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Category Archives: Crawl Space Repair

Is Water in a Crawl Space After Heavy Rain Normal?

Is water in a crawl space after heavy rain normal? It depends on what you mean by “normal.” If by “normal” you mean something you don’t need to worry about, then no. Water in a crawl space after heavy rain is not normal. It’s a sign of an immediate problem with possible long term effects that you need to worry about it.

This article will go over what you need to know about water in a crawl space after heavy rain, water in a crawl space in general, ways water gets into a crawl space, how to prevent water from getting into your home’s crawl space, and more.

First of all, what is a crawl space?

If your home sits atop a crawl space foundation, it sits from 1.5 to 3 feet off the ground. This creates an empty area underneath the foundation known as the “crawl space.” The crawl space is just big enough for an adult to crawl around in. Crawl space foundations have been popular for decades because they offer easy access to the home’s plumbing and electrical wiring. If a crawl space is encapsulated (more on this below), it can even be used for storage.

Homes in the Greater Hampton Roads area are primarily built on crawl space foundations.

Is water in a crawl space after heavy rain normal?

Water in a crawl space after heavy rain means you have a problem with drainage around your home’s foundation. Is it normal? Let’s say it’s pretty common. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it.

Water in a crawl space can cause a lot of trouble for your home’s foundation because it causes mold to form, which will rot away at the wood structures in your crawl space and attract wood-eating pests, which will cause even more damage. (We’re going to talk more about this in just a bit.)

If the soil around your home’s foundation is prone to erosion, water in a crawl space can cause damage simply by washing away the soil around and under the foundation. This exposes more of the foundation wall than should be exposed and destabilizes the piers in the crawl space as well.

water in a crawl space after heavy rain water in a crawl space after heavy rain

How does water get into a crawl space?

Your crawl space can get wet via:

  • Leaky drain or water pipes – Is the water directly under a bathroom or kitchen? If the water in the crawl space is from leaky plumbing, that’s a good thing because it will probably be less expensive to fix than if the problem is being caused by groundwater.
  • Excess moisture in the soil around the foundation – The excess moisture in the soil could be caused by various things, including – but not limited to – poor drainage, improper grading, clogged gutters, short downspouts, a high water table, and heavy downpours.

Hydrostatic pressure pushes water through foundation walls

When there’s excess moisture in the soil around the foundation, hydrostatic pressure builds up and pushes against the foundation walls. If there are tiny cracks in the wall, hydrostatic pressure will force the water through the cracks and into the crawl space. Hydrostatic pressure can even cause cracks in foundation walls.

Once the soil inside the crawl space is moist, condensation will form, leading to mold and mildew. For more information, see Don’t DIY. Hire a professional to inspect your crawl space.

Signs you might have a wet crawl space

Signs you might have water in your crawl space include:

  • The humidity inside your home is higher than it should be.
  • Your hardwood floor is warped.
  • There’s visible wood rot on the wooden structures in your crawl space.
  • The wooden structures in your crawl space show damage caused by wood-eating pests like termites.
  • There’s visible mold on the wooden structures in your crawl space.
  • Your home smells musty.
  • Allergies respiratory problems

How a wet crawl space can affect your home

Water in a crawl space can negatively affect your home in the following ways:

  • Wood rot – Moisture in a crawl space causes wood rot which weakens the crawl space’s beams, joists, etc. Over time this will compromise the home’s structural integrity leading to costly repairs.
  • Decreased air quality in your home’s living area – Air from the crawl space flows up into your home’s living area via the stack effect. If this air is humid, your home will be harder to heat and cool. In other words, your energy costs will be higher. Also, mold in your crawl space air means the air in your home will also contain mold spores. This could cause health problems for anyone living in the home.
  • Water attracts pests – Water in crawl spaces attracts wood-eating pests and pests who leave behind droppings that could contain dangerous pathogens. Keep this in mind as you consider that a certain percentage of air in your crawl space flows up and into your home.
  • Weakening of foundation – A wet crawl space can weaken the foundation by causing soil movement under the foundation. For example, the piers holding up the house start to sink into the soggy ground. This causes a host of problems including doors and windows that don’t open properly, cracked walls, etc.

