Foundation Repair and Basement Waterproofing in Birmingham, AL
Rainwater and humid, muggy air can have a big impact on the foundation of your family’s home. The professionals at AFS have solutions to repair even the toughest crawl space, foundation, or concrete problems.
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Birmingham Local Office
AFS Foundation & Waterproofing
130 Interstate Commerce Ct. Bldg. 100 & 200
Alabaster, AL 35007
Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday: 6 am – 8 pm
Saturday: 7 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 6 pm
AWARD-WINNING SOLUTIONS IN BIRMINGHAM
AFS Foundation Repair & Waterproofing Specialists (AFS), a Groundworks Company, specializes in helping homeowners with their foundation repair, waterproofing, and concrete needs. Our top priority is providing high-quality home repair solutions and personalized service across Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Florida, and Tennessee. With fully trained technicians, industry-leading products, and nationally backed warranties, AFS is here to restore your basement, foundation, or crawl space.
Cracked bricks, sticking doors and windows, and cracks around door frames are signs of foundation problems.
Not sure what’s causing your home’s wet basement? Let one of our experts take a look.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
Addressing all of your crawl space’s issues will promote energy efficiency and comfort in your home.
THE AFS REPAIR PROCESS
Why Homeowners Choose AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
Since 2000, AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists – A Groundworks Company – has specialized in helping homeowners permanently repair and protect their homes with quality solutions. Our basement waterproofing, foundation repair, crawl space repair and encapsulation, and concrete lifting and leveling services and solutions have been trusted by homeowners in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi for more than 20 years.
Our highly trained, experienced, and friendly staff of more than 250 employees will treat your home as their own because we know how important it is to you, and we will help you protect your home for a lifetime. Experience our high-quality work and personalized service for yourself by contacting us today to book a free inspection and estimate.
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Foundation Repair in Birmingham
Your home’s foundation is only as stable as the ground it’s built on. For homeowners in Birmingham, that’s the problem. The soil beneath and around your Birmingham soil is expansive clay. This type of soil expands when wet and shrinks when dry. Considering the area gets around 56 inches of rain annually, the soil around your home is generally swollen, adding pressure to your foundation walls. This pressure leads to cracking and leaking. Foundation settlement is also possible when the soil shrinks during dry periods. Look for signs of foundation cracks, sticking doors and windows, and a tilting chimney. Our proven solutions, like the wall anchor system or piering system, ensure your home is stabilized for years to come.
Birmingham Crawl Space Repair
Moisture is the number one culprit in a crawl space. Between the 56 inches of rain annually and the humid weather basically year-round, your crawl space doesn’t stand a chance. Standing water and humidity lead to condensation, mold, mildew, and wood rot. This type of damp, dark environment also attracts pests, which never stay below your floors for long. AFS offers customized crawl space encapsulation to lock out moisture in your crawl space. Our vapor barriers are sealed to the walls and floor, while drainage, sump pumps, and dehumidifiers control moisture throughout the crawl space. Because of the expansive clay soil in Birmingham crawl space support jacks may also be necessary.
Basement Waterproofing in Birmingham
The 56 inches of rain annually can lead to periods of flooding and your unprotected basement could be in big trouble. Anyone with a wet basement in Birmingham knows it’s not just during floods that water enters. Once a homeowner sees water, it won’t correct itself. Look for floor and wall cracks where water can enter, as well as efflorescence, condensation, and damp concrete where the floor and the wall meet. Waterproofing your basement with AFS means a permanent solution using below-grade drains, sump pumps, or a water vapor barrier on the walls. Once your Birmingham basement is waterproofed you can enjoy your basement for years to come.
Birmingham Concrete lifting and Leveling
Similar to your foundation, it’s Birmingham’s expansive clay soil that is to blame for your cracked, uneven, or sinking concrete slabs. If your driveway, sidewalk, or pool deck is uneven your home value is negatively impacted. Forget messy mudjacking and replacement that don’t address the cause of the problem. PolyRenewal™ is a polyurethane foam injected under the slab to stabilize the troublesome soil and gently lift and level your concrete slabs, restoring your home value and your curb appeal.
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If you are looking to encapsulate your crawl space, we recommend that you contact a professional to undertake the process on your behalf. This is far more effective and efficient. Trying to go it alone could have disastrous consequences.
