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Foundation Repair and Basement Waterproofing in Charleston, WV

Charleston experiences humid summers and freezing winters. Both can have effects on your home, no matter what kind of foundation you have.

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Basement Waterproofing in Charleston, WV

Your basement serves many important functions for your Charleston home. Besides supporting the floors and walls, you might also use your basement as extra living space, a laundry room, or for storage purposes. No matter what you use it for, basements are at risk for water damage. Since they sit below the surface, draining water from precipitation can put pressure on your basement walls and potentially leak through cracks in the wall. Charleston receives around 46 inches of rain annually, which is more than the national average. For that reason, taking advantage of basement waterproofing solutions from Basement Authority of West Virginia keeps your home safe.

We offer different solutions ranging from vapor barriers, wall reinforcement, and dehumidifiers to keep moisture out of your basement for good. All of these solutions keep your Charleston home’s basement dry to prevent water damage from overtaking your basement and causing further issues such as mold, efflorescence, or musty odors. With our tools, your basement stays dry permanently and keeps your home undisturbed for years! Contact us today to learn more about how your basement and home can benefit from our customizable and permanent basement waterproofing and repair solutions.


Foundation Repair in Charleston, WV

All homes rely on a sturdy foundation to stay structurally sound. So, when the foundation of your Charleston home is damaged, it causes major problems for your home. You can identify if foundation damage has occurred in your home by looking for a few different problem signs. Most commonly, homeowners may notice uneven floors, sticking doors and windows, or a tilting chimney. These are just some of the problem signs you might run into. How does foundation damage occur in the first place? Well, just like your Charleston home relies on the foundation, your foundation relies on the soil below it. When soil becomes weak, it causes your foundation to settle and sink into the ground. Monongahela silt loam soil that is prevalent throughout West Virginia has a tendency to weaken and settle.

Soil becomes weak in three ways –being too wet, being too dry, or being poorly packed together. In Charleston, homeowners should be wary of the phenomenon known as soil washout. This is when rain and other forms of moisture cause soil particles to erode. Humid summers and annual rainfall in Charleston are major sources that cause soil washout. Foundation repair solutions such as pier systems, wall anchors, and crawl space supports can all defend against the negative effects of weak soil.

Concrete Lifting in Charleston, WV

Chances are, you rely on one or multiple concrete structures in your everyday life. This might include a driveway, sidewalk, or concrete steps. Regardless of the concrete structure, soil problems put these structures at risk for damage. Cracked concrete, uneven sidewalks, and unlevel steps are all serious problems many homeowners face –especially during the winter months in Charleston, where freezing temperatures cause water below the soil to expand. Anything that damages the soil is likely to damage your concrete too. Thankfully, Basement Authority of West Virginia has concrete lifting solutions for you.

For the majority of concrete issues, our team makes use of PolyRenewal™, a polyurethane foam injection system that lifts and stabilizes concrete on Charleston properties. This material is durable enough to hold the weight of concrete yet starts out in a semi-liquified solution that is inserted below cracked concrete. Once injected, the foam expands and hardens, pushing everything back into place. Even better, PolyRenewal™ is eco-friendly and waterproof, so it won’t damage your Charleston property with harmful chemicals.

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Foundations settle in three ways, each of which is more disruptive than the others. The first is uniform settling, which occurs when the home starts to sink uniformly. Although this type of settling is uncommon since soil nearly never erodes uniformly, it does occur. Warped and disconnected handrails from front porches and decks are the most evident indications of this type of settling. Because these portions of the house are not connected to the foundation, they will begin to separate from the rest of the structure as the house sinks.

Tipping settlement is the second type of settling, and it occurs when the home begins to sink to one side. The foundation remains intact with this type of settling, therefore cracks are limited, though this does not guarantee that this will always be the case. Uneven flooring, tilted chimneys, basement leaks, and disconnected decks and front porches are the most visible indicators of tilting settlement. Again, just because there are no fractures in the foundation due to tilting settlement does not mean the structure of your home is safe. If allowed to progress, this type of settling can quickly evolve into the most disruptive: differential settlement.

Differential settling occurs when a section of your foundation separates from the rest of the house and settles on uneven ground. Foundation fractures are prevalent with this type of settlement, which can result in basement flooding from groundwater, warped window and door frames, damaged floor joists, upstairs wall and ceiling cracks, and a home that is less energy efficient. The other types of settling are inconvenient for your property, but differential settlement is very damaging, costing you far more in repairs. Call us for a free home assessment and rapid, permanent repair solutions if you fear your Charleston house’s foundation is settling in this way.

A finished basement resembles the upstairs portion of the house in appearance and function. They usually have appropriate lighting, heating, and cooling, and all of the electrical wires and pipes are hidden. Even though your basement is done, you will have leaking and flooding issues if the right waterproofing solutions were not implemented. A basement cannot be considered finished unless it has addressed all foundation waterproofing issues. Most finished basements focus solely on concealing the most unsightly aspects of the space (concrete and exposed wiring and plumbing), ignoring the location.

A finished basement may appear to be much like any other room in the house, but keep in mind that it is either totally or partially underground. Because the soil surrounding your basement is continually wet with water, it will always be the most humid portion of your house. When it rains, the environment changes and becomes more humid, but your home is unaffected once the moisture has evaporated. However, because warm, humid air enters your home through your foundation first, your basement is different.

