Nashville Basement Waterproofing & Foundation Repair
Springtime means storms in Nashville, TN, and Tennessee is one of the wettest states in the U.S. That can make waterproofing solutions and foundation repair vital.
Basement And Crawl Space Waterproofing in Nashville
If you live in Nashville, nobody needs to tell you about how much rain there is. While all that rainfall is good for the vegetation, it’s actually detrimental for the health of your basement. Most basements and crawl spaces are not designed to keep water out, so all that precipitation only serves to raise the humidity in the underground portion of your home. Humidity can be dangerous if it’s left unchecked long-term because of mold, so even if you don’t experience flooding or leaking, try to determine the humidity levels of the space.
Waterproofing your basement can open a lot of possibilities. Without water drainage problems, you can spend more time there, store items that are sensitive to humidity, and even renovate it and turn it into a lounge or extra bedroom. As long as you let the moisture dictate what your basement looks and smells like, it will be the most tedious part of your Nashville house to maintain.
As for your crawl space, your house depends on its structure in order to stay upright. A humid crawl space is crawling with insects, ravaged by mold, and broken down to the point where it affects your floors and walls. Luckily, we offer multiple waterproofing solutions for both crawl spaces and basements in Nashville.
Nashville Foundation Repair
Sagging floors, jamming doors, warped window frames, and cracks appearing on your walls all indicate that you’ve got foundation problems. Foundation problems are unfortunately inevitable and every house, no matter how well preserved, will face these issues. This is because of the changes in moisture in the surrounding soil. There isn’t much homeowners can do about soil saturation, so it’s up to you to spot foundation settling when the time comes. After you’ve identified the problem, you can contact AFS to help you with your Nashville home’s problem.
We offer different services depending on your structure and specific problem. Nashville is built upon Dickson soil, which is soft and brittle at the top but gets firmer the further you go down. Helical piers are excellent for settling homes that rest upon a soft topsoil. Push piers are another popular option we can install depending on your needs.
If your foundation walls are bowing, we have wall anchors that can brace your wall. Notice how we offer solutions that don’t involve replacing anything. At AFS, we believe that targeted repairs for your Nashville home eliminate the need for replacing your structure. Replacing something is often a long, uncomfortable procedure. Why do that when we offer quick, efficient solutions instead?
Concrete Lifting in Nashville
A settled concrete slab usually puts Nashville homeowners in a bad mood. This is because they believe that the only way to fix the issue would be to replace the slab. Replacing a settled concrete slab is actually a lot more expensive and time-consuming than simply lifting the concrete. The only time a slab should be replaced is when it is so broken up, it’s not worth putting it all back together. If the slab is still intact and no significant breakage has occurred, the slab will be back to normal in no time with polyurethane foam injections.
Nashville’s soil is incredibly friable and becomes displaced very easily. Because the soil under the slab eroded, there’s nothing supporting the slab anymore, which is what causes the settling. Instead of filling the gap with more soil and replacing the gap, the problem can be permanently fixed with polyurethane foam. The foam is injected under the slab, where it will take 15 minutes to fully cure. Now, your slab is supported by a reliable material that will not wash away with time.
Filling in the gap under the concrete benefits you in various ways. Not only is evening out the floor safer, it also makes your Nashville property look brand new and makes it more difficult for rodents and other creatures to make a home under the slab.
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Frequently Asked Questions
About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Nashville
Have you ever wondered why your house is so cold during the winter and so hot during the summer? Chances are, it’s because of your poorly insulated crawl space or basement. Your home’s sub-level plays a huge role in the temperature regulation of your home due to the way air naturally flows in a house. During the summer, hot air from the outside makes its way into your crawl space or basement and then rises towards the rest of your home. During winter, the opposite happens and the warm air in your home escapes through the basement or crawl space.
This is because warm air will always naturally move towards colder temperatures. Obviously, this is a problem because it means you are having trouble setting your home to a comfortable temperature and will run your HVAC system for longer than you need to. In order to fix this, you need to insulate your home’s sub-level. Insulation will keep the warm air in the crawl space or basement and will not allow any of it to rise to your home. Not only will this help with thermal control around your home, but it can also lower your energy bills and warm up your floor during the winter.
The best insulation you can get for a basement or crawl space is reflective insulation. There are other types, but they will not work for underground spaces because they are absorbent. They not only absorb the heat in the space, but the moisture as well. Too much moisture and the material stops working like it should. Reflective insulation, on the other hand, keeps the heat in a space by bouncing the heat off each panel, making it perfect for humid spaces.
As bad as foundation settling may seem, there are plenty of repair methods that can be used to even everything out and solve the issue. Now, is there such a thing as too much settling? How long could one go without repairs? Is there a limit to how far things can go before they’re beyond repair? Well, the only way foundation settling would cross that line is if it got to a point where you could no longer live in your own home.
The foundation repair methods used at AFS focus on precision and accuracy. Even the most unsound foundations can survive the repair process without any setbacks because our tools barely disturb the structure. It would be difficult to find a foundation that would not be able to handle the procedures. If the foundation was so unsound that it would crumble at the slightest disturbance, chances are, you’re not living in that kind of house.
Significant foundation settling eventually becomes a major safety risk. Because a chunk of the house is tearing itself away from the foundation, the rest of the house will begin to fall apart. It starts with a few cracks along the walls here and there, then sagging floors. As time goes on, the cracks grow wider and wider until your ceiling is caving in above you and staying in the house puts your life at risk. Before it gets that far, contact your local foundation repair experts to permanently fix your foundation problems.
