Foundation Repair & Crawl Space Encapsulation in Bethesda, MD
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Award-Winning Solutions in Bethesda
JES Foundation Repair (JES), a Groundworks Company, specializes in helping homeowners with their foundation repair, basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, and concrete needs. Our top priority is providing high-quality home repair solutions and personalized service across Virginia and Maryland. With fully trained technicians, industry-leading products, and nationally backed warranties, JES is here to restore your foundation or crawl space.
Cracked bricks, sticking doors and windows, and cracks around door frames are signs of foundation problems.
A leaking basement is stressful, to say the least. The waterproofing system from JES creates a clean, healthy basement.
Why Homeowners Choose JES
Since its founding, JES has grown from a one-man operation into a professional team of more than 450 repair experts providing more than 250,000 engineered solutions for residential and commercial properties across Virginia, Maryland, and beyond. We maintain offices in Appomattox, Baltimore, Chester, Manassas, Roanoke, and Virginia Beach, and devote our years of experience, industry knowledge, and specialized training to help customers protect their homes and commercial buildings from water damage, concrete sinking, and foundation failure.
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If your concrete is flaking off, it’s a sign that something is wrong with the concrete. Concrete doesn’t stay smooth forever, and some flaking is to be expected after a few years. However, you should inform yourself on the kind of flaking it is so that you can get a better understanding of what your concrete is going through and how it could potentially lead to settling.
There are two types of surface deterioration concrete structures go through: pitting and flaking. They are caused by different things though are very similar in terms of appearance. Pay close attention when inspecting your concrete, and you’ll be able to differentiate between the two.
- Concrete Pitting
Concrete pitting is caused by problems with the way the concrete was produced or poured. It’s a problem that only shows up after the concrete has finished curing. Concrete pitting means there’s a problem with the structural integrity of the concrete itself. It indicates that the concrete is weak and deteriorates incredibly easily, which means that you have to be careful if you see signs of pitting on a settled slab.
Concrete pitting is defined by small craters that form on the concrete structure. Although the craters are only visible on the surface, if you were to break the slab open, you would see that the craters run deep since the entire concrete is deteriorating. The craters can either appear sporadically across the concrete or, they can clump up and form one big crater that makes it look as if a piece of the concrete has broken off.
- Concrete Flaking
Concrete flaking is caused by an external force eroding the surface of the concrete. Freeze-thaw damage is a common cause of flaking since the ice creates micro-tears across the surface of the slab. If the micro-tears become too much, the piece will flake off. Concrete flaking can still happen on slabs that are strong, so it does not indicate that there was a problem with its production. You can tell it’s flaking and not pitting when a big chunk flakes off and you don’t see any craters, indicating that the damage was only surface-level.
Just because flaking can occur on slabs that are strong does not mean it doesn’t affect settling. By deteriorating the surface of the slab, it allows water to seep through to the soil a lot easier, accelerating settling. Plus, a flaking slab does not stay strong for long. As the surface breaks apart, the slab loses its soundness and is likely to break once it begins settling.
A foundation settles because it cannot rely on the soil layer for support anymore. When the foundation was built, the soil was even and dense, but due to erosive elements, it will have shifted over the years. The soil in Roanoke is sandy, so the more it erodes, the more easily it is displaced by a large amount of weight, meaning that the weight of the house itself was contributing toward the settling. To stabilize a foundation, the house needs to be held up by something other than a loose, uneven layer of soil. This is where the helical piers come in.
Helical piers are steel rods that have helix blades welded to one end of the shaft. A hole is either drilled or excavated where the pier needs to be installed and then the rod is mechanically drilled into the soil. Anybody that looks at a helical pier might think that they are too thin to support an entire house, but the truth is that the helical piers aren’t the only ones that will work to support the home. The piers will be driven down until reaching load-bearing soil.
The deeper down you go, the tougher and denser the soil is. Load-bearing soils are dense enough to support the house, unlike the shifty soils that originally failed the house. When the helical piers are attached to the home, they help transfer the weight of the foundation to the competent soil layers. This is how helical piers, despite their slim frame, are able to stabilize a settling foundation.
The average crawl space in Northern Virginia is somewhat of a contradiction. While a property’s crawl space is undeniably one of the most vulnerable parts of the structure as a whole, it is also one of the most important. As well as providing a buffer zone between your main home and the ground, your crawl space acts as a hub for your property’s utilities. Pipes, wires, and your HVAC ducts can all be found in this space.
As such, it is ironic and somewhat surprising that many older homes have next to no waterproofing measures in their crawl space. This can wreak havoc on their pipes, wires, and HVAC system, especially when there is dampness or humidity at work in the space. Older homes, in particular, are vulnerable because of the likelihood that they will have exposed crawl space vents. As such, waterproofing your property’s crawl space is a very good idea if you intend to protect your home from avoidable damage in the long run.
Waterproofing your crawl space will have immediate benefits, of course, like a reduction in the levels of humidity and dampness, but also more indirect benefits. For example, a property with lower levels of humidity will find that their HVAC system can provide results with much less stress and energy consumption. This will lead to lower energy bills in the long run, as well as a generally healthier and more comfortable environment.
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.