For a finished basement, a sump pump and dehumidifier aren’t enough, especially if you live in Charleston. Because of the region’s humid subtropical environment, you’ll need to be prepared to combat the moisture that seeps into your basement on a daily basis. The easiest approach to catch moisture that runs down the walls is with an interior drainage system paired with a sump pump. A vapor barrier can be used to prevent water vapor from damaging your concrete and fostering mold growth. This vapor barrier has a clean appearance on its own, but it may also be hidden beneath drywall to give your basement the appearance you desire.

Every slab of concrete settles at some point. Because settling is caused by two factors outside our control (weather and soil), there isn’t much we can do but safeguard our concrete as much as possible. The truth is that predicting how long it will take for a new concrete slab to settle is impossible due to the numerous variables involved. Even on your own property, concrete may not settle at the same rate; your driveway slabs may settle first, followed by your patio slabs.

The earth is a key element of what causes concrete to settle. Because the soil in Charleston is silt loam, the erosion type must be considered. While these deep soils tend to be well-drained, water can still impact them and cause them to shift, settle, and wash out. This can impact concrete slabs above the soil including in your driveway, sidewalk, and pool deck. You can add a cover to certain spots to protect the concrete and the soil from water.

Due to vegetation, other outdoor slabs may be better protected. If the concrete paths in your yard are surrounded by shrubs and foliage, they may not be the first slabs to settle. Nonetheless, because concrete settling is such an unpredictable phenomenon, you should always be on the alert for it. Remember that if your brand-new slab settles, it’s not the slab’s fault; you can lift and stabilize it using a concrete lifting solution like PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injections from Basement Authority of West Virginia.

The zone of saturation is a subterranean area where the soil is constantly saturated with water. An invisible line known as the water table marks the start of the saturation zone. The groundwater in the zone of saturation does not dry out, unlike the land above this line, because it is too deep underground to be influenced by specific meteorological conditions. The water table does, however, rise during the rainiest season of the year.

Even within the same state, the depth of the water tables varies substantially. The water table in some regions is shallow enough to generate hydrostatic pressure against the basement walls. You can always talk to a professional who can check the depth of your water table to determine whether it’s something to be concerned about. During the summer, when the water table has risen because of all the rain, try to check. Also, because the water table is greater surrounding a body of water, be cautious around lakes and ponds.

It is extremely hazardous for your Charleston home’s foundation to be close to the saturation zone. Basement leaks and flooding are becoming increasingly common, and the groundwater’s hydrostatic pressure can ruin your basement walls. The only method to eliminate the continual humidity and wetness that surrounds your foundation is to use waterproofing solutions. The closer your foundation gets to the zone, the more waterproof it should be.

You can have as many sump pumps as you want, but they won’t be able to stop the water vapor from entering the crawl space of your Charleston home. Humidity levels will always be high unless the room is completely encased with a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is a thick sheet that is used to seal the crawl space off from the outside world and prevent moisture from entering. If you’re looking for a vapor barrier for your crawl space, you’re probably asking where you can obtain one. However, there are a number of reasons why you should leave it to the professionals.

First, no one knows crawl spaces like foundation and crawl space specialists. You must be able to apply the vapor barrier correctly to encapsulate a crawl space, or moisture will find a way into the area. Because water vapor has such a long lifespan, any missed area will result in a humid crawl space. Many store-bought vapor barriers aren’t thick enough to accomplish the job, thus encapsulation works best when the correct materials are used. Professionals have access to better materials, such as our thick and durable 20-mil CrawlSeal™ vapor barrier.

Another reason you shouldn’t try to encapsulate your crawl space on your own is the hazard involved. A flooded crawl area is filthy, insect-infested, and most likely moldy. If this is your first time working in your crawl space, expect to be there for several days as you complete your job. Long-term mold exposure might cause respiratory difficulties for the rest of your life. Not only can experts work more quickly, but they also know how to be safe no matter what is in your crawl space.

If the floorboards in your Charleston home don’t appear to be broken but the floor is still sinking, have the basement or crawl space examined. It’s nearly usually a sign that something is wrong with your floor joists, not your floorboards, when you have bouncy floors. There are a variety of reasons why your floor joists are breaking and depending on the cause and how quickly you can address it, you’ll need to either repair or replace them. Wood rot or waterlogged wood can cause damage to floor joists. Both are adverse effects of a foundation that isn’t waterproofed adequately.

Fungi can infect wood, and they require organic materials to survive. The fungus weakens the structure by eating away at the wood, causing it to soften, crumble, and even shrink in size. The floor sags because the wooden joists are no longer sturdy enough to hold it. If found early enough, the rot can be treated and the joist stabilized, eliminating the need for replacement. Because wood does not regain its strength once it has been degraded, if the joist has been severely damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Because wood is an absorbent substance, it absorbs water when exposed to it. Wood behaves similarly to clay soils in that it expands when wet and contracts when dry. Because the water it absorbs affects the wood on a molecular level, when it becomes waterlogged, it becomes extremely soft, resulting in bouncing floors. Even if the joist’s moisture content dries out, the wood is now significantly smaller than before, and it no longer supports the flooring as well as it did before it became wet. You may need to replace the joist depending on how weak it has become, similar to wood rot, but that’s something only a foundation specialist can assess.

Clarksburg Local Office

Basement Authority of West Virginia

1807 West Pike Street Ste C
Clarksburg, WV 26301

Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 7 pm
Sunday: 12 pm – 8 pm

PROUDLY SERVING WEST VIRGINIA

Clarksburg, WV

1807 West Pike Street Ste C
Clarksburg, WV 26301