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Basement Waterproofing & Foundation Repair in State College, PA

While the chalky, limestone soil found around State College, PA, is fairly stable, there are times when foundation repair, waterproofing, or concrete lifting will be necessary.

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Basement Waterproofing, and Crawl Space Encapsulation in State College, PA

Keeping your property’s basement or crawl space dry can be an uphill battle in and around State College, PA, partly because of the wet and often wild nature of the climate in Pennsylvania (especially in fall and spring). The age of the property also is important. While the soil in this area has fairly good drainage capabilities, many older properties were not properly built to repel water in the same way that more modern homes are.

The team here at Baker’s Waterproofing specializes in waterproofing basements and encapsulating crawl spaces of all sizes and shapes. We have a range of products that can help your State College property to prevent dampness and flooding, either by repelling water or by removing it from the property as a whole.

We offer waterproofing measures that repel moisture, and we offer systems that actively gather and remove water in either its liquid or gaseous form. By deploying a mixture of passive and active measures, we can protect your home from dampness, humidity, and flooding. In doing so, we will improve the climate inside your State College home as a whole. In fact, waterproofing could even increase your energy efficiency and, therefore, lower your energy bills.

State College, PA Foundation Repair

You should never underestimate the importance of your property’s foundation. After all, it is of the utmost importance to the structure of your home. Processes like settlement, subsidence, and lateral movement can result in damage that reaches from the very bottom of your home all the way to the top. These issues usually start in the soil under a home, and while the soil in and around State College tends to be loam-based or chalky in nature (meaning it is fairly stable and drains well), extreme weather can still be a problem.

The signs of foundation damage are many, but the most common are spreading cracks, uneven concrete surfaces and slabs, bowing walls, floor and wall gaps, and persistent dampness and humidity. These signs are some of the most common and easy to spot. Once you see these in your State College home, it is time to contact a professional and think about foundation repair.

Here at Baker’s Waterproofing, we have a variety of foundation repair options on offer to deal with issues of every kind. From foundation piers to wall anchors, we have solutions that will deal with the underlying causes of your State College property’s foundation damage as well as any secondary issues that may have resulted from movement in your property’s foundation. No matter how big or small the issues in your home are, our team will make sure that your home is safe.

Concrete Lifting in State College, PA

Just as your State College property’s foundation can be subject to sinking, settlement, and lateral movement, so, too, can the exterior concrete surfaces that surround your property. Concrete sidewalks, driveways, and patios are all subject to the same pressures and issues as your property foundation. However, because a property’s foundation is buried much deeper, these exterior surfaces tend to be more vulnerable (which makes them great indicators for potential foundation risks).

When a concrete slab in or around your State College home sinks, it can be dangerous as well as frustrating. As well as ruining the appearance of your property, sunken concrete slabs and surfaces also represent a serious tripping hazard to you and anyone who visits you. Thankfully, there is no need to replace the damaged concrete these days. There are many concrete lifting options on the market that can help you to restore your property to full health.

The Baker’s Waterproofing team has a number of options on offer for homeowners looking to restore damaged or sunken concrete around their State College properties. Our preferred concrete lifting measure is SettleStop PolyRenewal™ polyurethane foam injection. This method works in the same way as older lifting methods like mudjacking but has far fewer limitations and negative side effects. As well as being lightweight, polyurethane foam is stable and inert. This means that it will not over-burden weak soil, it will not leach chemicals into your yard, and it will not take days to fully cure. As such, this is a far more effective process that also has the benefit of being quick and efficient.

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About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in State College

Sudden rises in your energy bills are a pain, especially for your budget and bottom line. However, there are other reasons as to why you should be concerned about a sudden and inexplicable rise in your energy bills. That is to say, unless your energy supplier has increased their rates, or you have started to use more power on a regular basis, an increase in your bills is a sign that there are some issues to deal with around your home. These can be very big issues like structural damage, or small issues, like broken or deteriorating appliances that are losing their efficiency.

