Concrete Lifting and Foundation Repair in Bloomington, IN
The acidic soils of the region pose a problem for homes that need foundation support and water management systems. Indiana Foundation Service can help.Schedule Free Inspection
Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing in Bloomington, IN
A high energy bill is a sign that something is wrong with your basement or crawl space. The conditions in these areas dictate the air quality in your home, the amount of mold growth, and how high your energy bills are. All of this has to do with the stack effect, which describes how air circulates through your Bloomington home.
If your basement or crawl space is moldy, dusty, humid, and warm, then the air in your house will be as well. Given the fact that it rains consistently throughout the year in Bloomington and there’s no clear dry season, wet basements or crawl spaces are a persistent issue.
The waterproofing solutions we offer cover all aspects of foundation waterproofing. Whether it’s humidity or leaking, we have a solution for it. Given how much it rains in Bloomington during the summer, the most pressing issue would be the flooding and leaks. Our AquaStop BasementGutter™ is an interior perimeter drainage system capable of handling the leaks in the basement. We also have a similar drainage system specifically tailored to leaking crawl spaces and their needs.
If you have high energy bills, then a dehumidifier will help keep the humidity levels cool. By purifying your basement or crawl space air, you are actually improving energy efficiency in your home. If you are sick and tired of a wet basement or crawl space, our AquaStop sump pumps will automatically collect all the water from the interior drainage system and pump it out of and away from your Bloomington home.
Foundation Repair in Bloomington, IN
The soil in Bloomington, IN, is part of the Udalts series, which are soils that are strongly acidic and have a loamy, well-drained topsoil. The subsoil is rich in clay, but lacks humus, which is a substance that helps soils retain water. This means that Bloomington’s soil isn’t as likely to shrink and expand like the other soils in the region. That said, Udalts still pose a threat for your basement walls, especially there aren’t any waterproofing measures in place.
Water is able to accumulate next to your foundation and cause bowing walls. The more the wall bows inwards, the more likely it is to crack and break apart. Once that happens, all the groundwater that was pushing up against the wall will seep through and flood the basement. This can be stopped using wall anchors or wall braces.
Earth anchors are placed in the soil parallel to the wall that needs to be repaired. The soils of Bloomington are acidic, so they would usually rust steel placed underground; but, our wall support system is anti-corrosive. Holes are drilled, and the steel rods are pushed through until they can be attached to the earth anchors.
A bolt is used to hold the rods to steel plates along the wall, and the act of turning the bolt is what places enough force on the wall to stop the bowing. Over time, the bolt can be tightened to slowly straighten out the wall. If you don’t have space for wall anchors, which require excavation, then wall braces can be used instead.
Concrete Lifting in Bloomington, IN
Udalt soils common in Bloomington may have a clay subsoil, but its topsoil can easily wash away due to soil washout. When the soil under the slab washes away, the concrete no longer has anything supporting it. It settles against the void left by the soil and sits unevenly.
The more the slab settles, the more severe the unevenness will be. What used to be just a wobbly slab is now a safety hazard. Before someone hurts themselves walking over the slab, you should contact Indiana Foundation Service for concrete lifting. We can lift slabs all around your Bloomington property, from your sidewalk and driveway to your patio or pool deck. We use polyurethane foam to lift the slab permanently.
Depending on how big the repair job is, the whole thing can take just a few hours, and your slab will be back to normal by the end of the day. It’s the fastest, most efficient concrete lifting method to this day, so if you want the best of the best for your Bloomington home’s slabs, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
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About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Bloomington
Every Bloomington home should have a dehumidifier and a sump pump. The downsides to not having these devices are simply too great (and expensive). If your home lacks these waterproofing solutions, then you’ll know just how troublesome a wet, humid basement or crawl space can be. You also might be struggling with high energy bills and might hesitate at the mention of more devices in your home that use power. However, you should know that the sump pumps and dehumidifiers actually improve the energy efficiency of your home.
A wet crawl space or basement is terrible for the energy consumption of your home. This is because of the way air circulates through your home. The hot air in your foundation rises and changes the temperature of the rest of your house. Waterproofing solutions like sump pumps and dehumidifiers can freshen up the air in your foundation to the point where your HVAC system won’t work so hard. By having these installations in place, you are actually saving money rather than spending it.
Our sump pumps and dehumidifiers meet the ENERGY STAR® efficiency requirements. Even when running all day, our units work better than other units while only using half the energy. To put it into comparison, our dehumidifier can take in more pints of water than conventional dehumidifiers, yet it cycles 90% less. Waterproofing your basement or crawl space is one of the best things you can do for the energy efficiency in your home.
If your floor is sagging because there’s a problem with the floor joists, then you don’t need to replace the joists or the floorboards if you just act fast. While it may not seem like a big deal or it’s something you get accustomed to, an uneven floor is not normal in a Bloomington home. It’s not a good idea to allow the issue to advance to the point where the floorboards and the joists need to be replaced. You don’t want it to get to the point where replacement needs to be made, since this is a lot more expensive. The key to avoid replacing is in spotting the signs early.
One of the reasons your floor is sagging is because of damaged wood. This can be because of wood rot or because of waterlogged wood. If it’s wood rot, then the mold can be killed if it hasn’t softened up the wood too badly. To make sure the wood rot is completely gone and to avoid manipulating dangerous chemicals, contact an expert who can eliminate the rot and coat the wood with a primer to strengthen it. Mold is dangerous enough as it is, but handling toxic mold removers in an enclosed crawl space is also very risky.
