Crawl Space Repair & Basement Waterproofing in Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga has sandy, silty soil and a rainy climate that can cause damage to your home’s concrete and foundation, as well as the basement and crawl space.
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Award-Winning Solutions in Chattanooga
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.
Why Homeowners Choose AFS Repair
Since 2000, AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists – A Groundworks Company – has specialized in helping homeowners have peace of mind knowing their homes are stable and dry. We have grown from a small company operating out of a home garage in north Alabama to a company with multiple locations all over the Southeast and over 250 employees serving Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi. AFS is proud to have an established reputation for high quality work and personalized service. We attribute our success to closely adhering to our core values in all we do. See our full service area.
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Foundation Repair in Chattanooga
Humid summers and wet winters in Chattanooga create a very damp environment for your foundation. Thankfully, most of the soil in Chattanooga drains easily; however, long strings of rainfall are likely to cause flooding which will saturate the soil and cause it to become eroded. If soil becomes unstable, it doesn’t support your foundation well enough and will lead to foundation settlement. In some parts of Chattanooga, soil may contain high amounts of clay. When exposed to rain or snow, the clay particles expand and cause the soil to push against your foundation. This pressure creates cracks and bowing walls. When it comes to foundation repair, we offer a range of solutions. Wall anchor systems repair your buckling walls, while pier systems work to lift and stabilize your foundation.
Basement Waterproofing in Chattanooga
When Chattanooga is hit by floods or heavy rain, your basement is vulnerable to water damage. Keep a lookout for efflorescence, a white powdery residue that appears on concrete walls and floors when water seeps in through cracks. Water inside your basement also causes hazardous issues like mold and musty odors. Additionally, the humid environment in Chattanooga leads to condensation in your basement and aggravates water damage even further. Waterproofing your foundation is important because it keeps your health and home safe. Whether installing a sump pump or a wall vapor barrier, waterproofing solutions protect your basement and its contents in the long run.
Crawl Space Repair & Encapsulation in Chattanooga
Because of the rain and high humidity in Chattanooga, TN, any unprotected crawl space is at risk of damage. Once moisture gets inside your crawl space, mold and wood rot are able to thrive. Our crawl space encapsulation solutions, such as the installation of a vapor barrier and crawl space dehumidifier, help control moisture levels in your crawl space and the rest of your home. Increased water in your crawl space also leads to structural damage like rotted floor joists. Protect your home and crawl space by having your crawl space structurally repaired with steel crawl space support posts.
Concrete Lifting in Chattanooga
Chattanooga’s climate poses a challenge to homeowners trying to keep their concrete smooth and even. The combination of silty loam soil and year-round rain creates an environment that puts concrete at risk of cracking and developing tripping hazards around the house. This is because while the soil drains easily, the top layer of silty loam is washed away by rain. If your concrete has become uneven, cracked, or sunken, PolyRenewal™ is a valuable solution. The innovative polyurethane injection is designed to lift, repair, and stabilize your concrete in as little as 15 minutes. With PolyRenewal™, you can both repair your concrete and improve the curb appeal of your home. Plus, it’s a long-lasting solution that helps you maintain stable concrete surfaces in the long run.
Gutters in Chattanooga
Chattanooga typically receives more than 50 inches of rain in a year, so having the proper water management systems in place around your home is critical. Your gutters and downspouts are responsible for collecting and diverting this water to prevent excess saturation around your foundation. They can clog, leak, and suffer other damage that leads to additional problems with your home’s foundation. Our quality solutions like our gutter topper, gutter guards, seamless gutters, and downspout extensions will help protect your Tennessee home.
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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.