Appliance breakdown or deterioration is the most common cause of a decrease in a property’s energy efficiency, but the rises in your energy bills that these issues will generally cause are unlikely to be significant. Unless your whole HVAC system is severely outdated, any really noticeable increase in your energy bills is likely to be a result of high levels of humidity in your home. High levels of relative humidity are generally indicative of damage to a property’s structure or internal plumbing system. The most likely causes of high humidity are leaking pipes or appliances. In fact, any low-level, persistent leak is far more likely to cause an increase in humidity rather than a sudden flood because they tend to go unnoticed for longer.

The structural issues that can cause this kind of low-level, persistent leaking generally involve cracking in the outer shell of the home. This means foundation damage and damage to your foundation walls, but there is also a chance that the source could be something more benign (for example, exposed crawl space vents). Other signs of high humidity are mold formation, musty odors, and condensation on cool surfaces like metal, glass, and stone.

Subsidence is a serious issue that involves the sinking of the property in question. Unlike settlement, however, which generally also involves some level of fragmentation, subsidence is a process that impacts the whole property and usually does not cause severe cracking and fragmentation until it has advanced. Unfortunately, this is an issue that affects a surprising number of homes around State College, PA.

The chalky, limestone and loamy soils found in Pennsylvania provide excellent drainage in most cases, but they are less cohesive than clay-based soils. This has some benefits (for example, a lower rate of water reactivity and less chance of soil swelling or shrinkage), but the main drawback is that these soils can be weak or unstable if the climate is too wet or the drainage systems around your home start to fail. When this happens, subsidence is a very likely outcome. You will recognize subsidence in a number of ways. Visible unevenness is one of the most advanced signs of subsidence, but it is not the only sign.

Other signs of subsidence include cracking, sagging flooring, sunken concrete slabs, dampness, and humidity. In fact, the problem signs associated with it can be incredibly varied thanks to the plethora of secondary and tertiary issues that are often connected to subsidence and foundation damage as a whole. Thankfully, there are solutions for subsidence on the market these days. Foundation piers, both push and helical, can be used to stabilize and restore a property to full health.

A property’s crawl space is one of the most vulnerable areas in any home. This is partly because of its position at the bottom of the home but also because many crawl spaces in State College were not designed to be entirely waterproof. This is a particularly big problem in older properties. Homes that were built between the 1950s and 1990s, for example, were often built with crawl space vents in place to increase airflow. This was considered the best practice for preventing dampness and humidity, at the time, but has since been shown to increase humidity instead.

Waterproofing, as a process, is one of the most effective ways you can protect your home from dampness and humidity. What’s more, waterproofing has a number of other benefits that you should consider! For example, waterproofing increases your property’s heat and cold retention capabilities and ensures that your interior climate is fairly stable. Likewise, the reduction in humidity that this process facilitates will make your home more energy efficient. Arid air is far easier for your HVAC system to process than humid air. As such, a home with low humidity will use less energy, as your HVAC system is able to produce better results with less work. This also decreases wear and tear on your system.

Thankfully, waterproofing is a straightforward and easy process that can be undertaken quickly by any professional. Generally speaking, this will include the installation of crawl space vent covers, insulation, vapor barriers, and even an interior drainage system and a sump pump system. If you still experience problems with dampness and humidity, then professionals may also suggest that you install a dehumidifier system into your crawl space to remove gaseous moisture and lower humidity levels in a more direct and immediate way. As an added benefit, this will also make your home more comfortable.

If you want to take care of your home, then it is important that you disturb the soil as little as possible, especially if there are already underlying issues around your property. While there are some changes in the soil that will be inevitable (and, unfortunately, unpredictable), things like heavy rainfall, storms, flooding, and extreme snowmelt can all disturb the soil in very extreme ways. This can have a huge impact on the looser, limestone, and loam soil around Pennsylvania that, despite its excellent drainage, can be unstable when faced with saturation.