Preventing a wet crawl space is easier than repairing the damage caused by a wet crawl space.

infographic illustrating the stack effect

How to prevent water and moisture in a crawl space

You can prevent water and moisture in a crawl space by getting groundwater under control. The best way to do that is to install a drain tile system along with a sump pit and sump pump.

A drain tile system works by collecting excess water in the soil and channeling it into the sump pit. When the pit fills with water, the sump pump turns on and releases the water away from the foundation.

If you want to kick it up a notch, you can also have your crawl space encapsulated. Crawl space encapsulation involves covering the walls and floor of the crawl space with a thick vapor barrier, effectively sealing off the crawl space from the dirt floor. A dehumidifier is commonly added along with encapsulation. The result is a crawl space that’s clean and dry enough to use for storage.

Other ways to control groundwater around your home’s foundation include:

  • Regrade your yard, if necessary – The yard around your home should slope away from the foundation. This ensures that water drains away from the foundation and not toward it.
  • Clean your gutters regularly – Clogged gutters can cause water to flow over the side of your home and into the soil around the foundation.
  • Use downspout extensions – Downspouts that are too short will release water too close to the foundation. Downspout extensions channel the water away from the foundation before releasing it.
  • Install an underground downspout along with a bubbler pot – Another type of downspout extension involves channeling water into an underground downspout connected to a bubbler pot (also called a “pop up emitter”) situated 10 feet or so away from your foundation. When the bubbler pot fills with water, it pops up and releases it. (also something called a catch basin…with a pump)
  • Don’t plant water-hungry vegetation next to the foundation – When you water them, you’ll just be adding more water to the soil.
  • Waterproofing membrane – This can be applied to the outside of the foundation wall for extra protection.
  • Vent covers – Vent covers prevent moisture from entering the crawl space.
  • Mold fogging – This gets rid of existing mold.

how to prevent water in a crawl space

 

Who to call for water in a crawl space

While we understand the desire to save money, it’s best to call an experienced, licensed crawl space repair and waterproofing professional unless you like crawling around dark, damp, claustrophobic spaces. Whatever you do, don’t enter your crawl space without breathing protection and heavy protective clothing.

Your home’s crawl space may be out of sight, but that doesn’t mean it should be out of mind. Contact us today for a free inspection and repair estimate if you have water in your crawl space and you’re in our service area – Hampton Roads and the surrounding areas in Virginia.

Category Archives: Crawl Space Repair

Why You Need Professional Crawl Space Inspection Over DIY Inspection

Are you thinking about hiring someone to inspect your crawl space? If so, don’t hit that back button because you’ve landed on the right page. In this article, we’re going to talk about why and when to inspect a crawl space, what you need to know about a professional crawl space inspection, repairing a crawl space, and more.

Why you should inspect your crawl space

You should inspect your crawl space because what happens in your crawl space affects your home’s structural integrity and the health of you and your family.

How your home’s crawl space can impact your health

A certain percentage of air in the crawl space flows up and into your home’s living area via something called the stack effect. If that air is full of mold and other allergens, it could cause health issues for anyone living in the house. Rodents also leave droppings behind, and sometimes those droppings can cause serious health problems for humans who come into contact with them.

infographic illustrating the stack effect

How a crawl space can impact your home’s structural integrity

Moisture and mold in your crawl space can also affect your home’s structural integrity. Moisture in a crawl space will damage wood structures like beams and joists, insulation, and attract wood-gnawing pests like termites and rodents. While termites like to dine on wood, rodents will chew on wiring, insulation, and even plastic plumbing pipes. Damaged beams and joists in the crawl space can affect your home’s structural integrity requiring expensive repairs.

