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Now serving even more of PA – Baker's Waterproofing merged with I'm the Guy Basements.

inspection with homeowners in basement

Pittsburgh

While the Pittsburgh soil is generally loamy with good drainage, the wet and wild weather can lead to many different kinds of damage throughout a property’s structure.

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Basement or Crawl Space Waterproofing Around Pittsburgh

Protecting your Pittsburgh home from dampness and humidity in the long-term means starting with the very bottom of the structure. Your property’s basement or crawl space is likely to be the most vulnerable area when it comes to dampness. This is partly because they are not often waterproofed during construction, but also because of direct contact with the ground. Of course, while things like seepage are fairly common, there is also a chance that damage could be the cause of your dampness.

Our team here at Baker’s Waterproofing specializes in the process of basement and crawl space waterproofing, even when there is underlying damage to deal with. Whether your dampness is being caused by exposed crawl space vents or damage to your basement walls, our team has the tools and skills to deal with whatever issues your Pittsburgh home presents. Of course, if there is underlying damage at work, we will need to deal with this before we can begin the process of waterproofing. If damage is merely covered up, then the consequences could be disastrous.

We have curated a portfolio of high-quality, versatile waterproofing products that can all be used in conjunction with each other. Depending on just what your Pittsburgh home needs, we will deploy a range of products including sump pumps, dehumidifiers, vapor barriers, insulation, and crawl space vent covers. By deploying a mix of passive and proactive measures, we will create a space that repels and removes water without the need for your intervention. This will have many positive benefits for your home as a whole.

Foundation Repair in Pittsburgh

Heavy rainfall and the saturation of the loam and limestone soils that are so common around Pittsburgh can result in a lot of movement and pressure on your property’s foundation and wider structure. Things like subsidence and lateral movement can lead to serious issues throughout your property as a result of the uneven distribution of weight that they cause. As such, things like spreading cracks, floor and wall gaps, dampness, and sticking doors and windows are all potential signs of foundation damage.

Here at Baker’s Waterproofing, we know what it takes to repair a sinking or damaged foundation and protect your Pittsburgh property as a whole. As well as having foundation repair tools and products on hand, we can also deal with the secondary issues, like bowing walls and sagging crawl spaces or floors. We have tools and options for every kind of home and situation.

Of course, the proper solution depends on the nature of the damage and the underlying causes. Helical and push piers, for example, both perform the same function but work best in different situations. Likewise, wall anchors and beams are all best suited to different situations. Of course, our team has the experience and training to make educated decisions about what is best for your specific case. We will make sure that you get the results that you need from the foundation repair process.

Pittsburgh Concrete Lifting

Your Pittsburgh property’s exterior spaces are just as important to its appearance and value as its interior spaces and overall structure. In fact, your exterior concrete surfaces can even act as indicators for the health and wellbeing of your property’s foundation. The same things that can damage concrete slabs and driveways can also impact your foundation over time. So, paying attention to the health of your patio, sidewalks, and driveway is a very good idea!

The most common kinds of damage to exterior concrete surfaces and slabs are cracking, fragmentation, lateral movement, and sinking. Each of these issues must be dealt with in a unique way that addresses both the underlying causes and the visible damage to the surface. Here at Baker’s Waterproofing, we know just how to deal with all kinds of concrete damage and movement. Our team is highly trained and very experienced, so you can expect the best results.

While there are many different potential repair options for damaged or sunken concrete, we favor SettleStop PolyRenewal™ foam injection. This state-of-the-art repair utilizes the same basic concept as traditional mudjacking, but is much less invasive, more effective, and longer lasting

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FAQs

About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Pittsburgh

Yes. You should cover exposed crawl space vents in your Pittsburgh property if you want to avoid having problems with dampness, flooding, humidity, and pest infestation. There is really no situation in which having open crawl space vents is beneficial for your home. With that in mind, it is perfectly reasonable to ask why they were installed into properties in the first place. The reason is simple: when these properties were built, crawl space vents were believed to be beneficial to the health and wellbeing of the property as a whole.

Between the 1950s and 1990s, installing crawl space vents into new properties was considered to be construction best practice. This was because industry experts believed it would increase the level of airflow in the crawl space and prevent or minimize dampness and humidity in the property. Of course, further research found that these vents did increase airflow but that they actually were more likely to cause dampness and high humidity than to prevent it.

This is partly because of a process called the stack effect. The stack effect, sometimes called the chimney effect, is a channel of airflow that goes from the bottom of a property to the very top. This seriously disrupts the interior climate of a property and can cause condensation in your crawl space and attic, depending on the season and whether your HVAC system is created heat or cold. As well as contributing to dampness, the stack effect will cause fluctuations in temperature and even lead to increased energy bills and accelerated deterioration in your HVAC system, leading to avoidable breakdowns and damage. So, when simple vent covers can go a long way towards preventing this, it would be silly not to install them!

Soil washout and erosion are serious issues that commonly impact many properties across Pittsburgh, PA, because of the loam and limestone soils that are so common in this area. These soils are far less water reactive than expansive soils, which are made up of absorbent materials like clay and have excellent drainage. This is good for your home, on the whole, of course, but the main downside is that they are less cohesive than expansive soils. This means that they are more vulnerable to erosion and washout. These are processes of soil displacement and movement that primarily impact weak or loose soils, but when the weather is extreme, they can impact even healthy and robust soils.

Erosion is a process of soil displacement that is primarily driven by wind and that is exacerbated by extreme dehydration. As such, erosion is most likely in the summer months and will impact only the topsoil. The most common signs of erosion are the formation of craters, the formation of gaps underneath the edges of concrete slabs and sidewalks, exposed root tops, and the formation of bald spots in your lawn. The limited nature of this process, however, means that it is far less likely to cause widespread damage to your home.

