Washington DC-Baltimore Metro Area
The cold and often wet climate around Washington DC and Baltimore can cause many problems for a home’s foundation and exterior concrete surfaces.Schedule Free Inspection
Washington DC–Baltimore Foundation Repair
Small cracks in a property’s walls and flooring can be easy to ignore. Unfortunately, even very small cracks in a property’s foundation or foundation walls can be a strong problem sign for much bigger issues for the wider structure of your home.
The sassafras soil that is so common around this area is relatively stable, as well as moderately permeable soil with basically good drainage. However, the wet, cold, and often wild climate can still lead to it shifting, moving, or being displaced. This kind of movement and displacement can lead to foundation problems like settlement and subsidence that, in turn, create issues for the wider structure of a home. Thankfully, homes around the Washington DC–Baltimore area can get expert foundation repair services from JES Foundation Repair.
We specialize in foundation repair and have a number of solutions for any foundation that has suffered damage as a result of soil movement or strong hydrostatic pressure. We are adept in the installation of foundation piers and slab piers, of course, but also have solutions for things like bowing walls, which are commonly connected with foundation damage and movement. By dealing with the underlying causes and the secondary problems, we provide a comprehensive and high-quality result in every property.
Concrete Lifting in Washington DC–Baltimore
The same processes and issues with the soil and weather that can so easily affect your property’s foundation can also impact exterior concrete surfaces and structures, like your driveway or standalone garages. These smaller structures and lighter surfaces are actually more vulnerable to certain kinds of damage than your property’s foundation, and should be monitored closely.
If you notice that concrete slabs around your home are starting to move laterally, sink, or crack, a call to JES Foundation Repair can help. Exterior concrete surfaces are also more vulnerable to a unique process known as heaving. Our team is well-versed in concrete lifting, leveling, and repair processes, and has access to the very best tools and products. Whatever the damage to your home looks like, we’ve got it coveredp.
Unlike many repair firms, we do not use older, out-of-date processes like mudjacking. We favor effective, modern products and processes like slab piers and polyurethane foam injection because they offer great results with minimal levels of disruption to your home. These methods are also far less likely to overburden already weak or damaged surfaces and soil. You see, while mudjacking uses cement slurry that is both heavy and porous, PolyRenewal polyurethane foam is lightweight and waterproof, while slab piers actually transfer the weight of a slab away from weak soil. This means that these measures are far less likely to cause a recurrence of the same issues.
Washington DC–Baltimore Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing
The climate in and between Washington DC and Baltimore can be quite wet and cold at certain times of year and waterproofing is a commonly undertaken protective procedure. While most newly built homes have waterproofing measures in place to protect them from dampness, humidity, and flooding during storms and periods of heavy rainfall, older homes generally do not have these features.
Older properties often have defunct features that make them more vulnerable to dampness and humidity (for example, crawl space vents). It has become very common to encapsulate and waterproof the basements and crawl spaces of older homes around Washington DC and Baltimore both for comfort and to prevent damage to those homes. Here at JES Foundation Repair, we have decades of collective experience in waterproofing properties of all shapes and sizes.
We have curated a portfolio of waterproofing, drainage, and dehumidification products that can be deployed in tandem to provide both passive and proactive protection from dampness, humidity, and flooding. The process of waterproofing is a flexible one that looks different for each home. From sump pump systems to vapor barriers, the team here at JES Foundation Repair has a range of products at their disposal, as well as the knowledge to properly advise as to which products and processes will give you the results that you need in your home.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About Waterproofing, Foundation Repair & Crawl Spaces in the Washington DC-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.
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JES Did a great job.View Colin McKee's Review
Jay arrived on time and offered an expert, no-nonsense appraisal of cracks in an exterior wall of our home.View pollardra's Review
David W. did an excellent job of repairing my vapor barrier linked to each smart jack! Thanks!View Marva Boatman's Review
From the initial contact to the final installation, this company provided the best service.View JoAnn LaForce's Review
Steven Demshar was very thorough, knowledgeable, and polite. He was also very personable. Great job Steven!View Robert Dickinson's Review
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Washington DC-Baltimore Metro Area
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JES Foundation Repair
1250 Reames Rd
Middle River, MD 21220
Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 2 pm