Pioneer Basement Solutions is a basement foundation repair and replacement contractor offering permanent solutions with lifetime guarantees. There is help if you have a bowing, cracking, and or deteriorating foundation. Our inspectors will start with identifying the cause of your foundation problem. We will explain how your basement got to it’s current state and review your foundation repair options.
There are several different types of structural basement foundation problems. Here are a the most common:
Bowing basement walls are a result of a weakened foundation that becomes susceptible to soil pressure. When water gets into the foundation it will cause deterioration or weakening of the mortar joints. This compromised foundation will crack when soils expand and deflect inward. Sometimes this is due to poor construction methods. Block walls that were not reinforced during construction are not strong enough to resist soil pressure.
Settling foundations are a result of poor soil conditions underneath the foundation. Sometimes this soil condition is caused by poor drainage. Sometimes poor soil conditions existed from the beginning of construction and the result is gradual settlement over time.
Shifting basement walls are a result of a weakened foundation that becomes susceptible to soil pressure. Weak mortar joints can become loose from the blocks and result in a shifting basement wall. This happens because of increasing soil pressure against weak mortar joints.
Which basement foundation repair and replacement method is best?
Contact us today for a free evaluation of you basement foundation repair and replacement needs. Our experienced inspectors will get to the point and give you the answers you need. They will start with identifying the cause of your problem, then review the repair options, and finally leave you with a quote. We offer carbon fiber reinforcement, steel I Beam reinforcement, foundation Piering, and foundation replacement.
Depending on where you live in the US, your home may or may not have a basement. This below ground area under homes is very convenient for storage and as a place to work on things or do laundry. It can also be finished into a beautiful extension of the home, often having a home theater or rec room.
Basements are more common in the Northern portions of the United States. We have been in thousands of basements in Northeast Ohio and have seen some great ones, as well as some that are very dangerous to the people living in the home. If you are in an older home, or even a newer home that might have leaks or dampness, then you could be exposed to risks and dangers in your basement that can be fixed. Here are some of the common issues.
Rotting Beams – When you have moisture in your basement, it can lead to warping of wood beams and walls. It can even lead to rotting wood over time if the wood is getting damp enough. While in the short term this is not an issue, over a longer period of time, it can cause significant danger to the structure of the home.
Black Mold – Any mold and mildew is not pleasant and can damage your belongings. Black mold is actually toxic to humans and is dangerous for a family living in a home with it. Sometimes it is out in the open, and other times it can be behind walls or in ceilings when things are damp. If you are not sure about mold or mildew, call a specialist to take a look. Basement waterproofing companies can assess the risk but they might not be experts on different types of risks. Always work with someone who has a lot of experience.
Insects – Insects attract other insects. Keeping your basement dry and clean will minimize the insects in your home. The last thing you want is carpenter ants eating your support beams or brown recluse spiders nesting in your walls. Reducing these risks begins with reducing the moisture and food sources for these pests, and call an exterminator if you see insects in any significant number.
Flooding – If your basement floods, there are all kinds of dangers. You can have electrical shorts. You can have damage to walls and belongings. You can have moisture that will keep things damp, making rot, softness, insects and mold all more common. The best way to not have this kind of issue it to take care of small leads before they cause a floor.
Foundation Collapsing – Bowing basement walls is a major danger. At any time, a wall that is bowing or damaged can simply collapse. Since the basement walls support the house, this puts the whole house at risk and is dangerous to be around for anyone. If you have bowing basement walls, call a basement waterproofing company that also does foundation repair right away.
Pioneer Basement Solutions is a NE Ohio basement waterproofing company with over 40 years of experience waterproofing basements and repairing home foundations. If you have any water or foundation problems with your Ohio basement, give us a call today and we will get it inspected.
Water precipitation in Northeast Ohio has been pretty heavy this year. According to the National Weather Service records, the amount of precipitation last year was a bit heavier than 2019, but we still have a pretty wet, pretty humid year. Last year’s precipitation was 8.43 Inches compared to the 7.42 Inches this year. Regardless of the precipitation amount, many homeowners feel the rain is never far off this year.
