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Baltimore, MD Metro Area

The cold and often wet climate around Baltimore can cause many problems for a home’s foundation and exterior concrete surfaces.

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Award Winning Baltimore Basement Waterproofing & Crawl Space Encapsulation  

As the largest city in Maryland, Baltimore is a cultural and economic hub located less than an hour outside of Washington DC. With a mix of newer and older homes, owners take pride in where they live. However, from the Federal Hill neighborhood to the Patterson Park area, it’s not uncommon that foundation problems steal value from homes.   

Unfortunately, there are several factors that combine to make foundation problems in the Baltimore area worse. The areas well-drained Typic Hapludults soil, the humid subtropical climate, and above-average rainfall spell trouble for homeowners. The Baltimore area experiences about 42 inches of rain annually, which is well above the national annual average, meaning the soil around your home gets saturated often. Add in the area’s humid summers and a variety of foundation and basement problems are likely.   

If you notice cracks in your foundation, musty smells coming from your crawl space, or a wet, damp basement, the trained experts at JES Foundation Repair can help. With nearly 30 years of experience working in Baltimore neighborhoods, we understand the unique soil and climate concerns and have developed an extensive product lineup to repair even the most damaged foundations. You can rest assured you’re in good hands.   

Baltimore Basement Waterproofing Repairs

The health of your home begins at the foundation. If you have water leaks, or a damp, wet basement, you are putting the safety of your home at risk. Although not uncommon in the Baltimore area, these problems should be addressed as soon as they are realized. Like previously mentioned, the Typic Hapludults soil that surrounds your home becomes saturated from the above-average rain. Saturated soil is heavy and can find its way into your home wherever there is a weak point. A common entry point is at the cove, or where the floor and the wall meet. This is because the concrete floor and the walls of your basement were poured at different times, allowing a weak spot to appear and groundwater to enter.  Once water enters, any organic material, like drywall or carpet must be completely dried or removed or mold is sure to grow.   

Keep an eye out for discolored cement or drywall near the base of the walls, pooling water, white deposits on concrete structures, or crumbling concrete. These are all signs of a water management problem that needs to be repaired.  

The professionals at JES Foundation Repair offer proven solutions to keep your basement dry. Our interior drain system runs along the perimeter and collects water from the ground and the walls before it can do damage to your space. Because water can enter your home from various locations, this solution addresses everything at once, ensuring a dry basement for years to come. The water collected is then pumped out and away from the home using a sump pump.  Ensuring the water is removed more than 8 feet away from your home, guarantees you won’t be repumping the same water over and over. It’s also a good idea to check the gutters and downspouts on your home to ensure they are free flowing and directing the water far from your home’s foundation as well.   

Foundation Repair Options in Baltimore  

cost to repair your foundation

The Baltimore area’s soil plays a factor in your foundation’s health as well. The soil, although well-draining, has still been known to put a tremendous amount of pressure on basement walls because it gets extremely heavy when saturated. This pressure, when focused against your foundation walls causes them to crack and bow inward. As a homeowner, look for stair-step cracks in your foundation walls or an inward tilt. This may or may not be accompanied by water leaking.   

Another problem Baltimore’s old and new homeowners need to be aware of is foundation settlement. Because the soil surrounding your home is well-draining, it becomes saturated during rain, but then dries and shrinks during dry periods. This constant swell/shrink cycle can cause the soil to wash out, leaving gaps near your foundation. When this happens your home no longer has the support needed and settles into the gaps created. Unfortunately, this never happens evenly. This causes cracking that is visible both in your home’s foundation walls as well as the living areas above your foundation. Check for foundation cracks outside and inside as well as sticking doors and windows, a tilting chimney, or gaps above door frames. These are all signs of potential foundation problems.  

Luckily JES Foundation Repair is able to stabilize your foundation and repair any damage, preventing it from getting worse. Our trained inspectors will do a full inspection and suggest the right repair method for your home’s situation.   

For wall repair, our SettleStop IntelliBrace™ Wall Repair System and SettleStop Wall Anchors stabilize failing foundation walls and can even straighten bowed walls over time. The SettleStop Pier System solves settlement problems by transferring the weight of your home to steel piers driven deep into solid ground, offering support and possible lift. All of our cutting-edge repair solutions are customizable to fit the needs of your unique home since they are made in-house.   