You won’t know if any of this is happening unless a professional inspects your home’s crawl space.

For more information see, Three Reasons for Insulating Your Crawl Space.

When you should inspect

You should inspect a crawl space when you suspect a problem or for preventative maintenance. The goal of preventative maintenance is to save money in the long run by catching issues early before they turn into big problems that cost a lot of money to fix.

Signs you might have a problem in your home’s crawl space include:

  • The floor immediately above the crawl space is sagging or unlevel.
  • The floor feels spongy when you walk on it, or furniture shakes when you walk by.
  • Your home smells musty.
  • Your home is more humid than it should be.
  • There’s condensation on your windows.
  • One or more people living in the home have allergies or breathing problems.

If you’ve opened the door to the crawl space and peaked in with a flashlight, you might be able to see mold, wood rot, or some other type of damage. If so, you need to have a professional inspect your crawl space.

Before we talk about what to expect from a professional crawl space inspection, let’s say a few words about why you shouldn’t do this yourself.

For more information see, How To Fix Moisture Problems in Your Crawl Space.

Wet Crawlspace

Is DIY inspection a good idea?

We don’t recommend DIY crawl space inspection because the untrained eye can easily miss something important. Do you know what to look for and where to look? If you miss a problem and it gets worse, it could cost you a lot in repairs.

Also, do you really want to crawl around down there? Spiders, snakes, harmful rodent droppings, and asbestos insulation are just a few things you might encounter. Professional, licensed foundation repair contractors have the training and experience necessary to properly and safely inspect a crawl space.

Hire a professional to inspect your crawl space

An experienced foundation repair contractor will inspect your home’s crawl space and give you a report of what they found, including recommendations for any necessary repairs.

A professional inspecting your crawl space will be on the lookout for:

  • Moisture – Are the walls or wooden structures in the crawl space damp?
  • Are there signs of insect or rodent infestation?
  • Is there any standing water in the crawl space? If so, this could indicate a drainage problem.
  • Is there any visible mold on the wood structures in the crawl space?
  • Are any of the pipes leaking?
  • Are there any issues with the home’s wiring?
  • Are there any foundation cracks?
  • Musty smell?
  • Is the insulation where it should be, or has it fallen?
  • Is the insulation dry?
  • Are there any problems with the support posts?
  • Are there any problems with the vapor barrier, if there is one? Is it intact? Are there any gaps?
  • What’s the condition of the sump pump, if present? Does it work? Where is the discharged water going?

The person inspecting your home’s crawl space will take photos and measure the moisture level in the crawl space.

After Crawlspace Damage Repair

Crawl space repair

Crawl space repair solutions will, of course, depend on the problem. Possible crawl space repair solutions include:

  • Crawl space waterproofing and encapsulation to combat moisture and make the crawl space clean and dry
  • A drain tile system along with a sump pump to solve drainage problems around the foundation
  • Replacing damaged insulation
  • Repairing any damaged wooden structures in the crawl space, including support posts
  • Replacing failed bottle jacks for proper crawl space piers – This will fix spongy, sagging, uneven floors.
  • Add additional crawl space piers where the wood support system is over spanned (ensuring structure support is up to code).
  • Add/replace beams (wood or steel) as needed to properly support the home

A foundation repair contractor might also recommend that you hire an exterminator to solve a pest problem or a plumber to fix a leaky pipe before you repair the crawl space.

There are good reasons to inspect a crawl space, including protecting the health of both you and your family and your house. We know it might be tempting to save money. However, we don’t recommend crawl space inspection as a DIY project.

If you’re in our service area and think there might be a problem with the crawl space under your home, or you’d just like to know what’s going on down there, contact us today.

Category Archives: Crawl Space Repair

What Causes Concrete Foundation Cracks?

