Altoona Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing
If you have been resident in Altoona, PA, for a good number of years, then you likely know how harsh the changing seasons can be. With freezing winter temperatures and an average yearly rainfall of nearly 38 inches (never mind the amount of water that snowmelt produces), Altoona can be a wet and wild place. This may be inconvenient for certain social occasions, but it can be actively dangerous to your home. Older homes in particular can be at serious risk of dampness and flooding in the wetter fall and spring months.
This risk is tied to the wear and tear that often comes with age but also the less resilient and water-resistant nature of the materials used in older properties. Likewise, some older properties that have crawl spaces may also have open or uncovered crawl space vents (which can cause significant increases in dampness and humidity). As such, waterproofing processes can be of great benefit to any Altoona home looking to minimize dampness and create a safer, healthier environment.
Here at Baker’s Waterproofing, we specialize in keeping Altoona homes safe, dry, and thoroughly waterproof. By utilizing our varied portfolio of waterproofing products and procedures, we can turn around even the most damp and dreary of basements or crawl spaces. From vapor barriers to sump pump systems, we have an option for every home and budget. So, don’t be afraid to ask our team for alternatives and options.
Altoona Foundation Repair Services
Uneven flooring, sagging floors, bowing walls, warped windows, and spreading cracks–these are all signs of foundation damage. Foundation problems are some of the most serious issues that a home can face and, unfortunately, they are very common. Most homes in the Altoona area will experience foundation damage at some point. The main question is how severe the damage will be and what kind of impact it can have on the rest of the property as a whole.
Every part of your Altoona property is dependent upon the foundation for stability and support. So, when your foundation moves or fragments, it can destabilize the rest of the property quite considerably. From cracks spreading through your walls to deformed door frames and even the formation of wood rot as a result of dampness, foundation damage can have many unexpected consequences.
Baker’s Waterproofing has been helping Altoona homeowners to restore their foundations to full health since 1975, and we have always done our best to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the available repair options. We have a range of effective repair methods available to mitigate the underlying causes of damage, the damage to your foundation, and any secondary and tertiary issues that this might have caused. The most common foundation repair methods for sinking and damaged foundations are either helical or push piers. Be sure to arrange an inspection with our team to discuss what the best options are for your home!
Concrete Lifting in Altoona
The wet and often cold climate in Altoona can be hard on your property’s exterior concrete surfaces and structures. From frost heave to soil washout, the silt-loam soil in this area may have relatively good drainage capabilities, but it does not deal well with extremities. Too much water can make it unstable or lead to it washing away, and this can cause many problems for the various concrete surfaces around your home. Lateral movement, sinking, and fragmentation are just some of the potential outcomes.
The team here at Baker’s Waterproofing has the training, experience, and skills to lift damaged concrete slabs, whether they are found inside or outside of your Altoona home. While many other companies use older concrete lifting methods like mudjacking, we prefer polyurethane foam injection because it offers better results in the long-term.
Mudjacking uses cement slurry to provide the lift and support that sunken concrete needs. While this may work in the short term, it is generally inefficient because of its heavy and porous nature. This method is likely to overburden weak soil and cause the sinking to recur. SettleStop PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam, however, is lightweight and water-resistant, meaning that it can prevent future sinking as well as rectifying the damage that is already present.
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About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Altoona
From the time of year to the age of your HVAC system and appliances to the price per unit charged by your supplier, there are many things that can impact the amount of energy your home uses (and, by extension, the cost of your bills). The reasons for upticks in your energy bills can be roughly categorized as expected (or normal) and unexpected (or abnormal). Knowing that is important to ensuring that you act appropriately.
The expected or normal causes of increasing energy bills for homes in Altoona are having more people in your home, being home for more hours in the day, rises in the prices charged by your energy supplier, and using your HVAC system more often (or turning it up) as a result of seasonal changes. These changes are normal and can be planned for, of course. More than this, these causes of energy bill increases are benign and not connected to damage or problems.
The unexpected or abnormal causes of energy bill increase can be many, but there are a few that are most common. First, appliances that are outdated or damaged will start to consume more energy over time. Secondly, a high level of relative humidity around your home will lead to increases in your energy usage and costs because humid air is much harder to process than arid air. This makes your HVAC system work harder. Finally, leaking in your plumbing system can increase the levels of heat loss and increase your water heater’s energy consumption.
Yes, humidity can be incredibly dangerous in a number of ways. But if you are careful and act quickly when you see the signs of dampness and humidity, you could actually prevent the more dangerous side effects and secondary issues of dampness and humidity from forming in the first place. Broadly speaking, the dangers associated with humidity can be dangerous to your Altoona home or to your health.
The humidity-linked issues that are most dangerous to the structure of your property as a whole are fungal in nature. The fungal issues that you should be most concerned about are fungi spores that cause wood rot in your home. Wood rot comes in three main kinds: brown, white, and soft. While they all present themselves in different ways, they have the same effect: they cause dead wood to decay. In nature, this is a useful process, but in a home (where all wood is dead), it is disastrous. This can lead to sagging floors, damaged drywall panels, and even collapsing ceilings. So, when humidity causes wood rot, it can be very dangerous!
Humidity can exacerbate pre-existing health conditions like emphysema and bronchitis, of course, but the most dangerous issue linked to humidity when it comes to your health is the formation of mold. Many forms of mold are benign or act as minor irritants, but some forms, like black mold, can be actively toxic. Black mold formations can cause migraines, dizziness, fainting, seizures, infections, and respiratory issues. When there are underlying health conditions at work, exposure to black mold actually can be lethal. So, it pays to remove mold and work to prevent it as soon as you can when you spot it in your home.