For homeowners with an old basement or a home where the foundation walls have lost their seal and are letting water seep into the basement of the home, any amount of rain is bad news.
After many years, the sealant applied to basements walls wears down and lets water into the foundation walls and basement of the home. Slowly, but surely, some homes suffer damage to the foundation of the home for many years without the homeowner realizing it.
Early Signs of Water Damage:
Cracks in the walls
Cracks along the seams where the walls meet the floor
Water sitting along the basement walls
Those are the early signs that a homeowner can spot and identify easily. Fixing the problem on the other hand should be done by an expert. Homeowners that are handy at fixing things, believe they can patch a basement wall or the cracks that have appeared along the walls and the basement floor.
There is also an abundance of YouTube videos showing you how to fix the crack in the basement of your home, making the homeowner believe calling an expert to fix the water problems in their home is not needed.
Those videos, however, do not show you the work that was put into before they show you the end result or the end steps. Patching a crack in the basement wall might be doable for many homeowners, but the problem is not fixed.
Did I fix the water seepage that was happening before I “fixed” the crack?
Was the water coming from the outside or is it an inside leak?
Will the water find another spot to leak into the basement?
Is the sealant on the walls gone?
Is water sitting around the foundation and finding a way into the home?
Patching a basement crack in the wall by yourself is only temporary. The problem will most likely persist, perhaps damaging the foundation as well. An expert will show you know where the water is coming from, whether you have water inside the walls or if you have insects that can probably damage the wood frame of the home.
Patching a crack in the wall should be done by a professional company that will ensure the work is done well with no shortcuts, and with a price that won’t break your bank.
Foundation settlement repair consists of installing support below the foundation to stop it from sinking into poor soil conditions. The Stabil-Loc Foundation Pier System is installed directly under the concrete or mason wall that needs to be lifted or stabilized. The pier is driven deep within the earth into bedrock or stable, load-bearing strata which is verifiable with load-testing. As the home is lifted, a mechanism allows part of the piering system that makes contact with the bottom of the footer to be rotated to prevent breaking the footer- a feature not found anywhere else. Installation can be done quickly, and with minimal excavation required. This system is designed to re-stabilize the sinking structure by shifting the weight of the home off of the foundation and onto themselves, redirecting the load to more reliable earth layers underground.
Stabil-Loc Foundation Piering Systems are patented piers for virtually any foundation settlement repair. What separates them from any other pier systems is the unique method of installation and how the system was designed. Engineers created a new method and started from scratch using a piering system that places the bracket directly underneath your home and the pile (the pole of the pier) attached to the center of the bracket. This gives a much stronger and durable system that no other pier can provide- withstanding any shifts of soil conditions or pressure. These piers are also designed to drill deeper than any other system, resting the structure’s weight on bedrock or load-bearing strata (the most stable of earth’s crust layers).
The Difference of Stabil-Loc Piers for Foundation Settlement Repair
Using traditional brackets along the side of your structure (often called offset piers) proved to be an inadequate technique for foundation repair. Lifting the structure with piers and brackets at an angle (helical piers) or offset to the side of your home would eventually bend, break, or improperly raise the foundation. In the diagram to the left you can see the instability of other systems that lead to foundation failure. Your investment in a Stabil-Loc Foundation Pier system is reliable using linear lifting instead of angular, offset, or using concrete materials. This provides a more stable and natural method of leveling your foundation.
So how do you know if you have a foundation settlement problem? A settling foundation is very different from other foundation problems so for reference we’ll briefly look at the common foundation problems. Horizontal cracks in basement walls lead to basement walls bowing in. Poor attachment of the structure above can lead to basement walls tipping in at top / in effect sliding out from underneath the house above. Bad foundation drainage can lead to water soaking into the block weakening the mortar joints and causing the basement wall to sheer off or slide off of itself. Water damage to a basement wall can also lead to decay or rotting basement walls. None of these issues qualify for foundation settlement repair, each issue having its own solution.