As you celebrate Labor Day and back to school time for the little ones, take some time yourself to learn a little something new.  As they say, it is best to lead by example and your brain needs new things to learn to keep it young.  Next time you are doing a little laboring around the perimeter of your home take a look around at your foundation walls. You are bound to find a crack. Why? Cracks in your foundation happen!

Builders approach us all the time to help them fix the foundations they just poured. It’s not that they do a bad job – it’s just the nature of the beast.

Most of Hampton Roads’ homes have poured concrete foundations.  Having waterproofed and repaired many foundations we have seen all sorts of cracked foundations.  Some cracking is normal, it is when settling happens that you need to enlist the expert and call AMC911.

Reasons for Cracks in your Foundation:

Stress Points

Anytime you core thru the foundation for installing sewer, electric and gas lines, it weakens the concrete, resulting in cracking. Cracks are also commonly found angling off corners of crawl space or basement vents or windows. These areas are usually the first place we look when conducting a foundation analysis.

Soil Saturation

In simple terms, soil saturation = wet ground. Your foundation walls are supported by footings. The footings are at the walls’ base and hold up your house. When the soil under the footings becomes oversaturated, the footings “settle”, causing the walls to crack. Oversaturation can also cause the earth next to your foundation to expand in volume. Many foundations are not built to withstand that extra pressure. The excess weight of the soil can force the foundation to push inward. This is identified by diagonal cracks coming off corners. The leading causes for oversaturation are improper grading, bad gutters or the need for underground sump pumps and downspout extensions.

Drought

On the other hand, not enough moisture in the soil can also cause foundation cracks. When the soil is desiccated, in other words, when moisture is drawn from the soil, usually as the result of a drought, the soil itself will shrink and cause foundation walls to shift outward and footings to settle. Such soil desiccation occurs when trees, shrubs and other plantings near the foundation send root systems deeper into the ground in search of moisture, drawing it from the soil in areas that normally remain untouched.  So, just because we live in Hampton Roads known for its humidity, do not assume you cannot have dry soils around your foundation.

Concrete Shrinkage

Yup as solid as concrete looks, it shrinks and expands. The science of pouring concrete involves many factors and variables. Since water is used when concrete is mixed, there is an inherent expansion and subsequent contraction of the concrete when it dries. Many factors can affect the drying process, including the type of aggregate, mix of the concrete and humidity levels.

Timing

In life, timing is everything. Same holds true for concrete. Imagine your builder ran short on concrete when pouring your foundation – and the next ready mix truck didn’t arrive until the first batch started to harden. Your foundation would no longer be monolithic (one piece) at that point. A cold joint would naturally form, allowing water to easily seep through.

Death and taxes are two certainties in life. Often, so is a cracked foundation. Fortunately, the solution is usually very simple, especially when you have AMC911, the expert you can rely on.  Now your brain and your home will thank you J

Category Archives: Crawl Space Repair

Things To Consider Before You Hire A Foundation Repair Contractor

7 Things To Consider Before You Buy

When you notice signs of foundation damage, either crack in your foundation walls, or doors and windows sticking upstairs, the next step you take is critical to the long-term health of your home and your wallet. Because foundation damage usually happens in stages, the stage at which you address it will determine the extent and cost of the repairs you’ll need.

Foundation problems that aren’t directly tied to poor construction, drought, or building on poor soil the wrong land, typically begin with too much water directed around the foundation. At the beginning stages of foundation problems, redirecting the water may be all you need to stop further damage. However, if the water has been over-saturating your foundation for a while or the damage is now more advanced, you’ll need to both manage the water and repair the foundation.

Don’t be surprised if each opinion differs greatly when calling on multiple contractors to repair the issue. One contractor might address only the symptoms while another also identifies and treats the root cause. So how can you figure out if you’re being recommended a band-aid or a true long-term cure? Below are some things that can help you decide.