When it comes to foundation damage, there is no such thing as acting too quickly. Of course, it would be far preferable to avoid the formation of foundation damage altogether, but this is not always possible. In fact, foundation damage is so common in Altoona that it is almost certain you will have to deal with foundation issues of some kind. Some of these issues can be fairly small but telling the difference between a small foundation issue and an advanced one will require professional assessment and intervention.
There are many benefits to contacting a professional as soon as you notice signs of foundation damage and movement. The most obvious and important of all is the fact that doing so will prevent avoidable secondary damage. Foundation issues are notorious for causing widespread issues through the rest of the structure, because every part of a property is dependent on the foundation for support and stability. A second benefit, which is really an extension of this first one, is that acting quickly will keep the cost of repairing your property’s foundation as low as possible. Finally, repairing your foundation quickly leaves less time for structural movement and collapse (which could be very dangerous to your health).
Of course, we understand that there are many homeowners who prefer to wait until a problem becomes impossible to ignore, but there are a few serious drawbacks to doing this. The most obvious drawback to waiting until the signs of foundation damage become unavoidable is the increased risk of secondary and tertiary damage. The kinds of damage that can result from untreated foundation issues include dampness, bowing walls, sagging or collapsing floors, mold formation, wood rot, and rust or corrosion. Each of these issues can cause more problems by themselves and, as such, the complexity of foundation damage will only get worse over time.
Bowing walls are a serious issue that you should not overlook. Characterized by the telltale leaning, bulging, or buckling of a wall and the spreading cracks that this kind of deformation causes, bowing walls are also common in Altoona. This is partly because of the age of many properties in this area but also because of the wet and often stormy climate. The loam and silt soil in this area has fairly good drainage capabilities, but even these soils can be overwhelmed by a heavy spring thaw.
This is important because soil saturation is one of the leading causes of bowing walls in a home, and it can cause this kind of damage in one of two main ways. First, and most directly, soil saturation can cause bowing walls by exerting excessive amounts of hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is merely the combined weight of the soil and the water that it contains. Because this pressure is exerted laterally, your basement walls will be more vulnerable to it, as concrete has a much lower tensile than compressive strength.
The second way that soil saturation causes bowing in basement walls is by causing damage to your property’s foundation. Soil saturation leads to many issues in your home’s foundation, including sinking, settlement, and lateral movement. While these issues are primarily foundation-based, damage to a property’s foundation can destabilize the structure of a home and lead to poor weight distribution. This, in turn, can lead to bowing walls, as well as several other issues.
When an Altoona home has bowing or leaning walls, it is important to act quickly but also to have the correct solution for the situation. This is where professional help is needed. There are, broadly speaking, three solutions for bowing or leaning walls: carbon fiber reinforcement, wall anchors, and wall braces. Carbon fiber reinforcement is useful but limited for walls that are significantly leaning or bowing. Wall anchors and wall braces, however, can be used on walls with advanced damage and are capable of straightening the walls.
Neither option is truly ‘better’ than the other, but they are best suited to different situations. Wall anchors, for example, require a certain amount of exterior space for proper installation, while wall braces do not. Perhaps because of this, wall anchors also take up less interior space than braces and are less obtrusive and easier to disguise. By contrast, wall braces take up some space inside any room, which is the cost of their flexibility, versatility, and the lack of excavation and invasive installment measures.
Wall anchors are best suited for use on walls that are below ground level in homes that have sufficient outside space. They can be used to straighten damaged walls over time and are fairly easy to disguise if you wish to do so. Wall braces, by contrast, can be used in any below-grade room that has bowing walls, but they will take up the full height of the wall, making them much harder to disguise. They too can be used to straighten walls over time. These are both effective measures.
A property’s crawl space is both incredibly vulnerable and very important to the overall wellbeing of your home. This is because of its placement at the very bottom of your home. Your crawl space is the only area in your home that is directly adjacent to the ground, which exposes it to unique pressures. Because of this, it can be a hub for your utilities. Your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems pass through your crawl space, which makes crawl space water concerning.
There are several reasons why you might find standing water in your Altoona property’s crawl space. The most benign and easy to fix is the presence of uncovered vents. These vents are designed to prevent water passing through them when it rains, but a particularly heavy thaw or a period of flooding can easily let water pass through them. More likely (and more worrying) is the presence of leaks in your property’s plumbing system or its attached appliances. Low-level, small leaks are more likely to lead to dampness and humidity building up over time, of course, but a larger plumbing flood is more likely to cause a significant amount of water.
Finally, and most worryingly of all, there is a chance that there is water in your crawl space because of structural issues. At the least severe end of the spectrum, there is an issue called seepage. This is a process by which water passes through intact concrete due to its porous nature. More severe is the presence of damage and cracks in your foundation or crawl space walls. Finally, there is the chance that water is being allowed into your home because of cracking or fragmentation in your property’s foundation. Whatever the cause, water in your crawl space is a bad sign and you should act to remove it quickly.
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Rob B. and John L. Were helpful with all my questions did a good job and cleaned up after themselvesView rick purtell's Review
Mitch was very nice and gave me different options for my budget. Good experience with him.View Grainne Michelini's Review
We haven’t yet signed a contract but are very happy with the value of the various solutions that Mitch provided.View Ronda Winters's Review
He arrived on time and resolved our problem Very knowledgeable about his workView Diane Vishnefski's Review
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Blair County, PA
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Central City, PA
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Huntingdon County, PA
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New Florence, PA
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Northern Cambria, PA
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315 Point Township Drive
Northumberland, PA 17857
Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 8 pm