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Basement Waterproofing & Crawl Space Repair in Morgantown, WV

The silt-loam Monongahela soil found around Morgantown, WV, is stable, but the climate can easily cause foundation issues if you do not have proper drainage.

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Basement Waterproofing and Crawl Space Encapsulation or Repair in Morgantown, WV

Keeping your property’s crawl space or basement dry and safe from flooding is not always easy in Morgantown, WV. This is partly because of the humid and habitually moist climate in West Virginia, but also because many of the homes in Morgantown are older and have fewer waterproofing measures in place in the lowest reaches of their structure. For example, many older properties that were built before 1990 have crawl space vents. If these are not covered, they can cause serious issues with dampness and humidity in a home.

Most homes have some waterproofing measures in place, but depending on when the process was undertaken, their efficiency can vary. Here at Baker’s Waterproofing, we specialize in protecting homes of all sizes and types from the dampness and humidity that can take root over time. From crawl space vent covers and vapor barriers to interior drainage systems and sump pumps, we have a portfolio of effective products that can be tailored to suit any Morgantown home.

Our team of highly trained, experienced, and skilled technicians can make the process of waterproofing your Morgantown home quick and painless. Better yet, we can even deal with any underlying damage to the structure of your home that is allowing dampness inside. This means that you can count on comprehensive results.

Morgantown, WV Foundation Repair

A property’s foundation is one of the most vulnerable and yet important parts of any home. Every part of your Morgantown property is entirely dependent on it to ensure that it stays upright and stable in even the wildest of weather. Unfortunately, your foundation is just as reliant on the soil beneath it. As such, anything that impacts the soil can cause a number of issues for your home including subsidence, settlement, and lateral movement.

The Monongahela soil that is found around Morgantown (which is the state soil of West Virginia) is relatively stable and has very good drainage because of its balanced mix of silt and loam. While some parts of this area have a certain amount of clay content in their soil, it tends to be found at a lower level, and is concentrated around rivers and water sources. As such, it does not have a huge impact on the homes in this area. Unfortunately, the wet and humid climate in West Virginia can disrupt even the stable and well-drained soil that this area is known for.

If your Morgantown property’s perimeter becomes saturated as a result of storms, localized flooding, or poor drainage around your home, sinking, movement, settlement, and cracking or fragmentation will be the natural conclusions. Here at Baker’s Waterproofing, we have a range of solutions that can be used to lift, stabilize, straighten, and restore a property’s foundation and wider structure. From foundation piers to wall anchors, we have a solution for every situation.

Concrete Lifting Services in Morgantown, WV

The same issues that can cause damage to your Morgantown property’s foundation can also impact the exterior concrete surfaces around your home. Soil displacement and washout, perimeter saturation, and erosion, for example, can all cause your sidewalks or driveway to sink, crack, or shift and lead to a huge number of problems. While unevenness may seem like a small issue to face, it can have a huge impact on your property, your health and wellbeing, and even your car!

As such, it is of the utmost importance that you act quickly to lift and stabilize damaged concrete surfaces around your Morgantown home. There are a number of ways in which this can be done, but we at Baker’s Waterproofing favor SettleStop PolyRenewal™ foam injection above all others for a number of reasons, including efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and durability.

First, SettleStop PolyRenewal™ utilizes a lightweight and waterproof polyurethane foam to ensure that maximum lift is provided without overburdening already weak soil. Furthermore, because this foam is inert, it will not leach chemicals into the earth and cause issues within your yard. Finally, polyurethane foam sets very quickly, unlike cement slurry that is used in older methods like mudjacking. This means that you can expect to get the full use of your Morgantown property far more quickly.

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FAQs

About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Morgantown

The best soil for construction is generally loam because of its balance of silt, sand, and clay. While all soil can be moved or weakened by certain circumstances, loam soil is very stable and balanced drainage with cohesion, meaning that it really only starts to shift or become compromised in extreme circumstances. Localized flooding, for example, heavy storms, and a failure in a property’s drainage system could all cause enough saturation to lead to movement in loam soil.

Monongahela soil, which is the state soil of West Virginia, has a lot in common with traditional loam soil, but it has a slightly higher proportion of silt than classic loam soils do. This makes a difference in one key way: silt is slightly more absorbent than sand (though less absorbent than clay) and slightly more prone to slipping. This increases the likelihood of lateral movement and subsidence in periods of intense rainfall or flooding marginally, but Monongahela soil is still more stable than clay-based or sand-heavy soils.

The key to protecting a home built on Monongahela soil is moisture management (which is important no matter what kind of soil your home is built on). This means keeping your rooftop gutters and foundation drainage systems in good repair as much as possible. Seasonal maintenance really can make a difference, but if your Morgantown home is still struggling with dampness, you should consider investing in waterproofing measures.

Hydrostatic pressure is a constant presence for any home, but we generally hear about it if there is an issue as a result of this pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is caused by water being absorbed into or held in the soil and, as such, it is changeable by its very nature: heavy rainfall, periods of drought, storms, and underground water sources all have an impact on it, as does the type of soil present.

The Monongahela soil of this region is fairly good at draining water and is minimally expansive. This means that excessively high hydrostatic pressure is generally not caused by issues with the soil, but rather with an excess of water being released into it. This can be caused by bad weather, by localized flooding, by a plumbing flood, or by failure in your Morgantown property’s drainage systems. These issues can cause increases in hydrostatic pressure that range from mild to severe in nature.

All properties are designed to withstand a certain level of hydrostatic pressure, which means that increases are not always an issue. The point at which increases in hydrostatic pressure become a problem is when the level of pressure grows higher than your home’s ability to withstand it. At this point, structural movement, fragmentation, and damage are a natural outcome, but they can be avoided by implementing comprehensive moisture management systems inside and around your property.