  1. Proper Diagnosis– A quality foundation repair estimate should be based on information collected during a comprehensive review of your property. The estimator should have discussed with you the problem’s history, performed a close visual inspection of the current state of the problem, and when required used instruments to accurately measure and determine the extent of the damage.
  2. Unquestionable Methods– The repairs outlined in the estimate should involve a quality repair that goes beyond non-specialty DIY materials found at your typical “Big Box Stores”. It should be using heavy-duty commercial-grade materials installed liberally along the structure to be repaired. In broad terms, if a company is recommending a nail, you should find a company that will routinely use screws or bolts instead.
  3. Price – Foundation repairs can be expensive when done correctly. Your foundation is no place to cut corners because it’s keeping the rest of your house standing. If the repair you choose doesn’t fix everything the first time, you will be the one paying the price a second time to have it repaired correctly.
  4. Complete Solutions– Make sure the professional you’re talking to about repairs explains what is happening to your foundation, why it’s happening, and exactly what measures are going to be taken to correct the current damage and the source that’s causing it. Don’t let a contractor leave you with unanswered questions.
  5. References– Repairing foundations properly, especially ones that have become unstable, requires a lot of experience. Look for a company that can provide references of people they’ve helped with similar problems to yours and is well respected in the industry and by their vendors.
  6. A Clear Contract– Your foundation repair estimate should provide clear details as to what will and will not be done as part of your project. Make sure to read and understand all the details as to what is and isn’t covered and the General Conditions.
  7. Complete Warranty– Some warranties promise to repair or replace the materials used to fix the foundation, but say nothing about protecting the foundation from further damage. The better warranties protect the results. Remember a warranty is only as valuable as your ability to get it enforced.

Foundation repairs are serious business and you should hire only the true expert. At AMC911 Foundation & Waterproofing Repair Systems, we treat every customer’s project as if we were doing it at our own house. Please make the best call and call us, we will be glad to prove you right J

 

Category Archives: Crawl Space Repair

Hurricane Florence and Your Virginia Home Damages

 

Fortunately, Hurricane Florence was not as bad as was predicted, but it still caused a lot of damage and loss to the area. Torrential rains, high winds, and even tornadoes have hit the East Coast. There has been a loss of possessions, structures, and life due to this storm.

tornado damage

Even though the Carolinas took the brunt of Florence, Virginia wasn’t completely spared. A deadly tornado hit the Richmond area which was caused by the weather that came along with the hurricane. The tornado damaged buildings flipped cars and knocked down power lines throughout Chesterfield County. A classification for the tornado hadn’t been assigned yet, but the National Weather Service called it a “a very dangerous situation” and it caused at least one death, when a commercial building collapsed.

Storm Damage to Your Home: Risks and Signs

Although the largest portion of Hurricane Florence missed the Virginia region, the area hasn’t always been so lucky. This tornado on September 17th occurred 14 years to the day that Hurricane Ivan spawned 40 tornadoes in the state, breaking records for tornadoes in a single day and in a single year, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

In addition to tornadoes, hurricanes bring damaging winds and flooding rains. Normal weather can wreak havoc on a structure, imagine what tornadoes and hurricanes can do. Some issues that can occur include foundation damage, flooding, structural damage, and water issues.

After the storms have passed and it’s safe to walk around your property, make an inspection of the structure. Keep an eye out for downed power lines and avoid them at all costs. You survived the storm, don’t be a casualty to carelessness.

When inspecting the property check for any damage to the building including the roof, foundation, walls, and floors. If you see any signs of problems, contact the professionals at Atlas Master Companies as soon as possible. We’ll be able to let you know if the issue is something that needs to be addressed immediately, or if it can wait until things calm down. We can restore your building’s strength and stability.

Waterproofing Your Building

It’s obviously too late to waterproof your home or business for this storm, but you can be prepared for the next one with services from Atlas Master Companies. We will inspect your property and determine what kind of waterproofing services you need. There are a variety of solutions available, all of them playing a different role in protecting your commercial or residential property.