DIY Encapsulation Can Go Wrong
Waterproofing and encapsulation are straightforward processes, but that doesn’t mean this is an easy task that should be undertaken by just anyone. This process can go wrong very quickly and will cause serious issues when it does. One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is to skip the inspection phase or to fail to inspect homes thoroughly. In order for encapsulation to be successful, it is important that you diagnose all damage and repair it.
If you do not notice and repair all structural and internal damage, you will either cover up the warning signs or create an environment that traps moisture and incubates any spores that find their way inside. When this happens, the process of things like wood rot will be accelerated. Worse still, the signs of structural damage or underlying issues will be covered up until they cause some form of collapse in the wider structure of your home.
Professionals Have the Right Skills
As well as having the ability to diagnose all underlying and co-occurring issues, professionals have the tools and skills to repair things like foundation damage and wood rot in a safe and effective manner. This means that by the time they start encapsulating your crawl space, your home will be in better condition than before they arrived. This guarantees that your waterproofing and encapsulation will be more durable in the long run.
Along with a good gutter and downspout system, there are other things you can invest in to improve your home’s drainage. Downspout extensions at least 10 feet long should be attached to the bottom of downspouts to properly move water away from the foundation. Extensions also can be placed in the ground to improve safety and appearance.
The slope or grade of the soil and landscaping around your home also is extremely important. There must be a positive grade so water moves down and away from the foundation. Otherwise, with a negative grade, water will move down and towards the foundation and then lead to problems like leaks and wall cracks.
If you have started to notice a lean, tilt, or buckling in some of your basement walls, then there are several issues that could be at work. Broadly speaking, however, the most common causes of bowing walls in any basement are hydrostatic pressure and foundation damage.
Hydrostatic pressure is a natural phenomenon caused by the weight of the water in the soil around a property. All homes are subject to hydrostatic pressure, and all homes are designed to withstand it. Of course, even the best designed property has a threshold for pressure. When hydrostatic pressure becomes too great for a home, it can cause bowing walls. This happens because of how it exerts lateral pressure.
Most basement walls are made of concrete, and concrete has a low tensile strength when compared to its compressive strength. Hydrostatic pressure tests its tensile strength by exerting lateral pressure, which is the main cause of a bowing wall. Many things can increase hydrostatic pressure around a home including poor drainage, heavy rainfall, underground water sources, and localized flooding.
Foundation Damage and Movement
Alternatively, bowing walls can be caused by foundation damage and movement. When this happens, it occurs because of the direct connection between basement walls and a property’s foundation. Any sinking, lateral movement, or fragmentation in the foundation can lead to an excess of pressure or a lack of support to the basement walls. This will then cause bowing, leaning, or buckling over time. Foundation movement and damage are also highly influenced by soil saturation.
Sudden flooding, heavy storms, or poor perimeter drainage can all contribute to foundation movement by making the soil unstable, marshy, or weak. In the cases of serious and dramatic flooding (for example, during a storm surge), the force of water hitting a home can also cause foundation movement. Any movement in your property’s structure poses a risk of cracking, fragmentation, and destabilization over time.
If you’re a handy person and you’ve fixed many things around your home by yourself, you might look at a settled slab and think you’re up for the challenge. However, concrete lifting isn’t a simple repair job—It requires a lot of knowledge and specialized tools to do the job right. The first thing you have to understand is that it’s not a one-man job. Concrete slabs are heavy, and you’ll need assistance in order to lift them enough to fill them with material. Handling heavy concrete is very difficult and dangerous and you can either seriously injure yourself or simply break the concrete and have to replace it anyway.
The second thing you should realize is that you won’t be able to obtain the right materials to do the job properly. Traditionally, contractors use cement to lift concrete slabs. Buying and making a cement mixture is pretty easy, but it’s not the best way to lift concrete slabs. Cement is too heavy and compresses the soil even further, eventually making the settling worse. What you need is polyurethane injections to put an end to the settling.
Polyurethane foam that’s used in concrete lifting is better than mudjacking because polyurethane foam is an inert material that neither places pressure on soil or erodes with water. It cures in 15 minutes and most concrete lifting jobs with the foam can be done in less than a day. AFS contractors are the only ones who can inject this specific foam with the care and expertise your slab requires. As tempting as it may be to try to do it all yourself, you should sit back, relax, and let us do the heavy lifting for you.