Crawl Space Encapsulation and Foundation Repair in Dothan, AL
Located in the Coastal Plains geographical region of Alabama, Dothan experiences heavy rain throughout the year and is home to sandy soils. This combination can cause many problems for your foundation, but AFS has solutions designed to keep your home safe.
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Award-Winning Solutions in Dothan
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.
Addressing all of your crawl space’s issues will promote energy efficiency and comfort in your home.
Why Homeowners Choose AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
There is a reason that homeowners in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida have trusted AFS, A Groundworks Company, to repair their foundations since 2000. Our values revolve around building relationships with homeowners in our communities, and providing safe, quality service with integrity. With awards from Home Advisor and Angi, as well as accreditations from the Better Business Bureau, you can count on AFS to provide the best foundation repair service in the Dothan area.
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Crawl Space Repair & Encapsulation in Dothan
Being closer to the coast, it helps to have extra protection from flooding. Your crawl space provides your home with some of that protection and acts as the foundation of your home along the way. However, Dothan’s humid environment and 55 inches of annual rain (well above average) put your crawl space at risk, transferring tons of moisture below your home as water drains into the soil and evaporates. Without protection, your crawl space will suffer from problem signs like high humidity, wood rot, and musty odors. But AFS will provide lasting moisture protection with crawl space solutions including vapor barriers, dehumidifiers, and crawl space drains.
Foundation Repair in Dothan
Many yards in the southeastern region of Alabama contain sandy, loamy soils. While these provide sturdy ground for your foundation to rest on, Dothan’s above-average annual rainfall causes erosion – especially in the summer months when humidity and precipitation levels are highest. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for the ground to hold your heavy foundation and leads to structural issues like settlement and sinking, wall cracks,a tilting chimney, or uneven floors. At AFS, we use industry-leading pier systems, wall anchors, crawl space supports, and more to protect your foundation against weak soil, even during heavy rain or humidity.
Basement Waterproofing in Dothan
Being located underground makes basements particularly susceptible to water damage. Basements in Dothan are no exception, especially because of the area’s 55 inches of annual rainfall. As precipitation bombards the sandy, loamy soils in your yard, tons of water drain below the surface and begin to put pressure on your basement’s walls. Over time, the growing pressure causes the walls to bow and crack. This leads to problem signs like a leaky basement, floor cracks, and standing water. In order to keep your basement protected from water long-term, AFS uses solutions such as sump pumps, vapor barriers, and below ground drains.
Concrete Lifting & Leveling in Dothan
Since concrete is not a flexible material, any damage to the soil supporting it will cause damage. Soil washout is one of the biggest reasons this happens to concrete in Dothan. Heavy precipitation in the area easily erodes sandy soils and makes it nearly impossible for heavy concrete to be held in place. As a result, it sinks into the surface and leaves you with uneven and cracked sections. To combat this problem, AFS uses PolyRenewal™, a polyurethane injection system that is strong enough to hold the weight of a semi-truck just 15 minutes after insulation. Polyurethane is waterproof, so once it has filled gaps below the concrete, rain will no longer soak into the soil or cause problems in the future.
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.