You may be in need of interior and exterior waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, surface water collection, French drain installation, or a sump pump and pit. It is important that you keep your property dry and free from water damage. Water in your building can soften and damage the structure, weakening it. It can also promote pest infestations and cause health issues related to mold and mildew growth.

If your home or business experienced flooding, you should have it professionally cleaned before using the building. Floodwaters are filthy and full of bacteria and other health hazards. Even if it looks clean, dead animals, overflowing sewage systems, and other contaminants are in the water. Floodwaters can cause a variety of serious illnesses, so it’s important to avoid exposure to the threat.

Stabilizing Your Structure

High winds and high water are a terrible combination when it comes to the stability of your home or business. The soil your building is on could be oversaturated and soft and the winds could be weakening or damaging your structure.

The foundation experts at Atlas Master Companies can determine if your foundation needs repair and, if so, what the best method would be. There are a variety of methods available including tiebacks, soil nails, steel piers, plate anchors, and helical piers, among other options.

It is important that you make sure your building is strong and secure, protecting your people and your investment. Make sure that the contractor that you use is trustworthy and reliable. Remember, cheapest isn’t always the best choice, especially when you think about how much your building is worth.

Concrete Repair Methods

High water and torrential rains may have caused the concrete surfaces around your property to sink, settle, or crack. An uneven slab can cause a tripping hazard or cause drainage or structural issues, so it’s important to have the concrete repaired.

In the past, people would just tear up the old concrete and start over, but there is a more efficient and effective option that is becoming more popular. Atlas Master Companies uses the method of polyfoam slab jacking to repair concrete.

The concrete can sink or crack if the earth under the slab has eroded and created voids or washed away. The polyurethane foam will expand under the slab, filling the empty areas and compressing the soil, giving the slab a strong foundation to rest on. The foam is water-resistant so it will seal the bottom of the slab and it won’t wash away like the slurry from mudjacking can.

Another option is the installation of a concrete slab push pier system. These can be used when the soil under the slab is just too weak to support the concrete. Our experts can determine the best method to restore your concrete slab.

Protect Yourself and Others

We know that there is a lot going on when bad weather hits, so we encourage you to be proactive and make sure your home or business is ready to weather the storm. Contact us today to learn more about making sure your property is strong, stable, and safe.

Category Archives: Crawl Space Repair

Flooding in Virginia – A Guide to Basement waterproofing Methods

Virginia floodingThe summer of 2018 is turning out to be a wet one for the East Coast, including the Virginia area. Flood warnings and torrential downpours have worn out their welcome, ruining a lot of outdoor plans. Even if your property wasn’t flooded, high rain levels can damage your structure’s foundation.

Flooded Basements in Virginia

Although it may be too late to protect your property from the past storms, it’s never too late to be ready for the next one. You should make sure your property is waterproofed and ready for downpours and flooding.

You don’t want to do your waterproofing project yourself or leave it to a fly-by-night operation. Waterproofing is a serious business and if it isn’t done right, you could lose your belongings and possibly your home or business. Make sure that you hire a reputable company with the tools and expertise to make sure that your basement or crawl space is protected from Mother Nature’s watery wrath. They should offer free, no-obligation inspections and estimates, so you know what you are dealing with before the project starts.

A waterlogged basement can ruin furniture, carpeting, and any other belongings you may have there. In addition, water can ruin electrical devices, wiring, and wood structures. Excess water also promotes pest infestations and mold growth, both of which can damage your home or business and negatively impact your health. In addition, flood water can be contaminated with disease, chemicals, and other contaminants. Waterproofing your home or business can keep your structure clean, dry, and safe for years to come.

Which Waterproofing Solution is Right for You?

mold in a wet basement in SpringfieldWhen looking at a waterproofing company, make sure that they are experienced and reliable. A company like Atlas Masters Companies has been in business for years and use tools and equipment from Earth Contact Products, the leading manufacturer in the industry. They have been serving the Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads area with the best waterproofing services in the area for decades.