Basement settling cracks are typically vertical or they follow the mortar joints in a stair step pattern. The soft soil underneath the footing of the wall causes the footing to settle. The result being the wall that sits on the footing to drop causing the cracking. So if you have the following: vertical cracks in your basement walls, stair step cracks in your basement walls, large cracks in the basement floor which is becoming uneven chances are you need foundation settlement repair. Other tell tale signs are walls cracking in living space above, uneven floors and doors and windows that do not operate normally.
A professionally trained structural evaluator will be able to confirm weather you have a settling basement. Measurement should be taken to identify where the foundation breaks are and how much movement there has been. At Pioneer Basement Solutions our straight forward no sales nonsense approach can help you determine what if any needs you may have. We never attempt to sell anything to any customer that they do not need unlike many national or franchised companies which are large marketing and sales organizations that train sales people how to sell thier products to every prospective customer they get in front of.
Contact Pioneer Basement Solutions today to schedule your foundation evaluation and get the information you need for your foundation settlement repair.
There are different foundation repair methods used depending on your foundation problem. Once you determine if you have bowing basement walls, a settling foundation, a shifting foundation or your basement walls are deteriorating (or some combination of the aforementioned) you can then explore the method that fits your problem.
settling foundation can cause step cracks
Settling foundations occur due to poor soil conditions underneath the foundation footing. The weight of the structure causes the footing to crack allowing the foundation to settle / sink down into the poor / soft soil. this can cause a ripple effect of cracking in walls above in living areas, doors that rub or won’t close and floors that slope. Installing piers underneath the footing and driving down into solid substrate will stop settling and can even lift the structure back into original position. Our method of installing concentrically loaded foundation piers comes with an engineer’s certification and lifetime guarantee.
Concentrically loaded foundation piers are installed directly under the wall being lifted and use the foundation as resistance to push the pier into the ground. Other methods such as helical piers or offset piers are more limited and are nut installed directly underneath the structure.
Settling cracks in basement walls can be in a stair step pattern or almost straight vertical cracks that are open wider at top and narrow towards the floor.
mortar rotting to point of wall shifting & near collapse
If your basement wall has rotted mortar joints and blocks are shifting then most likely it is a matter of time before a major problem or collapse occurs. Walls with mortar rot are weak from the inside so applying foundation repair methods to the wall will not ensure a stable foundation. In that case foundation replacement may be warranted.
bowing basement walls with horizontal cracks that are open due to soil pressure
If you have bowing basement walls with open horizontal cracks you may be able to stabilize it from further movement or even straighten it back into original position. Today’s latest foundation repair method for bowing basement walls is carbon fiber mesh “straps” which are embedded into the face of your foundation walls. Fortress Stabilization has developed a system made of both carbon fiber and kevlar meshed together giving them the ultimate in tensile and shear strength. These straps are smooth to the wall and paintable making them barely noticeable. Once installed your wall becomes stronger than it was originally and will have a lifetime structural guarantee.
To properly straighten bowing basement walls you must first excavate the soil away from the outside. Once the soil is removed and the soil pressure is relieved the wall can be pushed back into position. If the cracks have been filled in with mortar or caulking then the wall will only go back as far as the crack will close. So be weary of foundation repair contractors who want to install clamps through your wall to the dirt outside (wall anchor) without digging it and tell you they can crank it back into position… especially if there are no open cracks!
After the walls are restored to their best position, then the stabilization straps must be applied to the face of the basement wall inside to prevent them from opening right back up. The wall is then waterproofed and back filled with gravel to protect it from further pressure or damage.
