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Savannah, GA

Soil erosion is common in the Deep South. Foundation piers and concrete lifting are the best solutions for any settling on your property.

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Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing in Savannah

Due to its location in Georgia Bight, Savannah, GA, experiences a lot of seasonal thunderstorms. They may be brief, but the average precipitation they bring is enough to cause foundation problems. Whether or not you have a basement or crawl space, foundation dampness is never a good thing. Many of your home’s problems, such as strange smells, high humidity, and bouncy floors, are actually caused by a wet foundation.

It’s not enough to simply mop up the water every time it floods. Waterproofing solutions not only make things easier by automatically keeping the foundation dry, but also they are a lot more efficient at keeping your basement or crawl space healthy than a single human can. The water table in Savannah is particularly shallow, so the amount of moisture that can get into your crawl space or basement can only be stopped by devices that are specially designed for waterproofing.

If you lived in a drier state, then you might be able to get away with a simple dehumidifier, but you’ll need more than that in Georgia. A sump pump with a battery-powered back-up is a must, especially with all the thunderstorms that can cause the primary pump to malfunction. Our AquaStop sump pump systems have options for both basements and crawl spaces. To stop the water vapor from the surrounding groundwater, you can encapsulate your crawl space with AquaStop CrawlSeal™, which gives your crawl space a clean, fresh look. This, and other waterproofing solutions are available through us at Mount Valley Foundation Services, your local foundation experts.

Savannah Foundation Repair

Every home needs a solid foundation to hold itself up. While the foundation walls themselves may be secure, the soil that it relies on may not be. Soil erosion is a common problem in cities like Savannah, GA, where the soil is poorly drained and easily eroded by moisture. When the soil gets displaced, your home begins to settle against the uneven layer, resulting in the structural deterioration of your home.

Your walls begin to crack, your door and window frames warp and break off, and water begins to seep into your foundation. Your porch might even detach itself, depending on the kind of settling you’re experiencing. When this happens to your home, the worst thing you can do to fix it is replace the foundation of your Savannah home. Replacing does not solve the actual problem at hand, which is the lack of stability for your foundation. Instead, foundation piers can be used to stabilize the foundation and stop the settling completely.

Depending on your Savannah home’s needs, we can install push piers, helical piers, or slab piers. Push piers have a slight advantage since they sometimes can be used to lift the foundation to its original place, but each of these pier types is a permanent repair solution.

Concrete Lifting in Savannah

Stepping on a slab on your Savannah property and feeling it wobble means that there’s some settling going on. Like most concrete structures, slabs rely on soil to stay even and stable. If that soil erodes and can no longer provide the concrete with an even base, then the slab will begin to tilt, sink, and will even crack if it has to bear too much weight.

Settled slabs need to be given new support – something that won’t shift like soil. This is where the concrete lifting solution SettleStop PolyRenewal™ comes in. SettleStop PolyRenewal™ used polyurethane to lift the slab as well as provide it with the support it can rely on perpetually. Holes are drilled into the concrete, and the polyurethane is injected by a handheld device in the form of foam. Once the concrete has been lifted, the holes are covered up and the polyurethane is left to cure for 15 to 30 minutes. You can use this concrete around your Savannah home the same day it is repaired, a stark contrast from traditional repair methods like mudjacking.

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FAQs

About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Savannah

The problems that arise from a wet crawl space are numerous and costly. Luckily, they can all be fixed with the proper foundation repairs, and they can be avoided in the future with the right waterproofing methods. It does beg the question, however, of why crawl spaces aren’t waterproof from the get-go. It is frustrating to think that all your structural issues could have been avoided if the construction crew had just added a vapor barrier and a sump pump when building a foundation. The reason crawl spaces aren’t built to be waterproof is due to the simple fact that decades ago, contractors had the wrong idea about ventilation.

