The silty, loamy, and rich Pamunkey soils that are so often found around Virginia have many strengths, but periods of intense rainfall or storming can make them unstable and cause damage.Schedule Free Inspection
Hampton Roads Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing
Unfortunately, many properties across Hampton Roads have basements and crawl spaces that were not adequately built to prevent dampness, humidity, and flooding. Older homes, in particular, can be very vulnerable to flooding and dampness because waterproofing during construction is a relatively new practice. In fact, many older homes could have outdated features that may have previously been considered beneficial, but are now known to be damaging to the health of the property as a whole (for example, crawl space vents).
This is why waterproofing and encapsulation processes are now so common in and around Hampton Roads. Undertaking post-construction basement or crawl space waterproofing is one of the most effective ways to protect a home in the long-term. The team here at JES Foundation Repair, has years of collective experience when it comes to waterproofing, as well as access to some of the very best waterproofing products on the market right now. We have partnered with some wonderful manufacturers to ensure that the work we do is supported by the best materials.
Undertaking crawl space or basement waterproofing has many different benefits, some that go far beyond the simple reduction in dampness and humidity. As well as keeping water out of your home, waterproofing will increase energy efficiency, reduce the risk of things like mold formation and wood rot, and stabilize the interior climate in your home. This means that you can expect lower energy bills and a higher overall level of comfort when you waterproof your home fully. What’s more, if you have a basement, thorough waterproofing is one of the steps required to have it formally classed as habitable space, so this work could also increase the value of your home quite significantly.
Concrete Lifting in Hampton Roads
Many homeowners do not pay as much attention to their property’s exterior concrete surfaces as they should. After all, a few small cracks in your sidewalk or a slight unevenness in your property’s driveway isn’t really the end of the world, is it? Well, no, of course not, but these small issues can be warning signs for much bigger problems, and if they are left to grow, they can lead to more serious damage surprisingly quickly. What’s more, serious unevenness or sinking can be a real hazard to your health and wellbeing.
At JES, we do not use older methods of concrete lifting and repair like mudjacking. While these methods were previously the most advanced on the market, and certainly more appealing than total replacement, they have since been overtaken by lifting processes like polyurethane foam injection. We favor the PolyRenewal Foam Injection system as a more effective alternative to processes like mudjacking.
Mudjacking uses a cement slurry that is pumped into the void underneath a concrete surface, thereby creating the pressure needed to lift the concrete back into place. This is effective in the short term, but ineffective overall, because the weight of the slurry can overburden already weak soil. PolyRenewal polyurethane foam, by contrast, is lightweight, water-resistant, and inert, making it more effective and less likely to impact the soil under your property. Better yet, PolyRenewal will set to 90% of its full hardness within a few hours, making this a more time-effective procedure by far.
Hampton Roads Foundation Repair
The same issues that can impact the more exposed, lightweight exterior concrete surfaces and structures around your home can also impact your property’s foundation over time. Soil displacement and saturation, in particular, are real problems that can escalate over time. Anything that causes the soil under your home to move or lose some of its structural integrity is a big issue, and can lead to sinking, settlement, and fragmentation.
A foundation that is actively sinking or settling is a danger to every part of your property’s structure and should not be underestimated. When issues like these progress, the chance of your property developing other structural problems like bowing walls, uneven flooring, and even sticking windows and doors increases. In the worst cases, there will be a heightened chance of localized or widespread collapse. No matter the stage of your foundation damage, however, the team here at JES Foundation Repair specializes in dealing with issues like these and has a reputation for excellence.
Foundation piers are one of the most common and effective solutions for these kinds of damage and movement in poured concrete foundations (slab piers are used for slab foundations, of course). While they have different strengths and limitations, all foundation piers use the same principles to lift and stabilize damaged or sinking homes. By transferring the weight of your home to stable, load-bearing strata far below the surface, they not only deal with the ongoing damage but also prevent recurrences.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About Waterproofing, Foundation Repair & Crawl Spaces in
Hydrostatic pressure is, to put it simply, the combined weight of the soil around your home and the water that it contains. This is a perfectly natural and normal force that all homes have to contend with. In fact, architects and contractors specifically design and build homes with it in mind. Hydrostatic pressure only becomes a problem when it reaches a level that the property in question can no longer withstand. At this point, it can cause very serious issues for a home as a whole.
Excessive hydrostatic pressure can be caused by a number of things, from poor drainage to unusually high levels of flooding around a home. Once it builds to a certain level, it will exert a huge amount of lateral pressure on your home’s foundation and basement walls. The issue with this is that concrete has huge compressive strength, but very low tensile strength. In short, concrete cannot stretch, and when faced with strong lateral pressure, it will start to buckle and crack. This can lead to fragmentation in a property’s foundation and bowing walls.
This has a knock-on effect on the rest of a property, as your foundation or basement walls are absolutely crucial to the stability of your home and provide a lot of support. That’s why it is important to control the level of hydrostatic pressure that your home faces by ensuring that you take proper precautions and manage moisture to the best of your ability. This means ensuring that you have robust drainage solutions in place. By preventing perimeter saturation, you should be able to keep the levels of hydrostatic pressure around your home to manageable levels.
While it is not necessary to have a sump pump system in your home, it is a very good idea. After all, there is a reason why so many homes around Hampton Roads already have sump pump systems in their basements or crawl spaces. It is important to note that the climate in this area of the U.S. can be very wet at times, and while the Pamunkey soil in the Hampton Roads area has good drainage capabilities, your home can still be overwhelmed. Preventing flooding, lateral movement, and subsidence can be a real uphill battle.
