BQ Basements and Concrete specializes in helping homeowners with their foundation repair, basement waterproofing, and concrete needs. Our top priority is providing trusted solutions and personalized, timely service in the greater Philadelphia area.
When your home needs foundation repair, you need service you can trust. BQ Basements & Concrete has served Philadelphia homeowners since 1997. No job is too big for us, and we’ll never shy away from a challenge. With us, you get industry-leading solutions to repair any of your foundation or concrete issues. No job is too big for us, and we’ll never shy away from a challenge. Contact us today and schedule a free inspection!
Crawl spaces are another common foundation type in Philadelphia. However, crawl spaces face an even larger threat against water damage. Philly receives around 47 inches of rain every year – that’s almost 20 inches more than the national average. All this rain is absorbed by the soil in your yard where it collects beneath your crawl space. When the water evaporates, it releases high humidity into your crawl space and encourages mold growth. Not to mention, Philly’s humid summers push even more moist air into the space. BQ protects your crawl space from moisture with encapsulation, sump pumps, and thermal insulation to create a controlled, dry environment.
Concrete Lifting & Leveling in Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s native soils are sandy and loamy, which allows them to drain water quickly. However, sandy soils are also at risk for erosion during especially rainy months in Philly like March or July. Concrete depends on soil for support, so when the ground is broken down by heavy rain, it won’t support concrete very well. Eventually, the heavy weight of the concrete causes it to sink and leads to cracked driveways, uneven sidewalks, or sinking steps and patios. BQ uses PolyRenewal™, a polyurethane injection system that effectively lifts pool decks, driveways, sidewalks, and interior slabs.
Much like your home relies on its foundation for support, the foundation itself relies on strong soil to reinforce it. Unfortunately, Philadelphia’s sandy loam soils easily erode due to the area’s humid, subtropical summers and rainy springs. Not to mention, snowmelt in the winter also contributes to soil washout. All this water causes the ground in your yard to become muddy, and the heavy weight of your foundation sinks into the weak soil. BQ Basements & Concrete prevents this from damaging your foundation with pier systems, wall anchors, wall repair systems, and deck supports – all of which provide permanent stability and repair to your home’s foundation.
Moisture can get in your Philadelphia basement in a variety of ways. Leaks are probably the most obvious way, though even these can vary in how they form. Water from outside your home might start to press up against your basement walls, leaking through if the pressure becomes dense enough. These leaks can eventually expand wider and cause your basement to flood if you simply ignore them for too long. Leaks can also spring from other sources as well. If your plumbing breaks, for instance, then the water and sewage from those pipes can build up behind your walls and eventually leak into your basement as well. You might even notice a musty smell that only seems to linger around your basement because of this.
Any cracks you see around your basement will also allow moisture to seep through. This does not just include any cracks along your walls but from your floor, too. Groundwater can well up and begin to flood your basement at any given time, too, so you should not underestimate even the smaller cracks found along your basement floor. This constant flooding can also bring about other issues such as mold and mildew growth and pest infestations.
Hydrostatic pressure is a serious threat to your entire home. Even though its effects are mostly seen in the basement, it does affect the structure of the entire house. As the basement wall bends inwards due to the pressure of the accumulated groundwater, it begins to crack. The cracks allow the water to seep through the concrete and infiltrate your basement. Flooding is most common in the wall-floor joint, which is where you’ll see most of the water come from. Your basement wall is a part of your home’s foundation. The second a foundation begins to have structural problems; the effects will be felt elsewhere. You might notice your floor begin to sink closer to the wall. Any columns that relied on the walls to support the ground floor will begin to fail, which means that the walls above will also experience issues with cracking, bending, and breaking.
The soil immediately surrounding your foundation is a lot looser than the soil farther away. This is because when your home was built, a bowl-like hole was excavated, and the foundation was built in this space. After the foundation was built, the gaps were backfilled with the soil that was previously removed. The problem with this is that the soil used as backfill is a lot more porous that the densely packed soil the foundation sits on. This porous soil is able to absorb a lot of water, making it a dangerous threat to your foundation. The clay bowl effect is something many homeowners in Dover have to worry about. This problem is incredibly persistent in areas where the soil is primarily made of clay. These soils already have a high expansion capacity, but in a state like Delaware, the soil is capable of getting saturated quite easily. When it rains, not only does the rainwater directly affect the soil, it also raises the water table. Because of the soil, the weather, and the clay bowl effect, foundations in Dover are in constant need of repairs.
Any and all concrete cracks can pose a threat to the surrounding concrete as well as to your foundation given enough time. However, not every homeowner will have the time to treat every crack or sign of damage they might come across around their home. This is where knowing which cracks can be ignored for a short period of time and which cracks must be treated as soon as possible. Any cracks that measure less than 1/8 inch wide are known as hairline cracks and will not pose any immediate threat to the surrounding concrete, nor will they spread down to the foundation right away. The same can be said for any cracks that measure anywhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inches wide.
Of course, these cracks can also expand at any time, so it is important that you do not leave these cracks alone for too long. Any cracks that measure wider than 1/4 inch must be repaired as soon as possible. Not only can they spread damage out to the surrounding slabs, but they can easily creep down to the foundation, too. You need a concrete lifting solution that will prevent this damage from spreading as well as protect your concrete from being damaged again in the future.
The SettleStop PolyRenewal™ injection foam repair solution will do just that and more. It can stabilize both the supporting soil below and the concrete slabs themselves, filling in any cracks and other damage along the way. The foam is made up of eco-friendly materials as well. If it mixes with water, then it will not ruin your lawn or landscaping. It is a nondisruptive repair solution that will not require any heavy equipment or loud construction to install and will cure in minutes!
It is easy for moisture to negatively impact your foundation, more so than the average Philadelphia homeowner might think. For instance, all the water from heavy rain and melted snow will all absorb into the surrounding soil. However, the soil is only capable of holding so much water weight before it either washes away or grows extremely heavy. This then can create an immense pressure against your foundation, causing it to shift away from this weight or even crack altogether.
This phenomenon is commonly referred to as hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure can also take another form as well. Water can easily become trapped in the concrete foundation’s pores. When winter comes and that trapped water freezes, the expanding ice then can lead to the foundation cracking apart from within.
You will also need to deal with a common construction mistake known as the clay bowl effect creating settling issues as well. Basically, contractors will dig a large hole where they plan to lay down the foundation (and either a basement or crawl space) when they first build a home. Once these components are installed, there is typically a little space left around the perimeter that the contractors will then backfill in with the soil they dug up. Of course, it is now much looser than it once was, and Philadelphia’s sandy-loam soil is already quite loose. The soil creates a bowl of sorts around the foundation that can be easily washed out during a huge storm or when the snow begins to melt in the spring. Without this crucial support, your foundation will start to shift or settle into the remaining soil and may even crack apart. BQ Basements & Concrete can waterproof your foundation to ensure that this does not happen.