Baltimore Crawl Space Encapsulation & Repair  

Older homes, as well as newer ones, can both experience crawl space issues.  Older homes, however, tend to suffer from more server problems because of how they were built and since the red flags are allowed to fester for years before they are addressed. Older homes typically were built with crawl space vents. Although installing vents were the best building practice at the time, we have now learned that any opening that isn’t sealed allows humid air to enter, becoming trapped and causing issues. Baltimore’s humid summers and temperatures swings lead to problems in your crawl space. It’s best for homeowners to inspect the crawl space for mold, rotting wood, or water at least once a year. If this isn’t possible, however, there are problem signs to look out for in the living area of your home. If your home experiences unexplained musty odors, especially during the summer or damp periods, spongy or uneven floors, or an overall humid environment, the problem could be coming from below your floors.   

JES Foundation Repair has been repairing crawl spaces in the Baltimore area for nearly 30 years and developed a suite of products to seal out moisture and turn the space into a dry usable area. By adding waterproofing options, like drainage or a sump pump, a vapor barrier as well as a dehumidifier—you can gain additional storage space as well as ensure the air you breathe is healthy for both your family and the building materials supporting your home. Crawl space support jacks are also an option to support sagging or slopping floors. Your JES inspector will work with you to ensure the right solution for both your home and your wallet.   

crawl space encapsulation installation

Concrete Lifting in Baltimore

Playing basketball in driveway

The exterior concrete structures around your home also suffer similar problems as your foundation. These lighter structures often experience the problem more quickly and show signs of damage almost immediately. As the soil washes out beneath the slab, the weight is no longer supported and sidewalk and driveway slabs sink or shift causing cracking. Although it may not seem like a big deal, uneven concrete steals value from your home and can be a serious tripping hazard.   

The team at JES Foundation Repair uses the SettleStop PolyRenewal™ system. This polyurethane foam system is superior to the older repair mudjacking, as it does not overburden already weak soil. The two-part polyurethane foam is injected under the slab, as it expands the foam gently lifts the slab into place. The waterproof solution is light and will not wash out. Plus, it’s minimally invasive to landscaping. With a cure time of only 20 minutes, PolyRenewal™ is a cutting-edge solution for Baltimore homeowners.   

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

About Waterproofing, Foundation Repair & Crawl Spaces in the Baltimore Metro Area

A pervasive and persistent odor around your home can be very frustrating when you do not know where it comes from, especially if a deep clean and thorough airing of your home does not remove it. The nature of the smell in your basement or wider home can even help you to figure out what the most likely cause is (and the concentration of the smell can help you to pinpoint hotspots).

If the smell in your home is largely musty in nature, then it is most likely being caused by dampness and the formation of fungi like mold and wood rot. This smell is likely to get worse when you are in close proximity with large formations, and may also cause symptoms similar to those caused by hay fever and other mild allergies. You will recognize mold and fungal growths in your home primarily by discoloration and changes in the texture of affected organic materials like wood or textiles.

If the smell has a more vinegary edge, however, then it is most likely to be a form of pest infestation. Most specifically, vinegary smells are associated with cockroach infestations. If, however, the odor in your home smells of ammonia, then it is more likely to be the result of a rodent infestation in your home. If the cause of the unpleasant smell in your home is infestation, you are likely to see other signs. For example, you may see things like droppings, nest formations, and of course, the pests themselves.

Crawl space waterproofing is a common process in and around Washington DC and Baltimore for many reasons, but primarily for the way it protects a property from dampness, humidity, and flooding. Many of the older homes in this area were built with outdated features that were originally believed to prevent or minimize dampness and humidity. They used features like crawl space vents. Of course, these features were later found to be harmful.

Waterproofing and encapsulating a property’s crawl space is one of the most effective ways you can protect your home from the negative effects of these outdated features. Of course, even newer homes can benefit from having a waterproofed and encapsulated crawl space. Generally speaking, the benefits of waterproofing are lowered humidity, lowered risk of dampness and flooding, more consistent and stable interior temperatures, and a general increase in energy efficiency in your home. A final benefit of waterproofing your crawl space is the possibility that you can use it to store seasonal items in your home.

So, as you can see, waterproofing is an incredibly beneficial process that will make most homes safer and healthier in the long run. Likewise, waterproofing is likely to increase your property’s heat retention and energy efficiency, as well as lowering your energy bills over time. Of course, there are some limitations. For example, waterproofing should not be undertaken where there is underlying structural damage. All underlying issues should be repaired before waterproofing is undertaken in a home. Nonetheless, waterproofing is, on the whole, a flexible process that can be tailored to suit the needs of your home.