Some foundations require a combination of foundation repair methods or replacement to solve all the issues. To learn even more contact Pioneer Basement Solutions and have one of our foundation experts evaluate your specific foundation needs with you. We offer a straight forward evaluation with straight forward pricing and no games or gimmicks. Established in 1979, Pioneer is the only foundation repair contractor in business with a perfect spotless record since day one because we always treat our customer the way we want to be treated.
Contact Pioneer today for an ion person review of the foundation repair methods available for your basement!
Foundation stabilization is basement foundation repair that stops bowing basement walls from bowing further and can even involve straightening bowing basement walls. If you see horizontal cracks in your basement wall or walls and these cracks are open then you have bowing basement walls, foundation movement that is causing the wall to push into the basement along the crack. The cause of this problem could be one of many different possibilities. The builder may have back filled the soil too quickly causing a minor crack that worsened over many years. A sloping patio or driveway could allow water to get to the wall causing the soil to expand and thus causing the crack, roof water overflowing at the foundation can cause soil to expand creating pressure enough to crack the basement wall. A heavy freeze can cause soil to expand and develop a crack in the foundation that worsens over time…and so on.
To straighten the bowing basement wall it needs to be excavated, removing the soil from along the foundation. This in itself may cause the wall to relax back into place, or a system of jacks can push the wall back into place. The variable is if the crack was filled in. If so, it can only close as much as the crack is open so a filled in crack will not allow the basement wall to be straightened.
You do not have to straighten a bowing basement wall if it is less than two inches out of plumb in order to permanently stabilize the foundation. Fortress Stabilization products which are a mesh of carbon fiber and Kevlar can be applied to the basement wall to lock it into place. This product causes tension on the face of the wall which diffuses soil pressure and the wall will not move further. This is a permanent solution to bowing basement walls. Learn more here.
Foundation piering is basement foundation repair that stops a foundation that is settling or sinking in the soil underneath. If you see vertical cracks that are open at the top and get tighter at the bottom of the foundation wall, or cracks that are in a stair step pattern you may have a settling foundation that needs piering to corr ct the problem.
A sinking home is actually a very common structural problem which is seen on homes in nearly all areas of the country. The problem can be attributed to poor soil conditions around the home, or from improper building techniques being used during the time when the structure was being built. Regardless of the cause of the issue, it is something that must be taken care of immediately before additional damage is done to the structural integrity of the home.
To correct the problem of a settling foundation we install foundation piering which is pushed deep within the earth into bedrock or stable, load-bearing strata. The pier will be able to stabilize the foundation and in many cases, level, and lift the home back up to where it needs to be. The Stabil-Loc piering system is installed directly underneath of the footings for direct load transfer unlike other piering systems which are helical or offset next to the footings. Learn more here.
Bottom of wall has broken off and is sliding out of place due to decay
Foundation replacement is required when basement walls are deteriorated to the point that they are no longer structural, or when the basement wall has bowed in more than two inches and not a candidate for straightening, or when the foundation has broken off along a mortar joint and is sliding out of place, also known as sheering.
Foundation replacement involves a full excavation of the area, removing the foundation wall, ensuring the original footings are solid or replacing them if needed and rebuilding the basement wall with new cement block. New waterproofing and drainage are installed to ensure the new structure will last. To learn more about foundation replacement click here.
This is a basic overview of the three types of basement foundation repair available. If you are experiencing basement foundation problems consult with a reputable professional basement foundation contractor who is full service offering all types of solutions. Many contractors offer one solution and train sales people to sell their “system”. Not all problems can be solved with a one size fits all approach.
Contact Pioneer Basement Solutions today for a free, no pressure consultation. A thorough inspection of your specific issue(s) will be conducted and a straight forward review of your options given. We do not practice pricing games or sales tactics. Just one fair price will be given for the solution you feel most comfortable with and no pressure for a decision on the first visit. At Pioneer we treat our potential customers the way we want to be treated and we don’t like pushy salespeople which is why we do not use them.
Contact us today to learn more about basement foundation repair for your home by clicking the “get in touch” icon above.