It was previously believed that having a ventilated crawl space would help with air circulation. What engineers didn’t take into account was how groundwater affected the concrete and wood in the crawl space and just how much crawl space humidity could affect the upper portions of the home. The average home age in Savannah, GA, is 50 years old – a lot older than in other states like New Mexico, where the average home age is 20. These older homes were built with foundations under guidelines that are no longer relevant, so crawl spaces are more likely to get wet the older the home is.

You might be wondering about old homes that have been renovated or homes that are much newer. The simple answer is that many useful waterproofing solutions simply aren’t seen as a necessity, even in the updated building codes. Because of this, even if the construction company wanted to waterproof the space, it would require getting permits, something not many site masters want to have to deal with. Waterproofing a foundation also is more expensive than simply replacing the floor joists or building a dirt crawl space. Unless specifically ordered to, crawl space waterproofing will not be part of the building or renovation process.

Mold can grow virtually anywhere, even on concrete walls. Mold grows wherever there’s organic material they can eat, and although concrete isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of “organic”, it is a place where mold can thrive. Concrete is made of a mix of different materials, including salts and minerals, which are very much organic. Mold being anywhere at all, even on your concrete, is problematic. That goes double for mold in your crawl space or basement, since most of the air you breathe in your home originally comes from one of these below-grade areas.

Mold can be removed from concrete walls, but it’s better to hire mold removal specialists for a professional cleaning job. Mold isn’t just an ugly stain; it’s a microorganism that can cause health problems. Even short-term exposure to mold can trigger allergies and irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. Depending on how much mold is in your crawl space or basement, breathing in the spores can have a negative impact on your lungs that may require medical assistance. For your own safety, allowing professionals who know how to protect themselves against mold is highly recommended.

Another reason it’s better to hire professionals is because it guarantees that the mold will be completely gone. You don’t want to have any residual mold after cleaning the wall yourself because the only thing worse than knowing that there’s mold in your crawl space or basement is going about your life like normal while unknowingly getting sick from residual mold. Mold is persistent, so you need to do a thorough cleaning to get it all out, and there’s nobody out there with better cleaning chemicals than the experts. A well-done cleaning job will result in a healthier crawl space or basement, fresher air, and a safer environment for you and your family.

To help prevent mold’s growth and spread, having proper waterproofing and encapsulation solutions installed in your Savannah home by the experts at Mount Valley Foundation Services is a sure way to keep your home safe and clean.

Homeowners bring out insecticide and traps when cockroaches make themselves known, but it would be a lot more efficient to waterproof the crawl space or basement. A wet crawl space or basement in your Savannah home promotes insect infestation, since it is the most ideal part of the house for them to be in. If your crawl space or basement is wet, humid, and moldy, then you’re probably not spending all that much time in there. Since it’s an undisturbed area where there’s plenty of water for cockroaches to stay hydrated, it’s the most likely place for cockroaches to build their nests.

Cockroaches in your crawl space or basement are a major health hazard, even if you don’t see them. Due to the stack effect, half of the air that you breathe in your home comes from the crawl space or basement. The smell of cockroaches infiltrates the upper portions of your home, which can trigger allergies and create an unpleasant environment. You can spray your home all you like, but you won’t be able to get rid of your cockroach infestation without removing their nest entirely. Given how prolific and adaptive they are, you need to prevent them from entering the space in the first place instead of trying to fight them head on.

Cockroaches can go a long time without any food, but they die quickly if they don’t have any water. Waterproofing your crawl space or basement keeps your home free of any moisture the cockroaches can use to survive. Waterproofing also means closing off any entryways the cockroaches can use to enter the space. A cockroach infestation is much harder to control in a crawl space or basement than in a kitchen, so you’ll be saving a lot of time by eliminating an entire area of the house that you have to spray. All in all, it’s better to go on the defensive with cockroaches, and the most long-term solution for that kind of approach is waterproofing.