Your property’s flooring should be firm, even, and level underfoot at all times. If you start to notice it becoming bouncy or springy, or you see visible areas of unevenness and sagging in your home, it is time to contact a professional for advice. There are a number of reasons as to why your property’s flooring might start to sag or become uneven. While some are less ominous than others, none of them are good. Broadly speaking, the causes of a sagging floor can be classed as structural or localized in nature.

Structural causes of a sagging floor include foundation damage, bowing or leaning walls, and movement in the wider structure of a property. This kind of damage most often causes sagging or uneven flooring by separating the floor from the joists that are supposed to provide it with the necessary support. In these cases, the floor itself will not generally need to be repaired. Instead, taking measures to deal with the underlying issues in your home should be your first concern.

Localized causes of damage to your property’s flooring tend to be those that impact the floorboards themselves or the joists that support them. Joist over span is fairly common and can occur for a number of reasons. The most common are improper design, faulty materials, and damage as a result of things like wood rot or structural movement. When the cause of sagging is localized, the repairs, too, will be localized and generally less disruptive than the wider structural repairs that might otherwise have been needed.

There are many different problems that can impact a property’s foundation and exterior concrete surfaces. Unfortunately for homeowners, foundation damage is almost inevitable, and most homes will experience it at some point in their life. The question is how serious the damage will be and what form it will take. Things like subsidence and settlement are very common, but there is also a process known as heaving that, unlike the other forms of damage, causes upward movement and damage.

Commonly called frost heave because of the unique conditions in which it usually occurs, this kind of damage is categorized by upward movement and buckling. This kind of damage is fairly rare in homes because of the weight of the average property and the thickness of their foundations. However, smaller, lighter homes and structures, and concrete surfaces like driveways and patios can easily be affected by it and may heave upwards quite dramatically.

Frost heave is generally caused by how water expands when it freezes. A sudden and severe cold snap can lead to the upper layers of soil freezing solid before the lower levels begin to freeze fully, thereby creating a shelf of solid earth. When the lower layers freeze and the water in them expands, this upper layer can be pushed upwards as a unit, exerting a huge amount of pressure on any surfaces or structures above. This, in turn, can often cause cracking, bulging, and fragmentation over time. Of course, frost is not all that can cause heaving in your home’s foundation. Tree root invasion can also lead to inward or upward buckling.

Sinking, moving, or damaged concrete slabs are not just eyesores on your property, they are potential tripping hazards for anyone on your property. Those who are already vulnerable or who already have issues with mobility will, of course, be at the most risk of falling in such circumstances. Thankfully, concrete slabs and surfaces can be lifted back into place very easily by experienced professionals who have the right tools and training.

Here at JES Foundation Repair, we favor minimally invasive and durable solutions like PolyRenewal polyurethane foam and slab piers. Unlike older methods of concrete lifting and repair like mudjacking, these are generally non-invasive and effective processes that do not overburden already weak soil and that deal with the underlying causes of the damage, as well as the visible signs of the damage that their sinking or movement has caused.

We favor PolyRenewal foam because the two-part foam is easy to tailor to the needs of a particular situation. Because the expansive force and level of expansion can be modified, PolyRenewal foam can be deployed almost anywhere. The foam itself is water-resistant, lightweight, and inert. This means that you can expect it to provide support without adding too much weight, and that it will not leach chemicals into the soil underneath it. This makes it a far superior choice in most situations.

Foundation piers are some of the most commonly deployed solutions for foundation subsidence, settlement, and movement. They come in two main forms, helical and push, as well as a smaller form called slab piers. Each of these forms of pier has their own set of strengths and limitations, but they utilize the same basic principles and have similar installation processes and timeframes. Knowing that form is best for your particular situation can be hard, of course, which is why it is best to contact a professional. Broadly speaking, however, slab piers are best for slab foundations, resistance piers are most suitable for homes that are heavy and have intact footings, and helical piers are most suitable for homes that have experienced significant fragmentation.

Whichever form of foundation pier is best for your home, the installation process starts with mapping out the ideal placement points for each pier. Once the team helping you knows where the piers should be placed, they can excavate and expose the parts of your foundation that need to be worked on. At this point, holes will be drilled so that the piers can be driven into the earth under your property. For push piers this is done hydraulically, whereas helical piers are essentially screwed into the ground.

