Wilmington Basement Waterproofing & Foundation Repair
Fine loamy sands that make North Carolina so beautiful can also cause problems to a home’s structure.SCHEDULE FREE INSPECTION
Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing in Wilmington
Basements and crawl spaces are oftentimes not built adequately. They are surrounded by soil yet have no waterproofing measures installed, so groundwater and rainfall cause humidity and flooding issues. As a homeowner, this can be incredibly frustrating to deal with given how time-consuming clearing out the water can be. Many already have sump pumps, but these are constantly malfunctioning and they don’t do anything to solve the humidity issues.
If you live in Wilmington, you need more than just a sump pump to keep your basement or crawl space dry. At Tar Heel Basement Systems, we have a variety of waterproofing solutions for your home. Our line of SafeDri™ sump pumps offer top-of-the-line features that put your old sump pump to shame. All our sump pumps come with a back-up battery so you won’t have to worry about pump failure during hurricane season. Combined with the BasementGutter™ interior drain, any water that gets into your basements will be pumped far away from your foundation where it can’t do any harm.
Keeping the humidity levels low is also important. A humid crawl space and basement means higher energy bills and a lot of insects scrounging under your floor. This can be avoided by installing a vapor barrier. Additionally, a dehumidifier will eliminate all the moisture in the air and keep the humidity levels as low as possible.
Wilmington Foundation Repair
Many homeowners look at the cracks on their walls and the bowing walls in their basement and think it’s an isolated issue. However, these problem signs point to foundation settling. Foundations settling occurs when a soil layer can no longer support the weight of the structure. Soil shrinking and expansion displaces so much of the soil that it shifts around and leaves the foundation without a solid support. The foundation begins to settle, and as the bottom of the house shifts, it affects the rest of the structure upstairs as well.
A settling foundation is very serious. If you let the problem progress for too long, the house’s structure will be so compromised and you risk getting injured for living in a broken-down building. Repairing a foundation seems like it would be a complicated affair, but at Tar Heel Basement Systems, we make it easy for the homeowners of Wilmington.
Push piers and Helical piers can be installed in a day to stabilize your foundation and fix the settling issue. For slab foundations—we have slab piers that are made specifically to repair settled slab-on-grade. And finally, wall anchors that resist hydrostatic pressure and strengthen bowing foundation walls.
Concrete Lifting in Wilmington
Like foundation settling, concrete settling is caused by soil displacement. While nothing can be done to completely stop soil expansion and shrinking, you should know there are permanent solutions to concrete settling. With PolyRenewal™, we can lift your concrete back into a level position.
Unlike traditional concrete lifting methods like mudjacking, PolyRenewal™ does not place any additional pressure onto the soil below and causes further settling. As a matter of fact, the polyurethane foam creates a barrier that prevents water from seeping into the soil. The soft material is evenly distributed under the concrete, so it successfully absorbs any tension placed on the slab and prevents it from breaking apart.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Wilmington
When it rains, the expansive soil soaks up a lot of the water and holds on to it instead of draining it away. The soil expands, becomes looser, shifts around, and allows for more water to pass through without any resistance. If the water does not flow away from your foundation, it will travel to and accumulate towards your home and stop when it reaches your foundation walls. The wall will have to withstand a tremendous amount of pressure as it bears the weight of the water until it begins to break. This is known as hydrostatic pressure.
Hydrostatic pressure is most common in areas where the soil has a lot of clay, which is the case for Hickory, NC. Cecil soil, the official soil of North Carolina, is high in clay content and is a big part of why hydrostatic pressure is such a big problem for homeowners in this region. Hydrostatic pressure causes bowing foundation walls and increases the likelihood of flooding in your foundation. Once the walls of the foundation are no longer stable, the entire house begins to fall apart. Door and window frames become warped, floors become uneven, and the walls and ceilings begin to crack.
Of course, there’s very little one could do about the actual soil itself, so the best way to prevent damage from hydrostatic pressure is by waterproofing the foundation. If damages have already been done, there is no need to replace the foundation in its entirety because we offer many foundation repair solutions.
An interior drain is a kind of drainage system for basements. They’re incredibly efficient in stopping water from flowing into your basement. With interior drains such as these, any kind of water that makes its way in will be redirected towards the sump pump and pumped out and away from the foundation. First, contractors dig a trench along the perimeter of the basement and then filled with some gravel. The drain pipe is then placed on the gravel and the floor is restored once everything is in place.
The soil that surrounds your basement is constantly saturated with water. Because basements are partially underground, they are constantly exposed to all the moisture from the soil, which can seep through the porous concrete and humidify your basement. With an interior drain installed, any moisture that appears on the walls of the basement trickles down into the drain, accumulates, and gets pumped out instead of staying in the space and contributing to the humidity. An interior drain works best when accompanied by a sump pump, so if you’re thinking of getting this kind of drainage system for your basement, you need to get a working sump pump if you don’t have one already. At Tar Heel Basement Systems, we have the BasementGutter™, an award-winning interior drain for your basement.
We also have AquaGrate™, which is a drain that can be installed at the entrance of your basement. Not all the water in a basement comes through the walls. Sometimes, water comes in from the outside. When that happens, you can count on AquaGrate™ to collect the water and redirect it elsewhere. With these two drainage systems in place, you no longer have to worry about basement flooding.
A crawl space isn’t just a place where the pipes and ductwork of a house is conveniently stored. It’s part of the foundation and it has a profound impact on the way energy is consumed in a home. If the air from outside makes it inside your crawl space, it rises into your home and changes the temperature. Oftentimes, this leads to ACs and HVACs working overtime in order to keep the temperature stable. Not only does this raise your energy bills, it also shortens the appliances’ lifespan.