There are several ways to tackle a waterproofing problem. A reputable waterproofing contractor will inspect your property and let you know the best way to keep your home or business safe and dry.

Interior Waterproofing 

Interior waterproofing is easy to maintain for the property owner and will help move water out of your interior and away from your building. Interior waterproofing usually consists of a perforated drain pipe that is connected to a sump pump system. The water drains to the sump pit and the pump sends it out of the basement and away from your home or business.

Crawl Space Encapsulation

If you have a crawl space, another option is encapsulation. The vapor barrier that a professional waterproofer uses is thicker than the vinyl sheeting you can get at a DIY store. The encapsulation will protect the crawl space from moisture, radon, mold, and pest infestations. By encapsulating your crawl space, you will have a clean storage area that will protect your structure, make a healthier environment, and also lower your energy costs.

Sump Pumps

You can buy a sump pump at most hardware or DIY stores, but they are probably not going to do the job you need them to do. An expert will be able to determine the size of pump that you need to keep the basement area dry. Atlas Master Companies strongly suggests that you invest in a battery backup system. The battery backup pump will kick in if the power goes out or your main pump fails for any reason. Since most downpours are during thunderstorms, the chances of your power going out when you need it most are pretty high. A little proactive know will save you a lot of headaches, time, and money later.

Crack Injection Repair

Sometimes the only reason you have water in your basement is that you have some cracks in the foundation. These cracks aren’t anything that makes your home or business structurally unsound, but they can let water in. An epoxy crack injection can fill in the crack in the concrete, making the cracks even stronger than the concrete wall. The epoxy injection can fill even the smallest crack, keeping your basement dry.

Exterior Waterproofing

If you are having a lot of problems with water in your home or business, exterior waterproofing may be the right solution for your property. Exterior waterproofing stops water from collecting around the foundation, keeping it from entering the structure. An exterior waterproofing system will protect your basement from mold growth, structural damage, property damage, and pest infestations.

Waterproof Your Virginia Home and Business

Make sure that your Virginia property is safe and dry with professional waterproofing solutions. Don’t allow water to ruin your belongings, damage your health, or destroy your building. Make sure to contact a professional waterproofing company like Atlas Master Companies. Let us show you for free how to protect your property from flooding, damp and humid areas, and other water issues in Virginia.

 

Category Archives: Crawl Space Repair

What Are the Benefits of Crawlspace Insulation?

The one time your crawl space is really on your mind is in the winter. The floors are cold, the heating bill is high, and if the bugs haven’t died yet they seem to be converging on your home. Unfortunately, most people forget about (or try not to think about) the crawl space beneath their home unless they have to. However, this can lead to bigger problems like poor air quality, cold floors above the crawl space, and higher energy bills. These reasons are why it’s important to think about crawlspace insulation.

Air Quality

An open window leading out to a garden. Crawl spaces, so often forgotten and disregarded, can become a major problem in your home when ignored. They are cool and often unfinished, which can lead to moisture and insect or rodent problems. Moisture in the crawl space, as in a cool basement, is fairly likely because of the contrast of the heat outside compared to the space inside. This condensation can build up on the walls and floor and cause mildew, mold, or rot. These types of conditions also attract insects and rodents that thrive in these places.

Mold, rot, and mildew can cause obvious air quality problems from crawl space vents throughout your home. Additionally, the smells and problems from rodents can cause a definite change in air quality in your home. Lastly, moisture may ultimately cause the floors above your crawl space to sag, and this could cost time and money to fix.

Cold Floors

Benefit of Crawlspace InsulationThe crawl space is similar to a basement in terms of its purpose and its temperature variance to the rest of the home. However, basements are oftentimes insulated and do not cause the same problems as the neglected crawl space of your childhood nightmares.