Soil washout, by contrast, can take effect from both above and below the surface of the soil and is caused by saturation and flooding. Unlike expansive soils, loam-based and chalky soils do not absorb water and swell. They allow it to drain away, and when their drainage capacity runs out, they can start to become loose and be carried away by the water as it seeks a new path. This is very dangerous, as it can cause voids underneath surfaces and structures around your property. This, in turn, can lead to sinking concrete slabs and foundation damage.

Foundation damage is a serious issue that should never be underestimated. As well as being severe, foundation issues are notorious for growing at an exponential rate and having an impact on the wider structure of a property. From your walls to your floors and all the way to your roof, every part of your Pittsburgh property is dependent on your foundation for support and stability. Any movement or destabilization in your foundation will leave the door open for serious damage.

So, as you might imagine, we recommend that you deal with foundation damage as soon as you see the warning signs. Many property owners prefer to wait until a problem becomes impossible to ignore before they act, of course, but there are a few good reasons as to why you should not do this. The dangers of waiting too long are very simple. The longer you wait to fix foundation issues, the more likely they are to grow and spread to other parts of your home. This can lead to all forms of secondary and tertiary damage like dampness, wood rot, and mold formation. All these issues present unique dangers to your health and home.

The benefits of acting as soon as you see signs of foundation damage, of course, are just as simple and powerful as the drawbacks of waiting too long. If you deal with foundation damage as soon as you see it, then you will make the process of repair much simpler and far less expensive. In fact, the cost of repairs will get more and more expensive over a very short period of time. It will also prevent the formation of secondary issues (for example, the formation of mold, which could be harmful to your health and wellbeing). There is also a lower chance that you will need serious cosmetic repair if you act quickly.

Your basement walls are some of the most vulnerable in your home as a whole, because of their unique positioning and the pressure that they face. Your basement walls are some of the only walls in a property that face lateral pressure on a regular basis. This is because basement walls are placed below ground level and they have to deal with hydrostatic pressure on a daily basis.

Hydrostatic pressure is, to put it simply, the weight of the soil and the water that it contains. This is something that all homes have to contend with, though it is a more pressing issue when the property has a basement, and properties are designed to withstand it to a certain degree. Unfortunately, the level of hydrostatic pressure can be increased when heavy rainfall, flooding, or poor drainage lead to soil saturation around a home. Because concrete has a proportionally low tensile strength, this lateral pressure can cause basement walls to bow or buckle inwards. Of course, this is not the only possibility.

There is also a chance that defects in the design process or the materials used during construction have left your basement wall weak. This weakness can lead to the walls being fundamentally unprepared to face hydrostatic pressure (or any kind of pressure, really). This is a serious issue because repairing this kind of damage will be far more complex and could even require replacements in very weak parts of your property’s structure. Thankfully, defects and design flaws are not common. As such, soil saturation and hydrostatic pressure are far more likely causes of your Pittsburgh property’s bowing walls.

Wall anchors are one of the most common and effective products for repairing bowing, leaning, or buckling walls in a Pittsburgh property’s basement. Of course, there are other possible repair options, each with their own benefits and limitations, but wall anchors are some of the most effective when they are compatible with the home and situation. The main limitation of wall anchors, of course, is their need for a certain amount of exterior space to ensure proper installation.

The first step in wall anchor installation, of course, is to assess the damage to the wall and map out where the anchors should be placed, both internally and externally. This process will require some level of excavation and can be disruptive, but it is relatively short. The earth anchors themselves must be placed in the earth at least 10 feet from the outside of your foundation wall. Meanwhile, on the inside of your home, holes must be drilled so that steel rods can be fed through and connected to the earth anchors.

The other ends of these steel rods then are attached to the wall plates that are mounted in strategically placed areas. Once connected, these rods will be instrumental in stabilizing and straightening a damaged wall. This is achieved by tightening them over time to apply more pressure to the wall by using the earth anchor. Once your wall anchors have been fully installed, inside and out, the excavation points will be covered up and restored to ensure a flawless finish.

SettleStop PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection is one of the most common and popular concrete lifting processes on the market today. We at Baker’s Waterproofing stand behind this product as a high-quality, efficient alternative to heritage repair processes like mudjacking. Whereas mudjacking uses a heavy, porous slurry that’s pumped into the void beneath a surface in order to create pressure and lift, SettleStop PolyRenewal™ uses a lightweight, waterproof foam that creates an expansive force on its own.

The difference between the materials used is crucial here, because it makes all the difference to the effectiveness, stability, and safety of the process. The slurry used in mudjacking runs the risk of overburdening already weak soil and increases the risk of recurring sinking and damage. Polyurethane foam, by contrast, is very light in proportion to its strength, meaning that it will not add weight to already weak soil.

Better yet, polyurethane foam is waterproof and inert. This means that it will not absorb water, which would add weight, and it will not leach chemicals into the earth underneath your Pittsburgh home and its exterior surfaces. This is better for your property and your yard, of course, but also for your health and wellbeing in the long-run (especially if you grow vegetables or fruits in your garden). So, in short, yes: SettleStop PolyRenewal™ is an incredibly safe and effective concrete lifting method that will provide you with great results and very little risk.

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Pittsburgh Local Office

Baker’s Waterproofing

570 Carlton Drive
Bentleyville, PA 15314

Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 8 pm

New Baker's Map

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

Harrisburg

315 Point Township Drive
Northumberland, PA 17857

Pittsburgh

5 Industrial Road, Building A
Washington, PA 15301