Old, weathered insulation material isn’t going to be as effective in trapping heat and airflow in a crawl space. Because of this, you need to check for signs of deterioration in your crawl space insulation. Typically, crawl spaces are insulated with fiberglass, which is an absorbent material. It takes in the moisture in the air and retains it, and if it absorbs too much, the weight of the moisture causes the material to sag and break apart. You should also touch the insulation when you inspect it, and if it’s moist, it needs to be replaced.
If you’ve got another material that isn’t fiberglass as insulation, another problem sign would be mold. Other materials are just as absorbent as fiberglass, but they are made of organic materials that mold can feast on. All the spores from the mold growth in your crawl space make their way into your home because there’s no insulation blocking the airways. If you see any mildew on your insulation, don’t touch it or spend too much time in your crawl space and call foundation repair experts that can help you install brand new insulation. Homes in Hickory, which see a lot of precipitation, need insulation that isn’t absorbent, doesn’t promote mold growth, and has a higher R-value than the traditional materials used in the industry.
There are many different types of soils that are used as foundations in construction. One of the most common soils used are expansive soils. Expansive soils are those that contain a lot of clay in them, and because of their clay content, they expand when exposed to moisture, hence the name. Typically, contractors try to find a balance when choosing the soil for a foundation and go for a mix of clay, sand, and loam. Still, the existence of clay in the soil can cause a lot of problems for homeowners, especially if the region’s soil is already expansive like it is in Hickory.
Clay is used in foundation soils because many contractors believe the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. The structure needs to be supported by stable soil, which is why the soil needs to be compacted as it’s layered out. Compaction brings the soil particles closer together and makes it denser and tougher, and the more clay in the soil, the better it compacts. Because clay soils compact so easily, it saves a lot of time, something that many contractors prioritize. Other soils that have less clay are often more granular and don’t compact well, so they are less reliable as foundations for a home.
Despite how reliable they are, clay soils do cause a lot of problems because of their shrink-swell capacity. Expansive soil shrinks considerably once all the moisture content dries up, forming gaps as it shrinks into itself. Over time, these gaps grow significantly wider as the soil shifts around and the foundation no longer has dense soil holding it up. This causes the foundation to settle and slowly shift along with the loose displaced soil. Because all soil eventually shifts no matter how much clay it contains, the best you can do as a homeowner is simply waterproof and reinforce your foundation to protect it against the downside of expansive soils.
Besides different sump pump installations and a dehumidifier, Tar Heel Basement Systems offers other innovative waterproofing solutions for your home. Our CrawlSeal™ vapor barrier can be applied to the walls and floor of your crawl space to fully encapsulate it and completely separate it from the soil. For basements, WallSeal™ is applied to the walls, giving it a sleek, clean look. Our vapor barriers are 20-mil thick and consist of 7 layers of polyethylene. It prevents cold air and water vapor from seeping its way into the space and keeps it as dry and warm as possible.
Without a vapor barrier, your crawl space or basement’s humidity will remain high. The resulting condensation, insects, mold growth, and wood rot will not be pleasant to deal with and they will destroy your home’s foundation. It’s not enough to have a single dehumidifier take care of the moisture in the air, especially in a place like Hickory, where the precipitation is frequent and the soil is always saturated. If you want to keep your home’s sub-level clean and energy efficient, we’ve got you covered.
Speaking of energy efficiency, our ExTremeBloc™ insulation panel is another life-changing product we can install in your crawl space. Because of the stack effect, 50% of the air you breathe in your home comes from the sub-level. During the summer, hot air enters your home and leaves it during the winter, making it very difficult for your AC and HVAC to do their job without consuming a drastic amount of energy. Your high energy bill problems can be solved with highly efficient crawl space insulation that keeps the air trapped in the space. With an R-value of 11 per inch, our ExTremeBloc™ insulation panel is the best in the industry.
Everyone has dealt with a bit of mold in their life at least once. Usually, mold is considered to be extremely soft to the touch and that’s what homeowners look for when determining if their crawl space wood is rotting. However, this is the tricky thing about looking for signs of wood rot: not all fungi make the wood in your crawl space soft. There are some forms of wood rot that go by unnoticed by homeowners for long periods of time because they don’t show the “obvious” signs of mold growth, one of them being the spongy texture so commonly attributed to mold. Brown rot is another fungus that can cause your wood to rot, so learning to see the signs of it is beneficial.
Brown rot was traditionally called dry rot because it does not soften wood and instead just makes it crack. It was believed that brown rot did not need any kind of moisture in order to grow, but this has been proven false. Brown rot can grow in seemingly dry places because it’s capable of pulling moisture from afar, more so than many other types of wood rot. Its ability to grow through concrete, plaster, drywall, and mortar is one of the reasons it’s so incredibly difficult to treat. Even if the crawl space itself is relatively dry, if it manages to get through the walls, it becomes a very challenging growth to stop.
Before it grows, brown rot leaves a layer of red dust on the surface of the wood. These are the spores, which wait on the wood for the perfect moisture conditions before the actual fungus itself grows. The spores can survive for weeks and just because you dust it all off doesn’t mean the brown rot is gone. Brown rot is often confused for termite damage by homeowners because it leaves a very similar pattern of small, square cracks. If your floor is sagging, you know your crawl space is humid, and the wooden joists are significantly cracked, they are most likely rotting.
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Carolina Beach, NC
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Tar Heel Basement Systems
940 Pylon Dr
Raleigh, NC 27606
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Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 2 pm