As previously mentioned, the crawl space tends to be colder than the rest of the house. This in turn causes cool air to go into the home from ventilation and through the floor (if crawlspace insulation is not done). This is obviously uncomfortable for the people in the home, and it can cause other issues.

Energy/Money

In general, cold crawl spaces can cause higher energy bills. This means more money for you to spend. The heat will be working harder to try to heat up the cold, unfinished, uninsulated crawl space, and you will then end up paying more money for a space that you don’t even use. When the crawlspace insulation is done, the heating will not have to work as hard to heat up the cold area, and your energy bills should go down. That way, you’re saving energy and your wallet.

Contact Atlas Master Companies for a free quote and to see what insulating your basement can do for the comfort of your home today!

Category Archives: Crawl Space Repair

How To Keep Your Crawl Space Moisture Free?

One of the biggest issues that we see in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads is wet and damp crawl spaces. Many times, homeowners do not even realize that they have crawl space moisture issues in need of repair. Some common household problems that you might regard as normal are actually indicators that your crawl space is in need of repair. Have you experienced any of the issues below?

Signs That You Need Crawl Space Repair

  • Cold floors and cold feet
  • Stinky, wet smells
  • Hardwood floors cupping at the edges
  • Moldy, musty smells
  • Drafty rooms
  • Mold around baseboards
  • Wet carpet

If you have a crawl space foundation, it is important to realize that your crawl space is a very important part of your home that must be properly maintained. Since your crawl space is part of your home’s structural integrity, it is vital that you keep it healthy and strong. Crawl spaces are susceptible to moisture and mold, which can cause serious illnesses to affect your family. If you have noticed any strange smells, excess moisture, or are experiencing draftiness in your home, you will want to get your crawl space inspected as soon as possible. Chances are, you might be in need of crawl space repair, encapsulation, and/or insulation.

Detecting Moisture Levels in Your Crawl Space

If there is no obvious leaking or water pooling in your crawl space, you may still have high humidity levels which can be dangerous to your home. Atlas Master Companies uses a moisture meter to find the humidity levels in your crawl space. According to the EPA, a healthy crawl space humidity level is around 40-50RH. We can determine how much moisture is in your crawl space and make a plan of action to get rid of it if necessary.

Solutions for Crawl Space Problems

Atlas Master Companies has been repairing wet and damp crawl spaces for over 30 years in the Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads area. It’s safe to say that we have seen it all: from structural damage to musty dirt crawl spaces to high humidification situations, and beyond. Whatever crawl space issue you are facing, we have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the perfect solution. Our goal is not only to properly repair your crawl space but make it so that future moisture problems will not affect your home. We are your experts when it comes to creating clean, safe, and dry crawl spaces for Virginia homes.

We have developed a series of proven solutions for wet and damaged crawl spaces. We will implement whatever repairs are necessary depending on your current situation. Our repair solutions include:

  1. Crawl Space Encapsulation

crawl space encapsulationCrawl space encapsulation is becoming increasingly popular throughout Virginia and the rest of the country. Some states have even added it to their building code requirements. Water vapor from below your crawl space (or in your crawl space floor, if it is dirt) will naturally rise and become liquid water in your crawl space. The plastic encapsulation barrier prevents this moisture from creeping into your home.

  1. Crawl Space Dehumidification

Crawl space dehumidification goes hand and hand with encapsulation. It is very important to keep your humidity at a safe level after encapsulation is installed.

  1. Crawl Space Insulation

Want to get rid of those cold floors? Crawl space insulation is your answer. We install proper level insulation that prevents draftiness in your home. We can also insulate the backside of your foundation walls around the perimeter of your home with a 2” or 4” rigid insulation board. We use Atlas Energy Shield, a top-of-the-line product with foil-facing reflective coating to improve insulation performance.

 

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  • Atlas Structural Solutions, Inc. - Best of HomeAdvisor Award Winner
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