avoid freeze-thaw damage. And, of course, there’s always something to be gained from having local experts inspect your home and tell you exactly what you need to protect it.
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Tar Heel Basement Systems
2910 Griffith Rd
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 2 pm