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Columbia

Consistent rain year-round can deteriorate your foundation. Waterproofing solutions can help you avoid bowing walls, wood rot, and sagging floors.

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Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing in Columbia

The average annual precipitation for the United States is 34.78 inches. Columbia, SC, sees 44.6 inches of precipitation annually, and that’s a lot of water for a basement or crawl space to have to take on. Instead of relying on gravity and porous concrete walls to keep your basement or crawl space from flooding, look into some foundation waterproofing solutions.

Mount Valley Foundation Services offers multiple drainage solutions for your Columbia home’s basement or crawl space. A perfectly waterproof foundation will have an interior drainage system like AquaStop BasementGutter™ that is capable of connecting to the sump pump in order to drain all the water out. Without this crucial piece of the puzzle, puddles of water that won’t reach the sump pump will form in your basement.

Another nifty invention designed specifically for crawl spaces is our AquaStop CrawlSeal™ vapor barrier. Vapor barriers are sheets that are mechanically drilled onto walls to prevent water vapor from getting into a space. It’s made of polyethylene and reinforced with a polyester cord. In basements, they are applied to the walls, but, in crawl spaces, they can be used to completely encapsulate the space.

Last but not least, you can’t say your Columbia home’s basement or crawl space is fully waterproof without a dehumidifier. Our dehumidifier is powerful yet energy-efficient. The best part is that it’s completely automatic and can send all the water it collects to be drained by the sump pump. You can take back control of the humidity levels of your foundation without lifting a single finger!

Columbia Foundation Repair

Ultisols are a soil type that have a very interesting, beautiful color to them, and they cover most of Columbia, SC. While very nice to look at, they are very troublesome because of their clay content. Clay soils shrink and expand when exposed to water, a process which does away with the layer of soil that is meant to support your foundation. Once a foundation begins to settle, a whole slew of other structural issues begins to manifest in a home.

The common signs of foundation settling can be found early on in your Columbia home’s basement. Cracked walls, warped basement windows, and an uneven floor are all things you should look out for if you suspect that your home is settling. Because the foundation is falling apart, basement flooding and leaks become a lot more frequent. The increased levels of humidity that come as a result of the leaks and flooding causes wood rot. Wood rot weakens your floor’s support system, so sagging floor is another common foundation problem in these situations.

To combat all these issues, you need either helical piers or push piers to stabilize your foundation. For crawl spaces, a support post like SettleStop IntelliJack™ can secure your floor, so it doesn’t sag anymore.

Concrete Lifting in Columbia

Like your foundation, the concrete slabs around your Columbia home are also dependent on soil to stay even. When the soil fails them, your slabs will sink. More than just a cosmetic nuisance, concrete settling is a safety hazard. Walking on an uneven path can lead to injuries, so repairs must be done as soon as you notice the settling.

For settling concrete, a lifting method we recommend is SettleStop PolyRenewal™. With SettleStop PolyRenewal™, our experts are able to lift the concrete structure by injecting polyurethane foam under the slab. The foam expands and fills the gap completely as well as provides the structure with support. After 15 to 30 minutes, the material cures and your Columbia home’s concrete is left looking brand new.

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FAQs

About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Columbia

If you notice any white spots on your Columbia home’s concrete, then it could be efflorescence. Efflorescence is often confused for mold, but it’s actually salt. Water is an erosive element that’s capable of displacing many different types of particles on a molecular level. When concrete is saturated with water, the moisture displaces the salts and minerals that the concrete is composed of. These salts rise to the surface of the concrete structure along with the moisture.

The water eventually evaporates, but the salts remain on the surface of the concrete, accumulating and forming in white clumps. Efflorescence is nothing like mold. While mold is a microorganism, efflorescence is nothing more than salt deposits. It will not harm you to get in close contact with it, and it is not dangerous to interact with. That said, efflorescence on your concrete can be a sign that something is wrong with the drainage system around your home.

You won’t have to worry too much about efflorescence that appears on concrete that is less than a year old, since its appearance is caused by production errors. On older concrete, however, it indicates that your concrete is getting so frequently exposed to water that it’s displacing the salt. A wet basement is bound to have foundation problems in the future, so efflorescence is a sign that you need to invest in waterproofing solutions. If the efflorescence is on your outdoor concrete, then you may not have to worry as much since it’s natural for outdoor concrete to get exposed to rainwater and melting snow. However, keep a close eye out for signs of slab settling, since there’s a chance for the moisture to permeate through the slab and into the soil.