What does this have to do with inflatable pools? Well, despite being a favorite of Pennsylvania children, an inflatable pool in your yard can cause some serious problems in the right circumstances. More specifically, getting rid of the water from the pool can cause serious problems for the soil around your home. Of course, this is only likely to cause issues if you already have problems with the soil around your home. A home that is healthy and has no issues with foundation drainage generally will not suffer because of a single pool full of water.

Likewise, if your yard is properly graded, you have good drainage around your perimeter, and your yard is well planted, you should not experience a huge number of troubles from inflatable pools (apart from damage to the patch of lawn that yours rests on, of course). If your property has underlying, pre-existing damage to its foundation, the soil around your home is weak, or your drainage systems are not up to the task, then the weight (and water) of an inflatable pool can cause serious damage to your property, especially if you utilize it often.

If you have noticed certain walls around your home starting to look like they are bowing or building inward, then there are a few potential issues that could be at work. The most obvious (and yet least common) cause of uneven, damaged, or bowing walls is some kind of defect in the wall itself. This can take two main forms: design flaws or defects in the concrete mix itself. Either way, the flaws caused by these kinds of issues will make a wall much weaker and lead to many issues of which bowing is only one.

Far more common, however, is damage as a result of excessive pressure or a lack of support. Hydrostatic pressure, for example, is one of the leading causes of bowing, leaning, or collapsing walls. This pressure is caused by the weight of the soil around the walls, of course, but also by the water in the soil. As such, this is an issue that all properties have to deal with at some point; in fact, they are designed to deal with it. The main issue arises when the hydrostatic pressure in the soil reaches unmanageable levels. This can be caused by a number of things, including heavy rainfall, the presence of underground water sources, copious snowmelt, or even just poor drainage around the property.

Finally, there is a chance that lateral or vertical movement in your property’s foundation will lead to damage that destabilizes your basement walls. Spreading cracks that separate the foundation of your home from the walls in some areas, for example, will lead to movement and make the walls more vulnerable to movement, leaning, and localized collapse. Of course, there are some problem signs that will show long before the walls themselves begin to lean or buckle visibly. The most common signs are spreading cracks, dampness, humidity, and mold formation. If you act when you see these early signs, then you could prevent your walls from leaning or bowing at all.

Yes! These days there are many products that can straighten bowing walls, as well as stabilize them and prevent them from deviating further from their intended positioning. The three main solutions for bowing walls, are carbon fiber reinforcement, wall anchors, and wall beams. Each of these three solutions has its own benefits and limitations, of course, which is why you should contact a professional to discuss what specific problems are plaguing your home and what would be the best repair solution.

Carbon fiber reinforcement is the least invasive of wall stabilization methods. The carbon fiber straps used in this process are lightweight, easy to manipulate, and incredibly strong. The main limitations, however, are the fact that carbon fiber reinforcement is unviable for walls that have deviated seriously. Furthermore, carbon fiber reinforcement is not capable of straightening damaged walls. For this, more serious measures will be needed.

Wall anchors and wall beams are both capable of straightening bowing or damaged walls, but they are not suitable for every occasion. For example, wall anchors require a certain amount of exterior space in order to be properly anchored and apply the right level of pressure to the walls. Wall beams, by contrast, can be installed in most spaces, but they are incredibly hard to disguise once they have been installed into a room. Neither, however, can straighten walls quickly. They need time and regular adjustments to safely rectify deviation in a basement wall. 

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Bellefonte, PA

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Harrisburg Local Office

Baker’s Waterproofing

315 Point Township Dr.
Northumberland, PA 17857
(724) 788-4720

Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7apm
Saturday: 8 am – 7 pm
Sunday: 12 pm – 8 pm

Baker's Service Area Map


Central PA

3819 N Susquehanna Trail
Shamokin Dam, PA  17876


922 North 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102


5 Industrial Road, Building A
Washington, PA 15301