If you notice unevenness or bowing in your Morgantown property’s walls, it is perfectly natural to be concerned. Bowing or buckling is a serious structural issue that can lead to many different forms of secondary and tertiary damage that can be bad for both your home and your health! As such, acting quickly is important. You will recognize the signs of bowing as cracking, dampness, and visible unevenness.

The causes of a bowing wall in any home can be diverse and complex. There are a number of common underlying factors that could be at work, and in many cases, you will find that there is more than one. The most common of all is excessively high levels of hydrostatic pressure around your home. This can cause enough lateral pressure to crack a property’s foundation and foundation walls significantly. Nonetheless, there are other possibilities.

Subsidence or settlement, too, can destabilize a property seriously enough to impact the way that weight is distributed in the home. This will lead to walls bowing or cracking as they become overburdened. Likewise, a certain amount of sinking can lead to a property’s foundation being separated from the foundation walls. The instability that this causes can lead to walls starting to lean, crumble, or bow fairly quickly, especially if levels of hydrostatic pressure are high around your home.

Like hydrostatic pressure, humidity is a natural phenomenon that cannot be truly prevented. Nonetheless, humidity can and should be controlled, because it can be very damaging to the structure and interior of your Morgantown home. It can even cause issues that impact your health and wellbeing. The possibilities are many, but there are two main issues that you should be most concerned about when it comes to high relative humidity inside your property: mold and wood rot.

Mold is a common issue, but it is also one that you should not underestimate. While many different forms of mold are benign, there are a few that can cause minor irritations and side effects (similar to severe seasonal allergies) and a few that are actively toxic. Mold is a tough substance that can grow in almost any area, in a wide range of temperatures. However, one thing that mold does need to grow is moisture. That means that controlling humidity is the best way to prevent mold formation in your home. This is important because some kinds of mold (black mold in particular) can cause issues as serious as seizures and respiratory infection, making them very dangerous.

Wood rot is just as common as mold, but it is far less dangerous to your health. Wood rot is most dangerous to the structure of your home. Walls and floors, in particular, are very susceptible to wood rot because of the joists and beams that support them, as well as the plasterboard that is often used in properties in this area. Like mold spores, wood rot fungi require a certain level of moisture to grow and thrive. Untreated wood rot can lead to structural collapse over time, making it very dangerous indeed.

Crawl space vents are highly outdated and widely known to contribute to dampness and humidity in the Morgantown properties that they are installed in. As such, it makes total sense to question why they were installed at all. The answer is simple: when they were first installed, crawl space vents were believed to prevent issues with dampness by increasing airflow around the property in question. This is why they were installed as a matter of best practice during construction from the 1950s to the 1990s. However, they were found to increase airflow, but this was discovered to be a negative thing.

Since then, it has become best practice to cover vents and install waterproof doors where there are crawl space access hatches. This works to provide protection while maintaining easy access to the property’s crawl space where that is a concern. The argument for covering these vents rather than removing them is a matter of cost and time: removing vents is a serious structural change that may not always be feasible in every home. Either way, sealing or removing crawl space vents has many benefits that you should know about and thoroughly consider. First is the reduction in dampness and humidity and a far lower risk of flooding and damage. This singular benefit, however, has many resulting effects that you should not underestimate.

Humid air is harder for your HVAC system to process, which means that lowering humidity will also lower your energy consumption and the wear and tear on your HVAC system. This means lower bills and a more stable interior climate that, in turn, makes your home more comfortable and hygienic in the long-run. If you want to get the very best results from covering your crawl space vents, you should do it as a part of a wider waterproofing process. If you simply cover your vents and take no further action, you will get limited benefits. Or you might trap moisture or even pests inside your home and make the issue worse. It is best to always consult a professional before making a decision or taking any practical steps to cover or remove your crawl space vents.

If your home does not already have waterproofing measures in place, undertaking protective work on your property should be a priority. Many older homes around Morgantown, WV, have outdated features or older waterproofing measures that are either ineffective or now known to be actively damaging to your property’s ability to repel water and prevent humidity. So, you should waterproof your home as a matter of course, unless it has been done within the last decade or so. Even then, you may wish to update certain measures. Most waterproofing products have no definable lifespan, but some, like sump pump systems, could degrade over time.

However, you should not waterproof it first if there is active damage in your home. Waterproofing when you have active structural or plumbing damage in your home could cover up the signs of progression or amplify the secondary issues and dampness. If you have signs of foundation damage, wall damage, or plumbing damage, it is necessary for you to have those issues repaired before waterproofing.

Assuming your home is in good health and entirely non-waterproofed, however, this is a process with four main steps. First, drainage options will be put in place or repaired. This can mean the installation of an interior drainage system or a sump pump, though homes need to have both. Secondly, insulation will be laid and fitted around any exposed pipes to stabilize your property’s internal climate. Thirdly, a vapor barrier will be installed to prevent any moisture from getting into your living space. The fourth step is optional but beneficial: installing a dehumidifier will remove moisture, spores, and dust mite droppings from the air.

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Morgantown, WV

Pittsburgh Local Office

Baker’s Waterproofing
5 Industrial Rd., Building A
Washington, PA 15301
(412) 838-4948

Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 7 pm
Sunday: Noon – 8 pm

Baker's Service Area Map

PROUDLY SERVING EASTERN, CENTRAL & WESTERN PA AND NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA - INCLUDING PITTSBURGH, MORGANTOWN, ALLENTOWN, HARRISBURG, SCRANTON, LANCASTER, & ALTOONA

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3819 N Susquehanna Trail
Shamokin Dam, PA  17876

Harrisburg

922 North 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102

Pittsburgh

5 Industrial Road, Building A
Washington, PA 15301