The benefits of an energy efficiency sump pump system are many and varied. Protecting your home from flooding and dampness is simply the most immediate and obvious. The others can be split into direct benefits and indirect benefits. The direct benefits are the benefits to your home. For example, a good sump pump system will also help to keep the relative humidity in your home low, thereby preventing mold formation and reducing the likelihood of wood rot.
The indirect benefits are those that affect your comfort or health more than they do the health of your home. For example, a reduction in dampness means more stable internal temperatures in your home, because arid air is much easier to process than humid air. Likewise, the reduced risk of mold means that you will not have to deal with the health issues that some species of mold can bring. Finally, the higher levels of energy efficiency that a dry, healthy home experiences will keep your energy bills lower and keep your costs under control. So, no – you don’t need a sump pump system, but they are very useful tools.
Basement finishing has become more and more popular in recent years as homeowners seek to make the most of every square inch of space that their home has to offer. There are many regulatory requirements around what is needed to class a basement as a ‘habitable space’. For example, you will need an egress window of a certain size. However, waterproofing is not technically necessary to finish your basement fully.
However, it is a very good idea to waterproof your basement before you begin any finishing work. After all, nothing is certain to ruin your hard work and furnishings quite like dampness, flooding, and mold. The benefits of waterproofing your basement before finishing it are many, and the process itself should be very straightforward and cost-effective, unless there are serious underlying issues that must be addressed first.
Generally speaking, waterproofing your basement will start with clearing all obstructions and debris from the space. After this, insulation will be cut to size and installed alongside vapor barriers to prevent moisture from seeping through the bare concrete walls and into your home. Depending on the space you have, a professional may also suggest perimeter drains and a sump pump system to make sure that your finished basement stays safe and dry in even the worst weather. Waterproofing your basement before you finish it will not only protect your hard work, but will make your finished basement more comfortable to be in.
Wood rot is a fairly common issue in and around Hampton Roads, thanks to the wet and often humid climate. There are three main kinds of wood rot that might affect your home, but of course they all have the same effects: they undermine the structural stability of the surfaces that they make their home in. In nature, this is a good thing. Wood rot performs the necessary and valuable function of helping dead wood decay. In a home, by contrast, where all wood is dead wood, wood rot is a huge and serious problem that can lead to many issues throughout the structure of your home.
The three main forms of wood rot are: soft rot, white rot, and brown rot. Each of these forms of rot will undermine the strength of wood and lead to it breaking down over time, but they present themselves in different ways and often progress at different rates. Soft rot and white rot are often referred to under the umbrella ‘wet rot’ and require more moisture to thrive. Soft rot is slower moving, but is able to thrive in temperatures that brown and white rot cannot. It can cause a honeycomb appearance and soft, spongy texture in affected wood as it breaks down the cellulose found there.
White rot, by contrast, attacks the lignin that makes up wood along with cellulose and leaves only the cellulose behind. This can cause the wood to turn yellow or white (hence the name) and will lead to a stringy or soft texture, sometimes with a slightly slimy feel. Brown rot, however, is also called dry rot and is the most fast-moving of all types. It can be recognized by dark brown, cracked appearance (rather like the wood has been burned) and a brittle texture in affected wood. If you see these signs, it’s time to call in the professionals.
Your flooring should be even, firm, and stable at all times, and stay firmly connected to the walls in your home. If you start to see gaps between your flooring and walls, this is a warning sign that there are structural issues at work. Of course, the actual cause of these gaps could be any number of things – from very serious structural problems to smaller, more localized issues.
One of the most common causes of floor and wall gaps is damage to the joists that support your property’s flooring. This can be cracking and damage as a result of too much weight or poor joist placement, or a general weakening in the joists as a result of something like wood rot. This is fairly common and will require localized repairs.
Alternatively, the gaps between your floors and walls could well be being caused by damage to the wider structure of your home. Subsidence and settlement, for example, can cause gaps like this to form as a result of the joists becoming separated from the floor that they are meant to support. When this happens, the required repairs needed may be more serious and extensive in nature.
Interior drains are commonly used in basements and garages because of their balance of efficiency and unobtrusive appearance. Interior drain systems are efficient when it comes to preventing water from entering a space, as they not only gather it, but direct it to removal systems like sump pumps. Better still, they are discreet. Placed in a trench that generally runs the perimeter of a room, they are covered by a layer of gravel that also helps to filter debris from the water that passes through it, thereby preventing avoidable clogs and blockages.
Installation is fairly simple when you have an experienced team, like the one here at JES Foundation Repair, and should take less than a day in most cases. First, the team will dig a trench that runs the perimeter of your basement before installing the drains into this trench. Once they are secure and set firmly in place, gravel is placed on top of them to protect the drains from debris and disguise their placement. One additional benefit of installing interior drains is how they collect and remove condensation that trickles down the walls that they are adjacent to. Of course, these systems are most effective when they are connected to a sump pump.
In fact, what interior drains really are an important but singular part of larger waterproofing efforts. While they are very good at collecting and removing water, they cannot prevent water from entering a space in general. For this, you will need to invest in products like vapor barriers, which essentially create a dry and hygienic space inside your home that is separated from the outside world. When done effectively, this can have a huge impact on your home as a whole.
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JES Foundation Repair
2569 Quality Ct
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 2 pm