Concrete slab settling is difficult to control, since the soil under the concrete cannot be managed. Once that soil begins to erode, there’s little one can do to prevent the inevitable. Still, taking care of your Savannah home’s concrete can slow down the settling process. The trick is to prevent water from saturating the concrete as much as possible, so that none of the moisture gets through to the soil. If you are able to do this, then you’ll be able to minimize soil erosion.

Depending on where the slabs are, you’ll have to do different things. Your driveway slabs can be protected with a driveway cover to prevent exposure to snow and rain. The edges of your walkway slabs can be covered by vegetation. The edges are a very important area to cover if you want to prevent settling, since water is so easily able to seep under the slab where the concrete meets the soil. Even just fake plants work since the most important thing is covering that part of the slab.

Your patio and pool deck probably already have some form of cover. Making sure you have a proper yard drainage system is crucial so that water flows away from these areas, though that part can be left up to professionals. More than prevention, knowing the problem signs of concrete settling is really what saves your slabs from disaster. A settled slab is likely to crack, and, if the damage is too much, you’ll have to get it replaced. If you act fast and call an expert as soon as you notice the settling, then your concrete will be less likely to crack.

Bowing walls are a result of hydrostatic pressure, which is when groundwater accumulates next to your Savannah home’s foundation walls and exerts an extreme amount of pressure on it. The walls of your foundation are part of what holds up the rest of your home, so if they are structurally compromised, the rest of your home will be as well. As the wall bows inward, the concrete blocks or bricks begin to detach themselves from the mortar joints, effectively breaking the wall. The groundwater that was pushing up against the wall begins to leak through, and, suddenly, it’s not just an uneven wall you have to worry about. A flooded crawl space or basement means humidity, which is an entire problem on its own.

Mold starts to grow in your crawl space or basement, which can be dangerous for your health as the spores circulate through your home. Speaking of circulation, the humid, moldy air of the crawl space can influence the temperature of the rest of your home and raise your energy bills as your HVAC system attempts to fight it off. Mold in your crawl space or basement also leads to wood rot, which affects the floor joists and causes bouncy, sagging floors. All these issues are just byproducts of the leaking that comes from a buckling wall. If it sounds tedious and expensive, then you might not be happy to know that it can be a lot worse.

If the problem is allowed to develop further, then the upstairs portion of the home will be affected significantly. Since one of the main support structures (the wall) is failing, the house begins to break in different places. Cracks along the drywall, ceiling, tile floors, and window frames will begin to show up as the foundation wall buckles. Doors and windows will jam upon usage as the frames break and distort, and your floor will become uneven. To avoid all these issues, the moment you notice bowing walls, you need to call your local experts for a repair solution.

Savannah, GA, has a terrain that is mainly composed of Flatwoods soil. Flatwoods soils are moderately well-drained and made of silt loam. Homeowners in this city should primarily worry about hydrostatic pressure because Flatwoods soils are formed with the aid of a shallow water table. In the winter especially, the water table gets dangerously close to the surface. Because your foundation is built either fully or partially underground, it is exposed to all the groundwater in the zone of saturation.

Because of this, it’s incredibly likely that your foundation walls are being pushed inwards by the accumulation of water. This is known as hydrostatic pressure, which is what causes bowing walls. To fight this off, a strong foundation drainage system that can drain all the water that surrounds the foundation needs to be installed. A powerful sump pump with a back-up pump, like the one in our AquaStop series, is recommended. That said, there is a chance that the soil on your property is different.

When the house was first built, the soil would have been tested beforehand. If the construction crew did not think that the soil was adequate for building, then it would have been mixed with either sand or clay. It’s important that you call experts to test the soil on your property. This way, you’ll be able to know what common foundation problems are associated with that soil type and what you can do to protect your home. Different problems require different solutions, so being informed is the best way to avoid structural damage.

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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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Find Your Service Area

Savannah, GA

Charleston Local Office

Mount Valley Foundation Services

1850 Ashley River Rd
Charleston, SC 29407

Hours of Operation

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

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