Like most cities in South Carolina, a wet basement is common in Columbia. The consistent rainfall on a yearly basis in the state means that, unless they are fully waterproof, basements will be frequently flooded. Because of this, many basements in the city are equipped with sump pumps, which collect water that gathers in the basement and pumps it out. What homeowners don’t know is that, while sump pumps are great, they should not be the only waterproofing solution in place for your basement. There are many ways in which water can pool around your basement, even with a sump pump.

If water vapor is coming into your basement, then the humidity in the air will turn into water droplets when the temperature reaches its dew point. If you walk into your basement and see water droplets on your wood, pipes, and walls, then your basement needs a vapor barrier. If sufficient water droplets form, then they can drip onto the floor and form a puddle in the corner. These puddles are oftentimes not big enough to be collected by the sump pump, so unless you have a perimeter drain that can direct the water towards the sump pump, those puddles will not go away on their own. The same thing happens when rainwater seeps into the basement through the window or if there are any leaking pipes or machinery.

Your sump pump could also just be broken. A broken sump pump will not collect water, and there will be flooding in your basement if it’s not working properly. You can test this out by dumping a bucket of water into the sump pit to make sure that it’s draining water properly. If it isn’t, then there are a few things you can easily check (whether it’s plugged in, the condition of the pipes, etc.); but, if you can’t find any issues, you might have to call an expert that can inspect the sump pump thoroughly and give you a proper diagnosis.

Settling foundations can be repaired with helical piers. Helical piers are part of a support system that stabilizes settling foundations. They are steel rods with helix blades welded to one of the ends, and they are designed to be permanent solutions to foundation settling. Contractors map out how many helical piers are needed for the foundation to stabilize and either excavate or drill a hole where each pier will be placed. The piers then are mechanically driven into the ground until reaching load-bearing soil.

Instead of depending on the soft soil layers that are easily eroded, the piers transfer the weight of the house to denser, undisturbed soil deep underground. This means that, no matter what the condition of the topsoil, your home will be supported. Because helical piers have to remain underground, they are made of galvanized steel to fight off corrosion and last many years. They are best used on smaller properties that have soft soil terrain, since helical piers cannot be drilled into sedimentary rocks.

Helical piers are the best support system you can install for a residential foundation. While concrete piers are often used, they have a far inferior performance in comparison to helical piers. Due to its slim design, it cannot get subjected to skin friction and will not crumble under the weight of the home after a few years. The same cannot be said for concrete piers, so disregard them as a solution if you want to permanently repair your settling foundation.

The concrete slabs around your Columbia property aren’t the only structures capable of settling. If you have any concrete steps around your home, then they can also settle. Just like a regular slab, concrete steps settle because the layer of soil that is meant to support them erodes and becomes uneven. Even if your steps have sunken a few inches into the ground, they can be repaired using polyurethane foam injections.

Contracts drill holes in the steps and use a handheld device to inject polyurethane foam. The foam expands and fills the void until there is enough to lift the steps back to their original position. The holes are covered back up, and the polyurethane foam is left to cure for 15 to 30 minutes. Concrete steps that have been cracked can still be repaired with this method, but only if the cracks are minimal. If the steps are significantly broken, then there is a chance you might have to replace them instead.

The only way to properly repair concrete steps is to use polyurethane foam injections. Many DIY blogs will recommend various methods that have nothing to do with solving the actual problem at hand, which is to give the steps a new support since the soil has eroded. Evening out the steps using cement, digging a hole and placing a rock under the steps, and other strange methods will only weaken the structure further and cause the steps to break completely. Without proper support, the steps will remain structurally unsound, which is extremely dangerous for all of those who use the steps. To avoid injuries, you must hire professionals for a proper concrete lifting job.

If there is an inexplicable smell invading your Columbia home, then there’s a chance that it’s coming from your ventilated crawl space. Because of the stack effect, most of the air you breathe in your home comes from the crawl space. Hot air from the outside enters your crawl space, and, because hot air is lighter than cold air, the air rises into your home from the crawl space. If there are openings from which air is able to enter your crawl space, then it’s not a stretch to say that water is able to seep through as well. A wet, ventilated, crawl space will not have a pleasant smell, so keep that in mind every time you have trouble finding the source of odors around your home.