If the wood is waterlogged, then supporting it or replacing it would depend on how much it shrinks once dried up. If the wood shrinks too much, then it won’t have the strength it needs to support your floor. However, if it can be saved, a support jack will be used to aid the joist. SettleStop IntelliJack™ is a support jack that is used to help your failing joists support the floor and even it out. With SettleStop IntelliJack™, the chances of replacing your joists are less since the jack will do all the heavy lifting once installed.
A crawl space that has been encapsulated is a lot healthier than one that hasn’t been. If you’ve taken the steps to get your crawl space humidity-free with a vapor barrier, then you have greatly improved the health of our Bloomington home. However, you might want to consider investing in other forms of crawl space waterproofing. Don’t underestimate just how wet a crawl space can get. There are many ways in which the crawl space gets flooded, so having a reliable sump pump is very important.
Sump pumps, coupled with an interior drainage system, can collect the water in a crawl space and pump it elsewhere. Even if your crawl space is encapsulated, there are other ways water can find its way inside. Your crawl space holds your home’s plumbing, so if any of the pipes burst, you’ll have a leaking problem in your crawl space. If you don’t have crawl space insulation, then condensation can also create water droplets on the surface of the vapor barrier.
If there’s a leak in your home, it can also seep down into areas below your floor like the crawl space. When there is standing water in your crawl space, your vapor barrier can’t do anything about it. The only thing that can keep the crawl space clear of any kind of water is some sort of drainage system. Without a sump pump, you’ll be paying for floor joist repair and mold cleaning, so you can save money by investing in a crawl space sump pump.
Your yard can have a positive grade or a negative grade. These are terms used to describe the way your property naturally drains water. A positive yard grade means that the ground slopes down and away from your home, and whenever it rains, water flows away from your property. A negative grade is the opposite; it means that the property terrain is sloped towards your home, so a moat is created around your house every time it rains. Over the years, terrains change as they experience soil erosion, so your property may have started out with a positive grade and ended up with a negative one.
What grade your yard is heavily impacts your overall yard drainage, as well as the amount of foundation issues you’ll have. The biggest downside to having a negative yard grade is that it causes hydrostatic pressure. Bloomington’s soil has clay a few inches below the surface, and its water retention is high. During the summer and spring, when it rains the most in Indiana, all that rainwater that flows towards your foundation accumulates underground and exerts a force so great on your basement wall that it causes the wall to bow.
Besides contributing to hydrostatic pressure, a negative yard grade also affects your foundation drainage system. Your sump pump is in charge of draining all the groundwater surrounding the foundation. If an excess amount of water flows around the foundation and your sump pump isn’t powerful enough to handle it, then it will get overwhelmed trying to drain all that water. An overworked sump pump has a shorter lifespan and tends to malfunction very frequently. You can speak to a landscaping expert to assess the grade of your yard, and re-grade to protect your foundation from water damage.
When a concrete slab settles, it’s never because of a problem with the slab itself. Because the concrete slabs on your property rest upon a layer of soil, if that layer becomes uneven, the slab will settle. Bloomington, IN, has a terrain composed of soils from the Udalts series, which are moderately well-drained and made of fine loam. The subsoil has quite a lot of clay, but the upper layers of soil are pretty fine and granular. The problem with this kind of soil is that it’s a lot more likely to wash out than the clay soils underneath.
Soil washout refers to the sudden erosion of topsoil due to a stream of water. When a gush of water runs down the surface of the soil, it displaces the particles and washes the soil away, creating gaps. Soil washout affects your property in multiple ways, but it especially does a number on your concrete slabs. Because of soil washout, concrete slabs no longer have the support of the soil underneath it, so it settles. This can happen anywhere on your property, but it’s more likely to happen on your driveway and on your walkway slabs.
There’s very little any homeowner can do to stop soil washout outright. Measures can be taken to slow down the process, but it will still happen. The soil, which we can’t see under the slab, and the weather, which we can’t control, are simply things that are out of our hands. What you can do, however, is recognize the signs of concrete settling so that you can take action early. The faster you hire experts to repair your slab, the safer your property will be.
When the foundation of your Bloomington home is settling, you need to stabilize it with some sort of support pier. There are various options, and the most used solutions are helical piers and concrete piers. While concrete piers are more popular because they seem less costly outright, helical piers are the superior solution. Despite their popularity, concrete piers are unreliable to the point where they shouldn’t be considered a long-term solution.
The reason concrete piers are unreliable is because concrete crumbles easily. During the winter, concrete gets affected by the freeze-thaw cycle, which slowly disintegrates the structure. Concrete piers of any kind tend to also suffer from skin friction, which is a negative pressure exerted on the pier. Too much pressure negatively impacts the concrete, since it is a material with poor tensile strength. The concrete, which was weakened by the freeze-thaw cycle, crumbles under the weight of the foundation and the skin friction.
Helical piers, on the other hand, are made of galvanized steel and do not get affected by freeze-thaw cycles. The bigger the pier is, the more likely it is to suffer from skin friction. Because helical piers are so slim, they don’t have this issue; and, even if they did, they are strong enough to withstand the pressure without buckling. Helical piers can also be driven into deeper soils than concrete piers, so your foundation is better protected. The deeper underground you go, the more stable the soil is, which is why helical piers are considered to be a permanent solution and concrete piers aren’t.
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Indiana Foundation Service
624 North Front Street
Whiteland, IN 46184
Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 7 pm
Sunday: 12 pm – 8 pm