Once the piers are in place, they will be connected to your property’s foundation footing, thereby transferring the weight of your home from the unstable soil beneath its foundation to stable, load-bearing strata beneath the frost line. Once the weight of your home has been transferred successfully, the drill sites and excavated areas will be restored and covered up to ensure a seamless finish.

Our Customers Trust Us

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Darrell and Donte put in many hours working on our foundation repairs.They were very good about cleaning up and leaving the area the way that they found it.

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Patricia Miller

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Jeremyala, Josh and Daniel were very polite and even cheerful getting the job done well.

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Karyn Collier

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Work crew was outstanding on our chimney foundation work. Rudy Gonzalez- the crew chief- and team showed up exactly when scheduled.

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Michael Votaw

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The JES crew showed up on time and got right to work. The repairs and clean up was done in most expeditious manner.

View Gene Giltner's Review

Gene Giltner

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Efficient, professional, and polite. Abdul, Diego, Floyd, and James came out and did wonderful work reinforcing our joists.

View Brian Drye's Review

Brian Drye

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Baltimore Metro Area

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Accokeek MD

Over time, your home will experience wear and tear. Proper maintenance and repair help ensure your house stands the test of time. Our team in Accokeek MD provides comprehensive foundation, crawl space and basement inspections at no charge. Call JES today at 757.301.4820 for your free foundation inspection and written estimate!

Annapolis MD

Is your home’s condition deteriorating due to a wet or moldy basement? Have you noticed cracks or other signs of structural damage on your home’s exterior? Do you notice uneven sidewalks, a sinking, cracked driveway, or a sunken concrete slab stoop? We are ready to help! Let our professionals conduct a detailed inspection of your […]

Baltimore MD

JES can provide all of your home’s foundation and basement repair needs. Your home is your greatest asset and we’ll work with you to develop the best possible solution for your foundation problems. From cracks and bowing walls to flooding and humidity problems, JES is the most trusted foundation repair & basement waterproofing expert in […]

Beltsville MD

Cracked bricks or drywall, bowing walls and buckling floors are symptoms of foundation problems. Before the damage gets worse, you should contact a professional in Beltsville MD to advise you on the best course of action for your home. JES can help! We’ve been keeping homeowners in Maryland safe for over 20 years! Call us […]

Bethesda MD

Does your basement leak after a heavy rain? Do you notice a musty odor when you go downstairs? Or have you noticed cracks or wall gaps? What about uneven sidewalks, or an unsightly cracked concrete slab driveway? If so, JES can help! We’ve been keeping homeowners in Bethesda MD safe for over 25 years. We specialize in […]

Bowie MD

We serve homeowners in Bowie MD and all throughout Prince George County. Our team is equipped with the expertise you need to solve your foundation, crawl space moisture control or basement waterproofing problem. Take steps to preserve your home and protect your family. Call us today.

Capitol Heights MD

Homeowners in Capitol Heights MD who need foundation, crawl space moisture control or basement waterproofing services can depend on us. Our repair experts are committed to helping you keep your home’s foundation in the best possible location. Contact us today to schedule your free inspection and estimate.

Chevy Chase MD

Whether your home sits on a slab foundation or a pier foundation, our inspectors in Chevy Chase MD will recommend the best solution for a permanent fix. Stability is an essential consideration when it comes to your home’s foundation. Moisture and weather conditions introduce changes in soil content and set the stage for your house […]

Clarksville MD

Clarksville MD – structural problems are not the type of project you want to tackle on your own. Though do-it-yourself foundation repair may seem appealing, a professional with specialized knowledge, skills and equipment is better prepared to successfully handle a job of this magnitude.

Baltimore Local Office

JES Foundation Repair

8122 Bethlehem Rd
Manassas, VA 20109

Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 2 pm

JES Service Area Map

Service Areas

CENTRAL VIRGINIA

2410 Southland Dr
Chester, VA 23831

HAMPTON ROADS & NE NC

2569 Quality Ct
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

BALTIMORE

1250 Reames Rd
Middle River, MD 21220

NORTHERN VA & DC

8122 Bethlehem Rd
Manassas, VA 20109

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA/ROANOKE

2033 Cook Dr.
Salem, VA 24153

WESTERN VIRGINIA

456 Old Courthouse Rd
Appomattox, VA 24522