If there is humidity in your crawl space, then there will also be mold. Mold can grow in various corners of your foundation and can influence how “clean” the air smells down there. Crawl spaces are also excellent places for animals and insects to build nests in since they’re open, covered, unoccupied by humans, and full of moisture. Dead animal carcasses, cockroach eggs and exoskeletons, and animal droppings are all things you can find in crawl spaces. You can attempt to clear out your crawl space all you want, but, unless you waterproof and ventilate it, it will be a continuous problem.

To stop water and animals from entering your foundation, you need to cover up any holes or vents and encapsulate the space. Crawl space vent covers are a quick way to do the first step, and encapsulation can be done with a vapor barrier. For insulation, you need a material that is capable of completely trapping air in the space so that none of it reaches your home. We recommend AquaStop ExTremeBloc™, a reflective insulation material with an R-value of 11 that is more than capable of keeping your crawl space air from escaping.

Hydrostatic pressure is a common problem in Columbia homes because of the red clay soils that span the region. Given South Carolina’s unforgiving rainy climate, the soil on your property gets wet frequently and expands. Ultisols, the soils of the area, retain water incredibly well, so when the soil around your foundation gets wet, the water does not drain away. Instead, it stays there as more and more water accumulates around the foundation. Eventually, enough water gathers around to exert an incredible amount of pressure on the foundation walls, causing them to bow inwards.

Hydrostatic pressure occurs due to forces outside of our control: the soil on the property and the weather. That said, there is a way to avoid hydrostatic pressure, even if your basement has already been affected. The best prevention method would be to invest in a powerful, reliable drainage system that is able to drain water that gets into the basement as well as the groundwater that surrounds it. This way, even if there is already a lot of water accumulated around the foundation, it can be drained away. The bowing wall then can be reinforced with a wall anchor system.

Another way to prevent hydrostatic pressure would be to limit the amount of water that your soil is exposed to. Certain changes to your yard would have to be made, such as hiring a landscaping company to re-grade your yard so that water naturally flows away from the foundation. You should also look into getting your downspouts extended and covering the sides of your house with some foliage to block rainwater from reaching the soil. It’s impossible to keep the soil around your home completely dry, so keeping a close eye on your basement walls will alert you to any problems. Once you detect an issue, you can contact us so we can begin implementing prevention methods.

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Greg has been patient and kind with me as he has answered my many questions. Valley. Thank you, Greg, for taking so much time with me.

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Reasonable pricing. Donavan was a great forman, professional, on time and explained the system. Work was well done and met all expectations.

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Bill Bradley did a thorough inspection of our slab foundation including checking the levelling throughout the house and garage.

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I highly recommend Trevor. He is an excellent foreman and a very professional young man. I am very pleased with the work Trevor did today.

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Columbia, SC

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Aiken, SC

Mount Valley Foundation Service serves South Carolina, providing proven basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, foundation repair, and concrete lifting services.

Blythewood, SC

Mount Valley Foundation Service serves South Carolina, providing proven basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, foundation repair, and concrete lifting services.

Camden, SC

Mount Valley Foundation Service serves South Carolina, providing proven basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, foundation repair, and concrete lifting services.

Cayce, SC

Mount Valley Foundation Service serves South Carolina, providing proven basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, foundation repair, and concrete lifting services.

Forest Acres, SC

Mount Valley Foundation Service serves South Carolina, providing proven basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, foundation repair, and concrete lifting services.

Irmo, SC

Mount Valley Foundation Service serves South Carolina, providing proven basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, foundation repair, and concrete lifting services.

Lexington, SC

Mount Valley Foundation Service serves South Carolina, providing proven basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, foundation repair, and concrete lifting services.

Newberry, SC

Mount Valley Foundation Service serves South Carolina, providing proven basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, foundation repair, and concrete lifting services.

North Augusta, SC

Mount Valley Foundation Service serves South Carolina, providing proven basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, foundation repair, and concrete lifting services.

Columbia Local Office

Mount Valley Foundation Services

2110 Commerce Drive
Cayce, SC 29033

Hours of Operation

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

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Our Service Area

CHARLESTON LOCATION

1850 Ashley River Rd
Charleston, SC 29407

COLUMBIA LOCATION

2110 Commerce Drive
Cayce, SC 29033

GREENVILLE LOCATION

300 South Ave
Spartanburg, SC 29306