One of the reasons crawl spaces and basements need to be waterproof is to deter moisture from raising the humidity levels in your entire home. Due to the stack effect, the air that’s in your uninsulated crawl space or basement will rise to the rest of your home. This might not seem like a big deal because you think you can just air it out, but the problem isn’t with the humid air itself: the problem is with what the air contains. If there’s excessive humidity in your crawl space or basement, there’s bound to be mold growth as well. When the humid air rises, it brings along with it all those fungal spores from the crawl space.
Long-term exposure to mold is extremely harmful to your health. Those that have allergies or weak immune systems are especially vulnerable because mold attacks the respiratory system. Spores stick to surfaces for a very long time, so breathing them in means allowing them to settle on your lungs and in your throat. If your home is frequently invaded by musty smells during the summer, it’s a clear indicator that humid air is rising from below your home. It’s not enough to simply open all the windows and let the air out because if the sub-level is open, more air will rise from there.
The stack effect also means that the overall humidity levels in your home rise, leading to mold growth in your home as well. Years of exposure to mold will cause permanent damage to your respiratory system, so it’s not to be taken lightly. Waterproofing your basement or crawl space will make it so that no humidity thrives in that part of your home. Sealing the space off so that no humidity gets in also means that no humidity will get out, so say goodbye to those weird summer smells. This can be done with a combination of numerous waterproofing solutions, such as vapor barriers, dehumidifiers, sump pumps, insulation panels, and interior drainage systems.
A homeowner that wants to care for their foundation will be very careful to disturb the soil as little as possible, especially if there are already existing problems. While changes in the soil are unpreventable, there are measures that can be taken to reduce displacement. This sometimes means making certain lifestyle changes that focus on limiting the exposure the soil has to water. This can be tough, however, especially given how hot Nashville summers can be. You might be tempted to set up an inflatable pool in your yard for you and your family and want to know how badly it will affect your soil and thus, your foundation.
The first thing you should consider is where your foundation stands in terms of damage. If you’ve been experiencing advanced settling and have multiple structural issues around your home, it’s best you put the inflatable pool away. The more a home settles, the more dangerous it becomes to live in. You want to try to slow down the settling as much as possible while you set things in motion for a repair job. Having a pool, especially a heavy one, splashing water all over your soil will not help.
If you’re sure you have a positive yard grade and you don’t have any severe foundation problems, go ahead with the inflatable pool. This doesn’t mean that the pool will not affect the soil just because your yard doesn’t have drainage problems. Nashville’s soil breaks apart very easily and will erode slightly while the pool is in use. However, it’s impossible to fully prevent soil erosion or displacement, and the rain does more to erode soil than a simple pool that will be used for a few weeks. Just make sure the pool is set up several feet away from your home and that it’s put away once summer is over.
Being a responsible homeowner is hard work. There’s a lot you need to keep an eye on in order to keep things in perfect order. We’re not always capable of being on top of things to make sure it’s all going smoothly, so some shortcuts might be in order from time to time. If you have a crawl space that either isn’t waterproof or is only partially so, how often should you keep an eye on it for problems?
You need to pay extra attention to your crawl space during the spring. Nashville is prone to some severe storms during the spring that can alter your soil significantly. Stormy weather also brings about clogged gutters and drains. Without proper maintenance, the drainage system becomes overloaded and will be unable to properly get rid of the water around your property. Drainage systems in and around your home are more likely to stop working during this time of year because of the unforgiving elements.
A properly waterproofed crawl space is in less danger of flooding during the spring than one that doesn’t have all the installations in place. It’s still important to take a look around your property every few days during this time, but only as a precaution. Modern sump pump systems like our AquaStop Compact Crawl Space Sump Pump can alert homeowners of any problems or leaks in the crawl space. Systems like these minimizes the amount of work you need to do to make sure everything is working as it should. This way, you have more time enjoying your home than worrying about its conditions.
Once you learn that the only way to keep your basement healthy is by waterproofing it, it really makes you wonder: Why aren’t basements waterproof from the start? If keeping water out is so important, they should be built with that idea in mind, right? To answer that question, we have to define what basements are used for. Basements are used as utility spaces where the plumbing, boiler, HVAC unit, breaker panel, and other items are stored away. Even though many homeowners are converting their basements into a livable area, they were never meant to be used that way.
Things like proper insulation and a proper drainage system were typically never installed because all a basement needs to do is function properly as a foundation and an underground storage space. As long as it’s all built up to code, there’s no reason as to why it should have to be waterproof unless the owner of the property specifically asks for it. Some construction crews may not be proactive enough to put any waterproofing methods in place, even when they know it will harm the house in the future. Sticking to tradition can also be the reason why these construction crews refuse to build things differently. Other times, the crew simply doesn’t have the experience or the tools to do the waterproofing work.
How updated state codes are is another big reason why basements are built the way they are. If the state codes have yet to catch up to the latest building trends and ways of doing things, there’s nothing the contractors can do to make things different. Sometimes, getting the necessary paperwork to do things differently is so troublesome due to outdated codes that the contractors don’t bother and stick to doing things the old-fashioned way.
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AFS Foundation & Waterproofing
1519 Heil Quaker Blvd.
LaVergne, TN 37086
Phone: (615) 246-7220
Phone: (615) 235-0525